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Asked about White House ambitions, Pritzker says “I have no plans”

Thursday, Jul 22, 2021

* From Dave Dahl’s interview with Gov. JB Pritzker

DD: I’ve got one minute left. You don’t get to be JB Pritzker without having a long-term plan. You’re running for re-election now. But you know, you can walk and chew gum at the same time. What about the longer game, should you be so fortunate beyond the second term?

JBP: Don’t you think thinking about the next four years is a fairly long term to think about?

DD: Not at all.

JBP: It’s an awful long time to think about. We have a lot of challenges in the state of Illinois that I want to work on and overcome. And so I’m gonna continue to do the job and do it well for the people of our state. And that’s really what I’m focused on.

DD: Washington? Maybe even Pennsylvania Avenue?

JBP: I went to Washington. I went to Pennsylvania Avenue and met with President Biden. I think we’re getting things done for our state as a result of a good relationship that I have with him. And we’ll continue to work on that. But I have no plans myself.

DD:Not even in the long, long game?

JBP: [Laughs] Thanks for asking, Dave. I’m flattered by the question.

My own opinion is that those who constantly claim he’s setting up a White House bid are the same folks trying to undercut him here at home. Not talking about Dave here. He just asked a question. After my own interview, I regretted not asking the governor if he’d commit to serving all four years if reelected, just to get him on the record. Then again, the last time I put him on the spot like that (regarding fair maps), he flip-flopped on his response.

…Adding… Good point in comments…

Everyone knows that Kamala Harris will be running after Joe Biden - either in 24 or 28. You really think JB’s going to get between the possibility of the first black woman president and the White House? Ummm, ok.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

43 Comments
  1. - Keyrock - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:25 am:

    Is there a “STEPS” sign outside the governor’s mansion?


  2. - truthteller - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:25 am:

    I would for one would absolutely support JB for president in 2024 as we know Biden likely not to run for re-election. His focus is Illinois and keeping the forward momentum for the state that we haven’t seen in over 2 decades


  3. - NIref - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:27 am:

    After Governor, I think he’d make a fine Senator.


  4. - Bruce( no not him) - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:28 am:

    ===he flip-flopped on his response.===
    Well, now there’s a surprise. S/


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:36 am:

    “He’s running”.

    I kid… I *kid*

    To the post, and I agree with Rich;

    Be it the constant tweets by some (reporters too), or the undercurrent of whispers and some louder voices… the talk of White House is an undercutting of… Covid restrictions… criminal justice reform… seemingly any issue that can have a polarizing take “boy, he must be thinking about the White House”

    Sometimes, and this shouldn’t be news to many, doing a job means doing things that go beyond a press pop and can be a legacy policy… “because governing”

    It doesn’t help Pritzker… Rod… Obama… Illinois as a perceived springboard, and Illinois being an actual launching pad. Rod’s delusions (and Obama jealousy) and Obama’s short and meteoric rise from the Illinois statehouse, “of course” discussion to an Illinois sitting governor visible in a national framing… of course, the talk begins.

    But, seemingly the chatter is this undercutting of the work and work product by the governor and his administration.

    One election at at time, who exactly knows if Pritzker will change his own mind in 3 years, (if his re-election is successful), looking beyond the rivers gently flowing, Illinois, to the swamp and Potomac River to the east.

    Right now, I see it as the forced distraction placed on Pritzker, not the thoughts of beyond Pritzker may (or honestly may not too) feel.


  6. - Southern Skeptic - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:40 am:

    Some supposed “friends” of the governor claim that they know he’s running for president. Here’s a pro tip: if someone tells you they’re his friend and so they know he’s running for president, you should immediately understand that they are not really his friend. He’s not running.


  7. - Southern Skeptic - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:42 am:

    One last thing. Everyone knows that Kamala Harris will be running after Joe Biden - either in 24 or 28. You really think JB’s going to get between the possibility of the first black woman president and the White House? Ummm, ok.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:45 am:

    ===going to get between the possibility of===

    The “it’s their turn” thingy rarely works as well as others hope

    Bob Dole comes to mind.

    Run em all. If someone wins, then it works.


  9. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:46 am:

    ==After Governor, I think he’d make a fine Senator.==

    Or perhaps a Cabinet position.


  10. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:46 am:

    ==One last thing. Everyone knows that Kamala Harris will be running after Joe Biden - either in 24 or 28. You really think JB’s going to get between the possibility of the first black woman president and the White House? Ummm, ok. ==

    This x100.

    And even if it weren’t Kamala, JB is too much of a party man to primary an incumbent President or VP.

    Presidential aspirations for him make sense on paper, but the timing just isn’t going to work out.


  11. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:49 am:

    =Bob Dole comes to mind.=

    or…Al Gore.


