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Question of the day

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2021

* Today could very well be the last full day that Michael J. Madigan is Illinois House Speaker. After 50 years in the House and 36 years as the chamber’s top leader, how about you reflect on his time in office?

…Adding… Justin Fowler of the State Journal-Register is the pool photographer. Wow, what a pic…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Chambanalyst - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:41 am:

    He’s been the speaker longer than I’ve been alive. It’s time for new leadership.

  2. - Ok - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:42 am:

    I know very few proud Illinois Democrats. I know far more proud national Democrats.

  3. - Red ghetto in a blue state - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:45 am:

    Wins and loses. The statewide party is far stronger than it was in 1995

  4. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:46 am:

    Too many memories to try and remember right now.

    I do hope, Democrats remember Madigan was the only firewall between Rauner and the complete destruction of Illinois state government.

  5. - QCMan - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:46 am:

    It has been a long 50 years, the state has changed a lot since he first took office but time has passed Madigan. It is time for him to retire and pass the speakership to the next generation. Many people thought they could outfox the speaker, but he was a grandmaster at the game of politics. He had his ups and downs throughout his tenure but I feel like he did his job at keeping the caucus going and united. It really is time for him to retire though because times have changed and it feels like the House Dems have not embraced the changing times.

  6. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:47 am:


  7. - Been There - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:48 am:

    Roughly 18250 apples have been peeled and eaten.
    To what end?

  8. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:50 am:

    I know he stayed in power. But I cannot remember great things he did with that power.

  9. - Give Us Barabbas - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:50 am:

    I’ve always been frustrated that he spent all that time collecting power, and then sat on most of it for most of his tenure instead of advancing good changes for the state. I am chagrined at how he dead ended his own daughter’s promising career over his own stubborn ambition. At how someone with such skill and talent for leadership could not let go when it meant something.

  10. - Obama’s Puppy - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:51 am:

    Being a minion I will always be grateful for him giving me my first job in politics on his staff. It will always be an honor to have cut my teeth under his leadership. When you walk into a room or introduce yourself in a professional setting and tell them you started on Madigan staff there is a certain sense of respect and inevitably the question. What is he like?

    I’ve never been able to get to know the man personally but In my encounters you know you better be able to back up your words and be thorough. He can make silence be much more affective than talking and being able to communicate with just a glance is a skill few have ever used more to convey a message.

    Lastly, everyone I know, knows that when he talks you better listen. No word is wasted or mistaken, no idol threats only promises that are always kept. He is unique and we will never see a politician on any level approach his level of ability to get things done.

  11. - dr - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:51 am:

    An apple a day does really seem to keep the doctor away

  12. - Try-4-Truth - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:52 am:

    ==== It’s time for new leadership. =====

    Why? Just because?

    I have a minority view, I know. But, I think many people hated (disliked, fumed, whatever word you want) Speaker Madigan because he won.. a lot. Blago hated him, Rauner made it his mission to destroy him.. And Speaker Madigan kept winning.

    That’s his legacy. A very effective and disciplined leader.

    I’ll add one thing. Be careful what you wish for. Everyone heralded the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war. Old wounds and hatreds, many of which were effectively controlled though Soviet might, were once again stoked.

    It’s not easy herding the cats. Madigan was very good at it. We’ll see if anyone else can be as effective as he has been.

    We’ll see.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:52 am:

    I’m going to let others discuss the good and bad, the right and wrong, the legislative and political to 50 years. I’m going to say this;

    Madigan was smart, but maybe not as smart as ones wanted portrayed. Madigan was crafty, not not as Zen or “7 layers of genius” that his detractors wanted to hype. Madigan wasn’t always “Michael” but also wasn’t always “Sonny”, but definitely was never “Fredo”.

    Those who vilified him made a movie about him, those who misunderstood him put him as this omnipresent, in the end he was a guy who knew how to consolidate power in a way that made his necessity to others seem irreplaceable.

    I’ll end here with this; I’m grateful in the Rauner destruction Illinois had his leadership to push back.

  14. - essentially working - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:54 am:

    Part of me still can’t believe he hasn’t been forced to resign. The rest of me remembers that I live in Illinois.

  15. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:55 am:

    Started following Illinois politics in the Quinn era. Madigan has helped accomplish quite a bit since then: SSM, MMJ, Medicaid expansion, minimum wage hike, capital bill, marijuana legalization, standing up against Rauner, etc. Too bad he didn’t have a strong social media presence to tout all these accomplishments.

