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Question of the day

Monday, Feb 11, 2013

*There’s no sense tipping one’s hand so early, but I think there’s little doubt that she wants to move up the ladder

While Gov. Pat Quinn has publically committed to a 2014 run for re-election, his running mate has yet to say if she’s willing to take the plunge with him.

That was true again Friday.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon evaded questions about another run with Quinn during an interview regarding a group she is leading to discuss firearms issues.

“I think I’ll choose to keep the focus on the firearms working group,” Simon told the Chicago Sun-Times when asked if she was up for a second tour as Quinn’s running mate. […]

On Friday, Simon did not shoot down the possibility of going after the attorney general’s slot if Madigan were to run against Quinn.

“When we’re ready to talk about it, we’ll let you know,” she said.

Keep in mind that she was appointed to the ticket in 2010. She didn’t have to run for that office on her own, as Jason Plummer did.

* The Question : Your thoughts on what sort of statewide candidate Simon would be if she decides to run for something else?

And no snark, please. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


39 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 12:56 pm:

    As Richard J. told Adlai III: “Don’t change your name.”


  2. - OneMan - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:03 pm:

    The name helps, but it has been a while since her father was in the public eye. Also didn’t she lose a race in Carbondale (where the name would carry more)


  3. - wishbone - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:05 pm:

    “I think I’ll choose to keep the focus on the firearms working group,”

    Not really a very good focus point for someone who wants to run for statewide office.


  4. - siriusly - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:06 pm:

    She’ll be a terrible candidate. I just don’t see it. Maybe she wins if she has a crowded primary and she’s the only woman, but I don’t see her winning a D primary.


  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:11 pm:

    In other political news, what are the odds Sneed has an exclusive tomorrow that both Bill Daley and Chris Kennedy are considering a run for pope?


  6. - RNUG - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:16 pm:

    She has the name downstate but not that much of a record of accomplishments. She also doesn’t have any major screw-ups that come to mind. Would guess she would be a middle to lower middle of the pack candidate.


  7. - All things - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:18 pm:

    I disagree with siriusly, Simon’s best hope is a primary. Her family name means more there. With every passing year her fathers memory fades but she has a pretty good reputation with the liberals and that means a lot in a D primary. Outside the Dems, she is really unknown.

    IF the Dems were smart, they would get Frerichs to run for Congress and put Simon at Treasurer. Only Durbin could pull that off. AG might be a heavy lift.


  8. - Hammer - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    Simon’s background as an ADA in Jackson County fighting against domestic violence along with her reform credentials will make her a formidable AG candidate in a D Primary.


  9. - Boone Logan Square - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    “Hello Mr. President. Remember that inspirational ad I cut for you with the big picture of my dad’s face right before the 2004 Senate primary? That worked out okay, didn’t it?

    Listen, if you have thirty or so seconds to return the favor, I’d appreciate it. I can put banjo music under it or not, whatever your preference. Just some good words, like what you said about Rahm when he was prepping his run for mayor. Not too much to ask, no?

    Your pal, Sheila.”


  10. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:24 pm:

    Siriusly, I don’t think there is a primary for Lt. Governor anymore. Something about Scott Lee Cohen and reform, if I remember right.

    So it sort of begs the question, will Quinn choose to stick with Sheila? I think even if Quinn could reincarnate Paul Simon and run with him he would probably still get clobbered in southern Illinois.

    I think Sheila is terrific but she needs to separate herself from Quinn if she hopes to have a future. I think she’d be a great US Representative someday.


  11. - Bardo - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:28 pm:

    My sense is that Sheila is an average candidate at best. Like her father, she’s earnest. Unlike her father, she didn’t cut her teeth in the State Senate & Congress — and doesn’t seem to be much of a campaigner.

    Nice person?…check. Effective administrator?….maybe too early to tell. Great on the campaign trail?…. I just don’t think so.


