* Possible gubernatorial candidate Bill Daley spoke at yet another high-profile event yesterday and said pretty much exactly what he’s been saying for weeks…
Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley says he still hasn’t made up his mind about a potential run for the governor’s office.
“I’m no further than what I’ve said publicly,” he said Tuesday at the Misercordia Home breakfast.
“I’m doing a lot of things that go into making a decision,” said the son and brother of two former Chicago mayors. “I’m talking to a lot of friends and elected officials and people that involved in community activities and getting their sense of what they think is needed and whether or not, in the end, I think I can add something to the debate. As I’ve said repeatedly, Pat Quinn is a very decent and honest guy who came in at a time time but has been there for 12 years as the number one or number two elected official in the state and one has to look and say, ‘What’s happened in those 12 years?’”
Daley said he’s got a lot to consider before he makes a decision on the 2014 race but said he hasn’t traveled to other key cities in Illinois and hasn’t done any fundraising.
* But Daley did add one new twist, possibly to ensure media coverage…
“I think there ought to be serious thought to basically a nonpartisan election,” Daley told reporters after he appeared on a panel at a fundraiser for the Catholic charitable organization Misericordia, which assists the developmentally disabled.
“The American people and the people in Illinois and Chicago, everyone is desirous of effectiveness and efficiency in government,” said Daley, who served as chief of staff to President Barack Obama and commerce secretary for President Bill Clinton. “If it takes basic changes, whether it’s term limits or others to kind of shake this system up, we’ve got to do that because I think most people would say, ‘Right now, it may not be working anymore.’”
Daley said he still is pondering a challenge to Quinn. His only criticism Tuesday was to say the incumbent has been either governor or lieutenant governor since 2002, “and one has to look and say, ‘What’s happened?’”
Quinn, speaking later Tuesday at a diversity event at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center, said he thought the California “top two” law was worth looking at, though he has favored an “open primary” system in which voters would not have to declare a political party to obtain a primary ballot.
“Some of our more political people have opposed that in both parties, and I think it’s time to maybe open up the door at least to (an) open primary,” Quinn said.
[Daley] said it’s easy to throw stones if you are on the outside. He talked about a lack of civility in politics.
“Our society has gotten much less civil,” he said. “What’s popular on TV? Reality TV shows, where people act like total fools.
“But maybe our politics, which should always be better, is becoming reflective of our society.
“Maybe we need to think about that first before we just blame politicians for acting kinda goofy at times.”
* Steinberg doesn’t think he’ll jump into the race…
But later, in discussing the multitude of woes facing the state beyond owing Misericordia, he added something perhaps telling.
“This is not an easy job,” Daley said, referring to politics. “Legislators, aldermen, the mayor. These people sacrifice beyond anything in the private sector. I’ve spent my life around politics. It’s a brutal job, a brutal existence.”
Telling, though I’m not sure what it tells. Does that mean he’ll skip the baby-bussing nightmare of campaigning, preferring the far more private, more lucrative corporate world where he excels? Or is Daley laying the groundwork for his selfless sacrifice of actually running? My guess? He won’t run.
* Quinn’s 2010 primary opponent Dan Hynes also weighed in…
“There’s certainly a referendum that can be had about whether we are better off than we were four years ago or three years ago,” said Dan Hinz, (D) 2010 candidate for governor.