  16. - Tommydanger - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:55 am:

    His tenure is too complex to reduce to a couple of snarky comments. You do not stay in power as Speaker for 36 years without a skill set that few, if any others, possess. When a detailed history is compiled of his actions as Speaker, it will detail many accomplishments and several failures. No matter how much will be written, far more will never be known or revealed.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:55 am:

    === still can’t believe he hasn’t been forced to resign. The rest of me remembers that I live in Illinois.===

    The Arroyo Rule is still in full effect.

    Even the Illinois Senate seems reluctant to have such a rule

  18. - Pizza Man - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:55 am:

    The flow and control thus meaningful legislation affecting or for the betterment of all Illinoisians fell upon him.

    Mr. Madigan decided unequivocally if the bill moved forward to the Senate or not. Yes, it was via Madigan’s Rules Committee including which bills went to which substantive committee, if allowed to move forward.

    Therefore, partially, the health of this state was due to Mr. Madigan–to a certain extent since 1983.

    A masterful technician, highly reserved, and always knew where to stop at the red line in terms of ethics.

  19. - Try-4-Truth - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:56 am:

    ==== I’m grateful in the Rauner destruction Illinois had his leadership to push back. =====

    Great point.. Also, we must not forget that at one time, Speaker Madigan was the only force pushing back on Blago.

  20. - Steve Rogers - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:57 am:

    with the exception of Rauner, Madigan seemed to get along better with Republican governors than Democratic governors.

  21. - TheUpperRoom - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 11:58 am:

    I think the subscriber edition said it best. He’s not a god and he’s not evil incarnate.

  22. - Mr. Hand - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:05 pm:

    The case study for Madigan will rank among the Illinois political greats such as Daley and Lincoln. He has wielded tremendous amount of influence for a half of a century and the results are very much disputed.

    As the walls been caving in, he still had significant support among his caucus. The allegiance to this man is something I have not quite ever fully understood.

  23. - Rutger Hauer - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:12 pm:

    Madigan has been warden of an insane asylum. He protected the inmates from themselves especially on his side of the aisle. He was the only adult in the room during the Blagojevich years. That being said, the state has slowly turned to crap over the past 30 years and it’s time for new leadership - though I expect not much will keep Illinois from sinking further into the abyss.

  24. - Arock - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:15 pm:

    This session pretty much shows how is lies and deals are more about trying to keep him in power than for the Democratic Party nd the citizens of Illinois. Yes, we need much reform in Policing, the Justice System and the way that people of color are treated. He made a deal with the Black Caucus and promoted this session to try and be in a place of power to get back the Speakers seat. I hope it doesn’t work as far as staying Speaker. He has had decades to help fix these broken systems but once again he only looks to fix a problem if it covers his butt or keeps him in power. It is about his power and he trusts that no one else can do what he can do, that is not leadership.

  25. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:15 pm:

    I volunteered on my first campaign when I was still in high school, a House Dem race, in 1982. We won, as did enough other HDems that Madigan became Speaker for the first time that very year. He’s been there ever since, like a presence hovering over my career.

    I never worked directly for him. I worked in campaigns on all sorts of races, but never part of his organization. But he was always there.

    I bought a ticket or two to some of his fundraisers, but never waited in line to shake his hand. It was almost like I wanted them to know I donated but I didn’t want to kiss his ring (or Mapes’ behind).

    When I worked for a city official, Madigan asked my boss to assign me to work on a campaign that was very personal to him. He didn’t ask me, he asked my boss. I probably would have agreed, had he asked, but he went right to the source of my employment instead. He was always there.

    When I became a lobbyist, I never pretended I had any sort of relationship with him or his office, because I didn’t. But I knew how things worked anyway because he was always there, around me and around my chosen profession.

    He’s been like the moon to me. Always there, pulling on the tides of my career, sometimes waxing, sometimes waning, sometimes hidden, but always there. I’ve worked on four Democratic statewide campaigns, a couple of Congressionals and a half-dozen state house races, and the odd mayoral (I was never in the Daley camp either). Madigan has been the dominant power broker in nearly every one, sometimes on the side of my candidate, sometimes against, but always dominant. He was always there.

    His political abilities are legendary, and almost palpable. He is relentless and focused, and sweats the small stuff. I was one of the smallest things imaginable, and he found time to think about me (and how he could use me).