  12. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    Lt. Gov is not a real powerful postion. She would have to be running against some candidates with some real skeleten in the closet issues (that come out close to election) to win AG.


  13. - Crazy Like A Fox - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    Simon has a lot of upside in that she has never really been defined - either positive or negative.

    She’s been an ASA, worked in academia, and worked with domestic violence victims in Southern Illinois. Her bio makes her a great AG candidate.

    She’s from Southern Illinois where the Gov. is closing facilities left and right - if she highlights her advocacy of human services then she can be a strong Treasurer or Comptroller candidate.

    If she hops into a primary where there are a bunch of candidates from Cook County and the Collar Counties, she may be able to piece together a coalition of downstate activists and win. There’s also an opportunity for her to tap into the progressive left.

    In a low turnout primary (see 2010), there could be more than enough votes in that group alone to push her over the top.


  14. - outkast - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:34 pm:

    I dont think Sheila is getting enough credit. She would be a strong candidate not only because of the Simon legacy but also because of her proven credentials on progressive issues.


  15. - You're Welcome - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:34 pm:

    http://youtu.be/wbL2lMn34Oo


  16. - Responsa - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:40 pm:

    Sheila has much to offer. She belongs in academia not politics.


  17. - Bill F. - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:51 pm:

    OneMan, she did lose a race for mayor of Carbondale. I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt and suggest that if she’s thinking of running for some higher office, she’s learned the lesson to hold herself to high standards instead of impossible ones (she limited her fundraising in that race to like $25 per donor).

    She’s smart. She’s honest as the day is long. And she’s a downstate woman. That’s a pretty good place to start.

    I think she could have appeal at comptroller or AG (IIRC, she has variously been a law school prof and a prosecutor). I wouldn’t be so dismissive.


  18. - Dazed & Confused - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    1. No base
    2. No money
    3. No (or little) personality/charisma
    4. No hope


  19. - ArchPundit - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 2:01 pm:

    —she limited her fundraising in that race to like $25 per donor

    Yes, but I was finally able to say I maxed out to someone.


  20. - belmont cragin - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 2:02 pm:

    What ability to raise money does she have? None. That alone will keep her from the AG’s office. Lite Gov works because the top of the ticket does all the fundraising (the dirty work) and she keeps her hands clean.


  21. - All things - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    Dazed is a little harsh but makes some valid points. Bill F. is right about the prosecutor part being appealing but I assume there will be a crowded AG field (which might be good for her). As for Comptroller, if Topinka runs she would get killed.

    Her options are limited but maybe AG is her best bet. I just don’t see where she gets the money to compete.


  22. - mokenavince - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 2:10 pm:

    Great downstate canidate,should be teaching school.


  23. - Just Observing - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    I don’t really have anything else to add that hasn’t already been said. She, I’m sure, is a nice enough person, but isn’t a super strong candidate. If her name wasn’t “Simon” she’d wouldn’t have even been Lt. Gov.


  24. - NW IL Democrat - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 2:21 pm:

    She’s been an effective voice for rural economic development, heading up the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council. She has a solid last name and solid name ID. In a crowded primary she would be the front runner for sure.


  25. - Abe - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 2:33 pm:

    A nice lady but there are no steps left on her ladder.


  26. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 2:42 pm:

    If Debbie Halvorson could get elected to Congress, so could Sheila Simon.


  27. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 2:44 pm:

    …most likely in an open district, whenever that happens in her neck of the woods.


  28. - WazUp - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 2:45 pm:

    Ok this is Illinois so anything is possible here. Name ID should be high but she would have to hide her banjo and hope none of those videos show up in an add.


  29. - walkinfool - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 3:20 pm:

    She doesn’t project the image of a confrontational battler, that might play well for this office.

    Of course, I’m often wrong on these things.


  30. - Shore - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 3:52 pm:

    Pretty bad.