  12. - cannon649 - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:51 am:

    JB is about the 5 ranking billionaire. That does not included big tech.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:53 am:

    === And even if it weren’t Kamala, JB is too much of a party man to primary an incumbent President or VP.===

    A crowded field maybe… with Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders… Harris is probably(?) not getting a pass.

    Wouldn’t be what I’d suggest, I grant you, but coronations instead of nominations are a tough road.

    To bring it back to Pritzker… sometimes being the kingmaker first is better than reaching for the throne


  14. - 1st Ward - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:58 am:

    No way JB becomes/runs for President. Maybe Durbin retires at the end of his term and JB runs for the US Senate in 2026.


  15. - Roman - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 9:58 am:

    == You really think JB’s going to get between the possibility of the first black woman president ==

    Heck no, but he’s a plausible running mate for Harris.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:01 am:

    Something I do know?

    A “former” governor Pritzker as a presidential candidate might not fly if he can’t win a second term here in Illinois.


  17. - Pundent - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:03 am:

    The question is an attempt to undercut Pritzker. But it’s also an acknowledgment that he’s been a fairly effective governor and could have bigger aspirations.

    Said differently, I don’t recall the question being asked of Pat Quinn or Bruce Rauner.


  18. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:05 am:

    ==A crowded field maybe… with Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders… Harris is probably(?) not getting a pass.==

    I think she’ll get something like Clinton in ‘16- a serious opponent, but an outcome that is never really in doubt.

    But, unless Harris does something drastically wrong, Pritzker won’t be that opponent.

    Of course, 2 years is a long time, and we may well be talking more like 6.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:10 am:

    === ==A crowded field maybe… with Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders… Harris is probably(?) not getting a pass.==

    I think she’ll get something like Clinton in ‘16- a serious opponent, but an outcome that is never really in doubt.===

    The outcome in the general?

    As I wrote;

    A crowded field maybe… with Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders… Harris is probably(?) not getting a pass.

    Wouldn’t be what I’d suggest, I grant you, but coronations instead of nominations are a tough road.

    I wouldn’t suggest Pritzker *should*, but Harris isn’t going to get a pass, coronations don’t help, nominations work better, and Pritzker losing in 2022 won’t help any cause in ‘24, ‘28…

    Even 2022 for Pritzker is miles and miles away… while being right here as we speak.


  20. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:16 am:

    ==The outcome in the general? ==

    Who TF knows. Certainly, HRC isn’t great precedent, lol.

    And yeah, if JB loses in ‘22, he’s not going to be President. Maybe he goes crazy and runs, but he’s never taken seriously.

    If he wins…I agree that Harris will and should get a challenger. But it won’t be Pritzker.

    More likely, he endorses early and hopes for a job in the cabinet.


  21. - ;) - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:20 am:

    Ya, ok JB.


  22. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:22 am:

    ===Everyone knows that Kamala Harris will be running after Joe Biden - either in 24 or 28. You really think JB’s going to get between the possibility of the first black woman president and the White House?===

    This isn’t really how the presidential primary process works. Vice President Harris would start at a bit advantage but that advantage does not necessarily create a certainty of the nomination. She will still need to define her own image and put together some key issues for her campaign to ward off potential challengers. The last couple of cycles have demonstrated that having a field with a lot of candidates that hold on to hope a little longer than they should is actually an advantage for some candidates as it splits what would otherwise just be oppositions votes.

    Running for president also isn’t something a potential candidate will just jump into, they typically spend some time testing the waters with trips to early states in support of other candidates, a book tour, etc. If running for President is Pritzker’s ambition, he still several steps behind. Successful Presidential candidates also start flirting with the early states very early. Biden was in Iowa to support Jimmy Carter for the 1976 campaign, Clinton started showing up in Iowa in the 1980s.

    This notion that someone just wakes up and runs for President without years of relationship building and is successful is not something that is typical in U.S. Electoral history.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:34 am:

    ===This notion that someone just wakes up and runs for President without years of relationship building and is successful is not something that is typical in U.S. Electoral history.===

    * Donald Trump enters the chat *

    So much of what was… isn’t what will be

    That said, coronations are far different than cults supporting it’s leaders.

    Pritzker is still fairly young, being in any hurry when he’s currently the governor of the 6th largest state, last checked, still a billionaire, and will have an opportunity to win re-election, something not done in Illinois by a governor serving a four year term since Rod Blagojevich did it in 2006.

    (Quinn won a full term after serving 2 years, not re-elected after his 4-year term)


  24. - ZC - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:37 am:

    It’s kind of remarkable how little national profile JB has, considering he is Governor of the largest Midwestern state. When news media talk “how states did vs Covid” you rarely see JB ever mentioned, for good or ill. (I’m gonna say that’s mostly for good.)

    Point is he has almost no national recognition and I can’t see a presidential run in the near future for him.


  25. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:50 am:

    === Donald Trump enters the chat===

    He’d been actively talking about it for years. Either way, the statement was about “typical” history. He wasn’t. Let’s keep things in context.


