* Phil Kadner recalls a conversation with Speaker Madigan sometime around the turn of the century…
“What is it that you have accomplished?” I asked. “What would you like to be remembered for? What do you really care about?”
Madigan’s answer stunned me and other members of the Daily Southtown editorial board who were present at the time.
He said there were two things that really mattered to him as House speaker. The first was maintaining the Democratic Party’s majority in the Illinois House of Representatives. The second was his daughter, Lisa Madigan’s, political career.
No surprise there, particularly at that time. The House Democrats had the barest of majorities and then-Sen. Madigan was gearing up to run statewide.
* Then Phil goes through the public split the two had back in 2013 when Lisa said she wouldn’t run for governor as long as her father remained the House Speaker…
As for Madigan, he responded, “Lisa and I had spoken about that on several occasions, and she knew very well that I did not plan to retire. She knew what my position was.
“She knew,” he repeated for emphasis.
He told me he had warned his daughter not to make the same mistake that he had. He had stayed in the Illinois House for too long, gotten too comfortable, and missed his opportunity to move on to higher office.
I thought there was deep regret in his voice. Timing is everything in politics and Madigan seemed to feel he had missed his moment. Lesser people had done better.
That’s sad if it’s true. But sadder still if when it mattered, he decided his career was more important than his daughter’s.