    She manhandled plummer, but I don’t see it. She’s not particularly charismatic on tv, the state doesn’t buy the good governance/consumer protection shtick anymore, and it’ll pretty easy for a republican to tie her to quinn and say there’s no way we want more of that.

    then there’s the art turner matter which I’m sure the african american community hasn’t forgotten.


  31. - Frank - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 4:03 pm:

    Awfully hard these days for any downstater in a statewide dem primary…just too much of the Primary vote is in the Chicago media market.

    But she passes the the liberal litmus tests on abortion and other hot button issues and if she was the only downstater and only woman running she would have a real shot.

    Other Potential candidates: Kwame Raoul, Don Harmon, John Bradley, Tom Dart, Anita Alvarez….there are probably more I’m not thinking of. If Bradley and/or Alvarez were on the ballot she might be in too tough.


  32. - SO IL M - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    She may be from Carbondale, but would do much better in Cook Co. than any Co. down here. She is not taken seriously by anyone. There are still jokes about her offering a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich to help during the flood of 2011. She is seen as someone who has made the most out of using her family name to get ahead. But, then again, she is the face of the new Democrat Party.


  33. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 4:46 pm:

    Everyone talks about Simon’s liberal cred–sorry I dont know anything about her beyond academia and G-Lite and I think I’m supposed to be someone who would vote for her in a minute. It would be a tough, expensive campaign for her to get that message across and the blowback from the non-progressive could be enormous.


  34. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 6:34 pm:

    =Sheila has much to offer. She belongs in academia not politics.=

    Ouch. Is that a slap to pols everywhere, Responsa? Or just those who need to pander most for “acceptance?”


  35. - Hey There - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 6:41 pm:

    A nice lady with a great name which isn’t what it used to be. She is too nice, green and naive to make it out of a hard-fought primary for AG whether crowded or not. She also has little or no fundraising capability. At most, statewide she should run for Comptroller if JBT takes a pass. Either that or she should try to become the president of SIU.


  36. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 7:49 pm:

    Despite the many slams above, Sheila would be a fine candidate for AG or any other Statewide Office–sitting Lt. Governor, great name (in many ways, more respectable than Madigan), an Attorney, University Professor, woman candidate with squeaky-clean credentials, mother/wife, solid Chicago, suburban and Downstate vote-getting credentials in IL.-wide race, and progressive on the issues. Common sense would seem to suggest to not be too quick to write her off by any means…(plus, as a recent CAPTION CONTEST winner pointed out, she had good-enough taste to keep that RM Teen-Hunk snapshot in her Locker when she was in Jr. High)!!!


  37. - Raising Kane - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 9:15 pm:

    She seems like a very nice lady but in over her head. Maybe she could run for Treasurer, in a crowded field she might make it. But her inability to raise money or connect with voters is a problem for her. Maybe Obama could give her a spot or SIU President would be great for her.


  38. - Johnny Justice - Monday, Feb 11, 13 @ 11:03 pm:

    New law require Gov. & Lt. Gov. candidates to run as a team in the primary. So, if Simon shows her gratitude to Quinn by refusing to run with him, Quinn would have to find someone else to team up with in the primary. (Was Lou Lang’s bill)


  39. - cal city crew - Tuesday, Feb 12, 13 @ 8:30 am:

    Kudos to @wordslinger and @archpundit. Those posts win the day!

    Sneed’s exclusives are starting to feel like fishing.

    Yes, Simon, while a wonderfully nice person, just doesn’t seem to have that “je ne sais quoi” to make it on her own statewide.

    But hell, maybe I’m wrong.

    As the current AG loves taking on softball cases and issues, I’m sure Sheila would be equally as good at that.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Afternoon updates
* Hospitals back removal of income tax sunsets
* The other strategy
* *** UPDATED 1x *** Quinn onboard; Rauner latches onto term limits proposal
* Because Illinois is a real battleground state
* Quinn dodges Rahm question on "Morning Joe"
* Morning Shorts
* Yesterday's blog posts

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