* Lynn Sweet…
Sen. Dick Durbin told me Tuesday that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is “seriously thinking” about running for governor.
I talked to Madigan about a gubernatorial bid on Saturday night — she was here for President Barack Obama’s Inauguration festivities — and my takeaway from the conversation is she wants to run whether or not Bill Daley also gets in a Democratic primary to challenge Gov. Pat Quinn.
The main consequence of Madigan, 46, inching toward a bid is this: We now know the politically vulnerable Quinn is heading toward a colossal primary fight because he is going to be facing strong opponents, either Madigan, Daley or both in the March 18, 2014, balloting.
“She had made special outreach to labor and they know it, they’ve noticed in terms of her showing up at events and the like,” Durbin told me. “I don’t think she has made a final decision. I know she is in the process of making a decision.”
When Madigan mulled a Senate run in 2009, she mustered little enthusiasm when we talked about the prospect of what would have been a Democratic primary contest and taking a job where she would have to commute between Chicago and Washington.
That was not the case when we chatted about a 2014 Democratic primary for governor at the Illinois Inaugural Gala. This time, she’s hungry.
As we talked, with her husband, Pat Byrnes by her side, Madigan, was the one who reminded me that her kids were older now and more independent: Rebecca is 8 and Lucy turns 5 next month.
Durbin told me he assumes Quinn is running for re-election. As for getting involved in a primary, Durbin, who is up for re-election in 2014, said, “My plan is to stay out.”
* And Quinn isn’t talking…
Gov. Pat Quinn sidestepped whether he is concerned about possibly the strongest indicator yet that four-term Attorney General Lisa Madigan is considering running against him for governor in 2014.
“I’m not really doing politics right now,” Quinn said Tuesday following a school safety summit in Springfield. “I think it’s better to do policy…there will be plenty of time to focus on politics later on.”