    Asking me to reflect on his time in office is asking me to reflect on my entire career. I could write a book about it. I don’t know if this is the end of Speaker Madigan. It looks like it. But even if it is, but he’ll still be out there somewhere, counting votes and plotting his next move. I wouldn’t expect anything else from him.

    But I’ll move on knowing that I never asked him for anything for myself, ever, and I was never in debt to him. Given my career, I take great pride in that. A future without his predictable presence scares me a little, but it also opens up new possibilities for others to lead. The very fact of his longevity means we Democrats have been deprived of the leadership others can bring. Now it’s time to welcome the change, recommit to our principles and get back to work serving the public as best we can.

  26. - Nova - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:18 pm:

    It seems like a sad ending to his career. He could have left on his own terms but apparently those terms were “When I draw my last breath on this earth.” I found myself looking at him on the BOS floor, sitting there alone and thinking this is not how this should end.

  27. - "Old Timer Dem" - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:19 pm:

    If this is his last day as Speaker, it is a sad day in my humble opinion. He did many more positive things than negative. He has helped many people in need without fanfare.

  28. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:23 pm:

    Wondering the “time for new leadership” posse will be taking us?

  29. - Truly - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:27 pm:

    Since MJM becoming speaker, Illinois has endured 15 credit downgrades. This is his legacy.

  30. - JRB - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:29 pm:

    The Speaker basically runs a statewide campaign every 2 years. His work ethic is incredible. He is the best organized and disciplined person I have ever seen. He conducts himself very professionally. Since 1994, he has been a “big tent” Democrat. Another strength has been his ability to embrace change (while not personally risking the gavel). His influence on the Illinois Democratic Party and the creation of massive and lasting Democratic Majorities has been massive. Those active in Democratic Politics that never served in the minority or campaigned in a Republican drawn map might not fully understand the size of his contribution.

  31. - Columbo - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:32 pm:

    Eloquent and wise words that define many of us who were in Madigan’s orbit.

  32. - Red Ketcher - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:32 pm:

    “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
    ― Jackie Robinson

    In that light , when one views the tenure of Speaker MJM , it must be deemed Important because ,good or bad , it Impacted our lives.

  33. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:33 pm:

    === Since MJM becoming speaker, Illinois has endured 15 credit downgrades. This is his legacy.===

    Then Thompson, Edgar, Ryan, … Quinn, Rauner…

    The myth is is larger than the man, the myth of power is perpetuated by the boogeymen others needed

    Not unlike blaming Madigan for pensions, then deciding the Edgar Ramp is the best way to show its true.

    That’s the legacy, within this thinking.

  34. - Columbo - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:33 pm:

    To 47th - Eloquent and wise words that define many of us who were in Madigan’s orbit.

  35. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:35 pm:

    I doubt there is an instance in American politics where someone so powerful, who has been in a position so long, has been so poorly understood.

  36. - thisjustinagain - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:39 pm:

    I agree with the posters who find MJM’s legacy too layered and nuanced to be determined just now. It’s too early (especially if one believes MJM can come from behind for yet another term as Speaker). Deciding if he was a crook or a hero may take years to do fairly. But he was an Illinois political power, and yes, it is somewhat sad to see him going out in this way, wondering if one day he’ll be in prison, shunned by his once-fawning fans and minions.

  37. - Fantasma - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:42 pm:

    Mr. Speaker,

    Much like a superhero you were always willing to take bullets for the caucus. You were the boogeyman so members didn’t have to be. You were also willing to bend with the times (contrary to what many people say or believe). Your best attribute by far though has to be that your word is your bond. Even though you had to parse out your words, you NEVER lied. That is a very admirable trait in a time when some of the people that are waiting Iine to take over for you cannot make that same claim. You are a true gentleman and a force. Unfortunately, you’ve taken too many bullets and have been weakened by years of relentless, often baseless, attacks. Thank you for all you have done for the great state of Illinois. You will be missed, even if people don’t realize it right now.

  38. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:43 pm:

    “reflect on his time in office”

    A peerlessly powerful political force for good and ill.

    Those who are feeling charitable will choose to remember his strong stand against Rauner’s many dangerous excesses.

    Those who are feeling less generous will choose to remember his close ties to innumerable instances of personal and political corruption.

    But I’m going to try to remember that he wasn’t either of those things, he was and is always both.

    – MrJM

  39. - Lynn Becker - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:51 pm:

    Mike Madigan has been speaker longer than he’s been alive. It’s time for new blood, not just his recycled into new bodies.

