The big news today here in Chicago is that Bill Daley, brother of former Chicago Mayor Richie Daley, has decided not to seek the Democratic nomination for governor of Illinois:
“It’s a combination of things,” Daley said. “I felt very strongly that as I began to look at this over the next five to nine years, which would be needed to straighten out the situation, that commitment, that need that energy for that stage was probably not going to be there.”
Daley said he had a change of heart in the last few weeks following his 65th birthday and the amount of time it would take to invest in a state drowning in debt and pension obligations. Daley repeatedly railed against Quinn’s leadership during his brief campaign.
In essence, Daley, who’s never won an elective office in his life, is saying that he just doesn’t want to work that hard. He’d rather have a job like Secretary of Transportation or Midwest Chairman of JPMorgan Chase, where you just need to show up every once in a while and they’ll mail you your check.
I think there’s probably a grain of truth in that. I also think that there’s no chance that Pat Quinn will stand aside for him so getting the governor’s nomination would be a fight to the end and a bruising primary fight might increase the likelihood that the next governor of Illinois would be a Republican. Daley’s a good party guy so stepping aside for the good of the party is completely in character. And preserves the family brand.
How likely is a Republican governor? I think that Pat Quinn is a good guy but neither a good campaigner nor a good governor. If the Illinois Republican Party settled on a green eyeshades sort of candidate who breathed absolutely no fire of any sort (something like Jim Edgar), they’d have a pretty good chance of winning. Never underestimate the ability of the Illinois Republican Party to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
BTW, Bill Daley used to live about two block due north of me. Nice house. I’ll show you a picture of it some time. At one point I had three Daley siblings living within a five block radius of me.