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*** UPDATED x1 *** Has the running mate game changed?

Monday, Sep 30, 2013 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The Sun-Times has a story called “Kwame Raoul would run for lt. gov., but Quinn’s not asking.” I asked Sen. Raoul about the rumors I’d been hearing last week, and I came away with a different impression than the Sun-Times

Lately, it’s a question that state Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) gets all the time: Would he run as Gov. Pat Quinn’s lieutenant governor?

The answer is basically yes.

* Here’s what he told the Sun-Times

“A lot of people have been calling me,” said Raoul, who told the Chicago Sun-Times he would be open to running as Quinn’s lieutenant governor for the 2014 race. “A lot of people — not the governor — have called and inquired, hearing rumors.” […]

Raoul said he would consider the job with a major caveat — that it would come with responsibilities.

“The state Senate hasn’t been an awful place for me, I’ve been able to engage in a lot of things. It’s not the worst place in the world. I don’t have to run for higher office this time around,” Raoul said.

* And here’s what he told me via text…

Obviously, Raoul doesn’t want to just sit around his office for four years doing nothing as Quinn’s lieutenant governor. He would want some real responsibilities. Whether Quinn would give those to him is anybody’s guess. As I’ve already pointed out today, Quinn has been trying to increase the power of the governor’s office, not dilute them.

* And then there’s the fact that Quinn is now essentially unopposed in the primary. His running mate choice can now be aimed at the general election.

So, does Quinn really need an African-American running mate now? It could help boost turnout, at least some. First black lieutenant governor, etc. But how much? I dunno.

Your thoughts?

*** UPDATE *** A valid point from Matt Dietrich

Should they win in 2014, Raoul could be an effective envoy for Quinn in the General Assembly. That’s something Quinn has sorely lacked throughout his time in office. Quinn’s inability to shepherd legislation through the legislature via floor leaders has been a big weakness for his administration and is among the major reasons why his pension reform efforts led to the current stalemate.

…Adding… As some have already pointed out in comments, Quinn doesn’t listen much to Gary Hannig as it is, and the former Deputy House Majority Leader Hannig was a very good choice to run the legislative shop. If he won’t listen to Gary, would he listen to Kwame? Maybe not.


  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:02 am:

    Any “responsibilities” for a louie gov would be granted at the pleasure of the governor and could be taken away at any time.

    Constitutionally, the office has no power. That’s the way it is. The buck stops with the governor.

  2. - Dirty Red - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:03 am:

    “Do you think Pat Quinn will let ANYBODY be lieutenant governor?”

  3. - Todd - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:03 am:

    Kwame for Gov, and I’ll run as LT.

  4. - langhorne - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:04 am:

    quinn needs support in the black community, and kwame can provide that. just bec Q goes to a lot of black churches, and they have supported him through thick and thin, that cant compare to rauner funding a few charter schools, can it? (snark)

  5. - shore - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:05 am:

    This is the first time I’ve ever seen a reporter print a screenshot of a text they received from a subject they cover. well done.

  6. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:06 am:

    I think Quinn needs downstate votes more than he needs more support from the black community.

  7. - downstate lib - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:08 am:

    I still think a black running mate makes a lot of sense, but not sure KR’s the one. He’s got his own separate power base and sense of how things should be done. That’s a pain for ANY chief exec.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:09 am:

    I actually thought Patg Quinn still thinks he is both Governor and LG…

    Well, that is at least how he portrays it to me …

  9. - anonymouse - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    Yeah, Quinn won last time with Alexander,Cook and St Clair counties only. AA voting was heavy for him then. I don’t see AA votes for any GOP’s currently running.

  10. - Just Observing - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:12 am:

    1. I think Quinn will choose a downstater.

    2. No job responsibilities? That’s what makes Lt. Gov. the greatest job in politics! Just make up your own job… advocate for whatever pleases you.

  11. - Norseman - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:13 am:

    Quinn can still benefit from a black LG, but I doubt that it be Raoul. There has been too much nasty rhetoric involving the deliberations of the conference committee.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:16 am:

    - Todd -,

    I was hoping for YOUR support for my run, being a Kendall County guy and all …

    To the Post,

    PQ & KR = W.I.N.?