  40. - levivotedforjudy - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:51 pm:

    He is pretty much the last one of his era standing. Even people of a generation after him have moved on. It is time for him to move on too. Cue Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler.

  41. - low level - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:51 pm:

    Just will always appreciate how he rallied Illinois Democrats after the 1994 debacle when this became a state run completely by the GOP. You mention that to anyone under 30 these days and they are bewildered to think that this was anything other than a blue state.

    Madigan’s efforts and laser focus in 1996 helped bring that about. I would just hope anyone who considers themselves a Democrat in Illinois would reflect on that. What we see today is definitely not what we saw in Jan of 1995.

  42. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:52 pm:

    Nothing irritated me more than when Lisa Madigan was AG and her Dad was Speaker…conflict of interest much?

    At the Dem convention in Boston in 2004, I got up early to work out and when I was done, hopped on the elevator to my room.
    MJM was on the elevator, and he gave me a big smile.
    I recall being surprised by his small stature, and remembered right away how much power he wielded.

    Time for a change in leadership…question in my mind is how many of his minions will be going out with him…

  43. - Denny's Grand Slam - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:53 pm:

    A brilliant mind. I hope he writes a book reflecting on his thought process during some of the most controversial periods of his time as a legislator.

  44. - Essential State Employee - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:55 pm:

    ==Roughly 18250 apples have been peeled and eaten.==

    And roughly how many meals at Saputo’s were ordered and eaten at his special table?

  45. - Independent - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:56 pm:

    That is a fantastic picture. It is striking to see the political world buzzing nearby while he stands alone.

  46. - NastyNader - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:56 pm:

    Toyota Park

  47. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 12:56 pm:

    Being mad at Mike Madigan for being Mike Madigan is like being mad at a crow for having black wings.

    220 or 221…whatever it took.

  48. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:00 pm:

    MrsJM offers the following caption: The cheese stands alone.

    – MrJM

  49. - Graybeard - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:01 pm:

    I agree with those who say that he’s not a wizard and he’s not the devil.

    That said, he also knew what he was doing when he posed for this photograph: visibly staying out of today’s activities.

  50. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:04 pm:

    ===when he posed for this photograph===


    The photog is in the mezzanine. I doubt MJM even knew the pic was being taken. People really do just believe he has mystical powers.

  51. - Bobio - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:07 pm:

    I was always confused why many of the smartest pols were so beholding to the patronage system. Are the elaborate schemes that important to retain power? I guess they are because as soon as you shut down one, another pops up. A level playing field never entered into this mans thinking.

  52. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    47th. Well said.
    I applaud elected officials. They can never escape while they serve.
    I do wish elected officials would know that serving too long is usually not a good thing.

  53. - Quizzical - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:14 pm:

    I’m a proud Illinois Democrat. MJM kept a diverse coalition together for a long time. He did not single handley prevent Illinois from running up too much debt, but Illinois is in much better shape than his detractors allow. He changed with the times. He worked relentlessly. Much of what he’s done made the State better.

    He hasn’t made succession plan and he’s hung on until he’s become a liability for the party.

    I’d also love to read his insights in book form. He won’t be at the end of the bar blabbing them for all to hear.

  54. - Graybeard - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:15 pm:

    == lol

    The photog is in the mezzanine. I doubt MJM even knew the pic was being taken. People really do just believe he has mystical powers.==

    Yes, I know that and I am not included among those who think he’s a magician. He’s the best of the old-school political bosses, on in his last day of power.

    So, while I was being semi-snarky by using the word “posed”, I also know that he was standing there alone on purpose, to send a message.

  55. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:15 pm:

    =conflict of interest much?=

    The voters who elected them beg to differ.

  56. - iPhone - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:22 pm:

    I spy another talented photographer in this photo.

  57. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:24 pm:

    there was a disturbing and bizarre contrast between several very bright staffers and one Tim Mapes. Strength that you did not always like, but with smarts vs. sheer jerk behavior. That he was the chief of staff and more was telling. And such a sad legacy.

  58. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:27 pm:

    ===I also know that he was standing there alone on purpose, to send a message===

    For all you know, he moved a second after that pic was taken. Again, stop this.

  59. - Colin O'Scopy - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:27 pm:

    He is a one-of-a-kind politician, the likes we will never see again. Old school ward boss who built and cared for an operation that was unparallelled. In his view, patronage, favors, deal-making are words to be celebrated, not derided.