  26. - Avis - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:50 am:

    ==he has almost no national recognition and I can’t see a presidential run in the near future for him.==

    JB is a billionaire, he will do fine with name recognition - especially in Iowa and NH. The big question he will need to answer is his position on reparations and, if he’s supportive, whether billionaires should pay the lions share of the costs of providing them in the US.


  27. - Roman - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 10:52 am:

    I think the the more appropriate comparison for a Harris ‘24/‘28 presidential nomination is Gore 2000, not Hillary 2016. Gore, a sitting VP, had a serious challenger in Bill Bradley, but he crushed him.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 11:01 am:

    === That said, coronations…===

    My lack of clarity, and pointing to the other side, my apologies.

    As a VP, Pritzker could be a pick that checks a great many boxes, in a today snapshot, all things being equal and he wins in 2022;

    Sitting Governor
    Re-elected
    Midwest
    Wealthy
    Blue-Governing record
    Has shown “attack dog” chops
    Tech thinking

    Did I say wealthy?


  29. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 11:07 am:

    Will we even have a democracy in 2024?

    Good answers by JB and I hope he means it. We have much more to do to improve the state. One campaign at a time, buddy.

    JB can’t get too far ahead of himself, as he has to focus on his re-election. He needs to not make the mistakes of the Fair Tax campaign, like starting too late, ceding the narrative and other complacency. It looks like he’s starting now, and he certainly has the money for a long push.


  30. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 11:15 am:

    Warren or Sanders? Please I was hoping for someone with a little more age and experience. /s


  31. - Give Us Barabbas - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 11:28 am:

    Meanwhile Rod wants everyone to know he’s tanned, rested, and ready…

    That guy was always think the White House was his destiny.


  32. - ZC - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 11:39 am:

    JB for VP, I could see.


  33. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 12:22 pm:

    ==This isn’t really how the presidential primary process works.==

    I don’t think the argument is so much that Harris is a lock, just that JB Pritzker, who’s both a good party man and someone who has done a lot to elevate women of color, won’t want to be one of her obstacles.


  34. - Shield - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 12:36 pm:

    Folks, Biden is running in 2024 unless he drops dead. Hate to break this news to you from March.

    https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-5a8fd26a4a9ffa9b47c5de52fface72d


  35. - Disappointed Female Suburban - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 12:43 pm:

    He’s looking at Durbin’s job as hid next stop.


  36. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===He’s looking at Durbin’s job as hid next stop===

    Thanks, Facebooker.


  37. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 1:01 pm:

    “JBP: Don’t you think thinking about the next four years is a fairly long term to think about?

    DD: Not at all.”

    Above is what I like about Dave Dahl.


  38. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 1:43 pm:

    ===As a VP, Pritzker could be a pick that checks a great many boxes===

    What I am saying is different than saying that JB Pritzker would not be a decent candidate on the national field. What I am meaning to suggest is that if this is something he is interested in doing he is not making the moves that people who have been interested in doing that sort of thing usually do. Most importantly, he’s not doing the things that people who get paid to help with Presidential campaigns would suggest he do.

    Though a pragmatic consultant for a presidential campaign would likely be telling him to avoid looking like he is campaigning for a national spot due to the ambiguity around President Biden’s possible or eventual 2nd term.

    One of the things that will help any figure running for President in the Democratic Party against Kamala Harris is being actively compared to HBO’s Veep and is considered to be making a lot of unforced errors.


  39. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 1:50 pm:

    “Donald Trump enters the chat”

    I’m with Willy on this one.

    To my eye politics is changed post-Trump in much the same way that agriculture is changed post-climate crisis.

    I’m not arguing that the past isn’t true and still our best guide for the near future, I’m only arguing that the past is no longer nearly as good a guide as it was only 20 years ago, and that today’s unprecidented events are tomorrow’s precedents.

    – MrJM


  40. - uialum - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 2:42 pm:

    In response to “Donald Trump enters the chat” - politics may have changed on the Republican side but Democratic primary voters won’t want to be nominating the liberal version of Trump after spending the last 6 years talking about how unqualified he is/was for the job of being President.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 2:47 pm:

    === the liberal version of Trump===

    This is gibberish. If anything, Trump still loves to talk about donating to Dems, his connection to Dems, then tries to trash them.

    Are you saying Pritzker plans on making the Democratic Party a cult too?

    I don’t think it’s the same … as you thought it would be… before you typed it.

    (Tips cap to - @misterjayem -)


  42. - ddp76 - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 3:26 pm:

    He didn’t have any plans for reelection either when he funded his political account. Until he did.


  43. - levivotedforjudy - Thursday, Jul 22, 21 @ 4:05 pm:

    JB becoming POTUS is all part of the secret plan to make Lisa Madigan governor. This was all a brilliant plot cooked up by her dad.


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