    Sen. Rauol gets with the Conference Committee and they all deliver on something of substance… Cooking with gas for sure.

    LG is worse than VP too.

    At least the Vice President can untie in the US Senate, travel, stand-in at some col things all over the world.

    LG is truly at the mercy of the Governor, financially, figuratively, message-wise, pick any angle you want politically or governmentally. Heck the Guv could just ensure funding doesn’t exist for the LG if they go off the reservation with an idea not agreeable with waht the Administration is doing …

    Sen. Raoul, hold out for the “best” deal, then at the figurative “10%” more, then… think about it.

  13. - Wensicia - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    I don’t think Quinn needs help with the African American vote.

    Kwame should wait; I don’t think it’s a good idea to tie himself to Quinn if he has future aspirations.

  14. - downstate commissioner - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    Can understand his interest, but if Quinn loses, he will be connected with him for at least the next four years-After reading the comments about Quinn in your next post “Why Quinn is Appealing,” I sure wouldn’t want my name connected with Quinn. (Well, actually, it wouldn’t hurt ME, because nobody knows who I am, but it could hurt a “name” politician like Raoul, who even Todd seems to support)

  15. - Todd - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:25 am:

    Willie if you are Kwame’s LT Gov pick, I’m with you.

    I hadn’t seen any petitions so I thought you were out. I will quit throwing dirt on the skeletons I have buried as crisis averted. I await your commands.

  16. - walkinfool - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:28 am:

    One benefit of the new combined ticket is that candidates can define real roles for the Lt. Gov. at their discretion, and sell the combined package to the public.

    Hope someone takes this new opportunity.

  17. - Bill White - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:29 am:

    Lt Gov could give Kwame Raoul a terrific platform to begin a 2016 campaign for Mark Kirk’s US Senate seat, provided Lisa Madigan doesn’t want that job.

  18. - Dirty Red - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:36 am:

    To Dietrich - Could Quinn handle handing off his legislative profile to someone else, and how long should that person expect to go without being thrown under the bus?

  19. - Anon - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:39 am:

    I disagree that Kwame doesn’t help in a general. Elections are less about persuadeables, and more about turnout. I would choose Kwame and have him focus like a laser beam on turnout in the African American community. With each percentage increase in the black community, the relevance of a disgruntled downstate vote get more and more marginalized. I would put Kwame in charge if the smooth implementation of Obamacare, and let him run roughshod over the worthless department of healthcare and family services. This move could do a lot to solidify a base that felt thrown under the bus with Medicaid reform. Just ask rep. Flowers. I hope the gov makes this decision, and I hope he makes it soon!

  20. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:43 am:

    To Dietrich’s point - all due respect for Sen. Raoul, whom I would readily support over PQ for the top job, but Gary Hannig has been with the administration for several years now and if he can’t smooth issues (and corral PQ’s baser instincts towards the legislature), then I doubt Sen. Raoul could do much better. Hannig is the ultimate asset in that space, a wealth of institutional knowledge, and has the respect of all of the big players in the GA. If he can’t do it, no one can

  21. - otoh - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:46 am:

    Quinn could use a liaison to work with Madigan and Cullerton. Raoul is one (but not the only one) who would be an excellent choice in that role.

  22. - Anon - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    Kwame may simply be out of Quinn’s league. He would be a HUGE add to the ticket, but Quinn may be too insecure to have such a substantial number two. Too bad for Ilinois…

  23. - Northsider - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    I get why Sen. Raoul has reservations about LG as it is. What would he want it to be in order to say “yes” if he’s asked?

  24. - walkinfool - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:54 am:

    Agree with Joe B.

    Hard to claim Raoul would be any better than Hannig in legislative dealing. If the Gov. tries to recruit him primarily for that role, Kwame should exit chuckling.

  25. - siriusly - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 11:09 am:

    I agree with Anon 10:49 - the risk for Quinn is that he will get upstaged or publicly rebuked by his own LG throughout the next four years.

    If you pick an LG with their own ambitions and their own very substantial profile, it’s a bit harder to control them all the time - Pat Quinn knows this better than anyone.