    He worked harder than anyone, literally 365 days a year, to out-smart, out-hustle, and out-perform any and all comers who sought to derail him. He believed — and was proven right — that he who works harder than his opponent will always prevail. Until now.

    Like him or not, he put in the hours that most, if not all, of us wouldn’t dare to invest, nor want to. That’s why he won all the time. Until now. Circumstances, for the first time, have overtaken him.

  60. - NoSnarkIntended - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:28 pm:

    I can honestly say that working in the office for a time was one of the great privileges I’ve had. Unfortunately, many stories that run counter to the narrative are personal and not meant for the public pages of websites and newspapers, but a lot happened in the office that was about - as MJM said during his last voting-in, “people helping people”.

    Once he is gone and there is no singular boogeyman to point to, it will be interesting to see how people position and settle themselves into this new political Illinois.

  61. - touchdown Rejus - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:34 pm:

    When Madigan took over as speaker in the 70’s, Illinois had the highest credit rating in the nation. When he leaves, it is headed for junk and is the lowest in the nation. Ball dont lie

  62. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:38 pm:

    How many people could give their all to a job like being Speaker in a large state for that long? At the very least, you credit the man for his stamina and willingness to do the job to which he was elected.

  63. - Joe Schmoe - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:40 pm:

    It reminds me of the Three Dog Night song —
    “One is the loneliest number……”

  64. - Colin O'Scopy - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:41 pm:

    =When Madigan took over as speaker in the 70’s=

    Whoa Sparky, you’re a little ahead of yourself. He became Speaker in 1983.

  65. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:45 pm:

    === Ball dont lie===

    That’s like saying “mythology is real”

    It’s amazing, reading those so tethered to the myths.

    Governors own, they always do.

  66. - Friendly Bob Adams - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:47 pm:

    Agree with Willy that Madigan deserves credit for fighting against Rauner to achieve a more-or-less normal state of affairs to hand to Pritzker.

    And yes, he’s a very disciplined and intelligent guy. But enough is enough. Time to go.

  67. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:50 pm:

    Mike Madigan gave Rauner a whoopin’…Illinois style.

  68. - Third Reading - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:51 pm:

    I will count to 60 while you run and hide.

    Then, I will try to find you.

  69. - dwnstatelib - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    Working for him was my first job outside of college and I learned so much! A consistent force and structure that defined the political landscape across the state. The times, they are a’changin’!

  70. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    There are parts I respected. His diligence, cautiousness, attention to detail. Sweating the small things is necessary in politics and government. I don’t mind the old ways as much as some, and you need a guy like Madigan against a guy like Bruce Rauner.

    On the issues, he is a pretty mixed bag. I know he did a lot, but look at the financial state Illinois is in. Also, he had to be dragged forward on a lot and would hold up action on issues that were political wins for ILDems. He wanted to extract the last bit of political advantage before taking any action. Illinois was progressive on a lot of social issues, but only compared to Republican controlled states.

    I think a perception that he was untouchable by the feds dominated the media when a lot of the ComEd stuff was there. The perception dominated the reality, and no one did the checking even though there were some bread crumbs there for the taking. I think he will end up greedier than Richard J. Daley. History will remember Madigan as someone who crossed the line as opposed to the first Daley who lived his whole life on the line. Madigan made those decisions though and took those risks when he could have lived out his last days with a secure legacy.

  71. - Suburban Operative - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 2:00 pm:

    Can this really be the end of Madigan?

  72. - pool boy - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 2:04 pm:

    Where is Oswego Willy? At least he will talk to me.

  73. - Pizza Man - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 2:22 pm:

    If this indeed MJM’s final day or week, does he off the stage with his head held high or is this the downfall of MJM?

    With this being the 4th day of session, it’s fair to say that the Feds didn’t have enough ammunition to finally nab him.

    Always careful and knew never to cross the ‘do not pass’ line.

  74. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 2:33 pm:

    “With this being the 4th day of session, it’s fair to say that the Feds didn’t have enough ammunition to finally nab him.”


    – MrJM

  75. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 2:35 pm:

    - pool boy -

    I doubt I’ve ever crossed his mind.


    “Life moves pretty fast… “

  76. - Frank talks - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 2:43 pm:

    You’ll never see another put so many things together and do it so quietly. One of a kind.