  26. - A guy... - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    This is easy. Now that Kwame has openly stated he’d take the job, I’d hire him in a second. No drama there. Even comes off as a very savvy pick. Don’t know the rules, but I’d even consider appointing him now to the position if it’s possible. Even if he doesn’t go this route, by stating he’d do it, Kwame has sent a strong message to the Black Community in Chicago about where his support would be. Pretty sharp all the way around.

  27. - LincolnLounger - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 11:35 am:

    Quinn won’t listen to anybody, and Raoul would be miserable in the job.

  28. - Anon - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 11:37 am:

    I am everything Quin is not….where do I mail my resume?

  29. - K3_Spfld_Chi - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 11:50 am:

    18 unread text messages?

  30. - MrGrassroots - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 11:54 am:

    If Kwame is offered the job, he should take it and raise his profile. He would then be in a great position to take on Mark Kirk for U.S. Senate in 2016. Or a Congressional seat if it comes up in 2016.

  31. - SirLankselot - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    Earlier this year he was a favorite to run for governor. Lt. Gov is major step down from that position. Since supporters thought he could win a major statewide race, why not wait until the 2015-16 cycle and challenge Mark Kirk for Senate?

  32. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 12:28 pm:

    How can Quinn pick Raoul after complaining so much about the slow progress in the pension committee, headed by Raoul?

  33. - unbelievable - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 1:15 pm:

    For all the talk about Quinn being a nice guy, folks need to see that his ego is as big as this state. Quinn has had too many unnecessary fights to count. As such, his ego won’t let him pick anyone that could possibly outshine him, especially if he thinks that against the current Republican crop, he’d get the AA vote anyway. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Senator Raoul would definitely outshine Quinn.

  34. - John Galt - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 1:21 pm:

    Dumb question:

    Doesn’t the LG candidate have to be selected before petitions start to get circulated? If so, shouldn’t Quinn and Rauner get moving on this?

    Or is my basic assumption just not the case?

  35. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 1:24 pm:

    ===shouldn’t Quinn and Rauner get moving on this?===

    The whole process shouldn’t take more than a week if an infrastructure is in place. Printing, gathering, checking. They’re not due until December.

  36. - Think - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 2:34 pm:

    Raoul is there to increase turnout amoung Black voters but not necessarily for Quinn. The remaining sorry bunch of Democrats on the ticket, such as Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Cook County States Attorney Anita Alverez, and even Sec of State Jesse White, have done nothing but take Black voters for granted find themselves lacking support in the minority communities.
    Now all of a sudden this will turn into a Democratic Ticket effort. I must asked the party where was the ticket effort when Mikie, Lisa, and the Madigan butt kissers when they gave away the Senate seat of the first Black President of the US? The Party is over!!

  37. - Bill White - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 3:14 pm:

    John Galt:

    === Shouldn’t Quinn and Rauner get moving on this? [Lt Gov & petition gathering] ===

    Rich Miller:

    === The whole process shouldn’t take more than a week if an infrastructure is in place. Printing, gathering, checking. They’re not due until December. ===

    Deadline for filing is 9 weeks from today

    Quinn has the infrastructure. A good Democratic operation could gather signatures, fast.

    Rauner may need to hire temps to collect signatures since the regulars within local GOP organizations are likely already spoken for, either with Brady, Dillard and Rutherford.

  38. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 6:04 pm:

    - Todd -,

    If we all work together, that would be all of our best chance in Illinois.

    To the Post,

    Sen. Raoul is in the best position right now, and until he has to make any decision that is not hanging out there, or until Quinn makes his move and Sen. Raoul is not the choice, all the talk Raoul is getting now is going to be a bonus and something to build on.

    From the LG spot, a leap to another post is possible, and can put the LG in a visable position to be prepared.

    However, Bob Kustram Corrine Wood, and now Sheila Simon, there is the possiblility of a letdown, and a peaking of the career.

    The discussion is only going to grow…and it is up to Sen. Raoul to make it solidify to support the best he can, and this only helps.

  39. - Just Me - Tuesday, Oct 1, 13 @ 1:25 am:

    Between the dysfunction in Springfield, and the dysfunction in Washington DC, I have never been more ashamed to pick a career in government service and politics.

  40. - Do I have to have a nickname - Tuesday, Oct 1, 13 @ 9:06 pm:

    14 unread messages!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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