  77. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 2:43 pm:

    In June 1985 I had just graduated from high school and was looking for a summer gig before starting community college in the fall. A friend of a friend of an acquaintance had some ‘in’ with MJM and asked if he would recommend me for a Michael Curry summer internship. He did so without question and without knowing me. Of course, I got the internship and spent that summer doing data entry for IDOC at Concordia Court. That’s the extent of my personal reflection on his tenure. But I remember being puzzled as to why he would do that for someone he’d never met. Toward the end of Aug. there was a reception for all Curry interns at the Governor’s mansion and I got to meet big Jim and have my picture taken with him. It was pretty cool being a big deal for an evening.

  78. - Still Waiting - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 2:58 pm:

    I used to be one of those people who railed against Madigan. Then Bruce Rauner came along, and I suddenly understood why it was so important that we have people like Madigan in this world.

  79. - Truly - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 2:59 pm:

    MJM has been the CFO of Illinois for the last 37 years. The CEOs (Governors) have come and gone, but the CFO was constant. Illinois’ fiscal situation is not solely MJM’s blame. But he bears the bulk of it.

  80. - 4 percent - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 3:02 pm:

    The Speaker may be the single most influential person in the history of state politics.

    In my opinion, he didn’t have core values - rather he was guided by a mission to maintain his majority and his power. He adapted.

    I’ve seen him protect employers one day and toss them aside the next.

    I’ve seen him protect labor one day, and toss them aside the next.

    I’ve seen him protect the trial bar and toss them aside the next.

    All of his decisions were made in the interest of his caucus and his power.

    He failed to reign in those Icarus’ who flew close to the sun (MJM) and those are the individuals who ultimately did him in. He was, in a way, betrayed by those closest to him.

    As I often say, you know what you get with the Speaker…

  81. - Pizza Man - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 3:05 pm:

    Will MJM be taking his ornate glass window bearing his name above his office suite?

  82. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 3:05 pm:

    “I’m an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.”

  83. - Lincoln Lad - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 3:08 pm:

    To all the commenters crediting the Speaker’s stance against Rauner…
    I’d like to add that he invited the governorship of Bruce Rauner through his interaction and stance often against the Quinn administration. He thought he could ‘deal’ with Rauner, and I guess he proved he could.
    My question is why did we have to? It could have been different.

  84. - Essential State Employee - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 3:30 pm:

    “I did it My Way”

  85. - anon2 - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 3:33 pm:

    == The Speaker may be the single most influential person in the history of state politics. ==

    Undoubtedly true. He was also the best in history at winning and keeping control of the House. In order to keep control, however, he wouldn’t take political risks that would’ve benefited the State. I like 47th Ward’s comments, as well as Tommy’s. Madigan’s career is a mixture of achievement and missed opportunities.

  86. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 3:46 pm:

    Thank you Michael you’ve done a wonderful job. I hope it is not your last day.

  87. - bear 3 - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 3:48 pm:

    A man of eternal interests and ability. Will be missed.

  88. - Pizza Man - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 3:50 pm:

    Essentially…Michael Joseph Madigan was the ‘Man of the House.’

    Are Illinoians are better off than 30 years ago?

  89. - bogey golfer - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 4:09 pm:

    I have no personal dealings with Madigan. I do not live in his district. I have not been a Democratic volunteer and seldom have voted Democrat.

    Yet, his dealings have impacted me in ways no other politician in Illinois did. In this regard, I will not miss him.

  90. - SAP - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 4:41 pm:

    The Last Dinosaur

  91. - Astonished - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 4:48 pm:

    “I thought this dynamic came with a dog?”

  92. - SandyC - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 5:08 pm:

    ~~People really do just believe he has mystical powers.~~

    Wait, he doesn’t? lol

  93. - Jed - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 6:47 pm:

    The Speaker may retire but his $140 Billion legacy will remain. That’s what he’ll be remembered for as the state tries to dig itself out from under underfunded pension debt.

  94. - M - Tuesday, Jan 12, 21 @ 7:07 pm:

    I never could figure out why people disliked Madigan. I thought he was a good Democrat leader.

  95. - cc - Wednesday, Jan 13, 21 @ 2:53 am:

    “It is riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”

  96. - Saluki Babe - Wednesday, Jan 13, 21 @ 1:57 pm:

    He always expected work for any recommendation he made. Who are we kidding here? He was much nicer years ago and he did good and bad work for the people. He was a shield against Rauner but he overstayed his welcome.

  97. - Natacha Darjean - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 9:08 am:

    I ‘d enjoy to be a part of team where I can obtain suggestions from other experienced people that share the same passion. If you have any type of suggestions, please let me understand. Thank you.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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