Thursday, February 14, 2013

The superficiality of government and public policy, as Simon likely tops Quinn in terms of public interest

Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday made a significant pronouncement with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius concerning the way that President Barack Obama’s health care reform will be implemented in Illinois.
SIMON: Looking to move up

Yet why do I suspect the bulk of people with an interest in public service or electoral politics will be more concerned with the activity of Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon instead.

FOR WHILE WE got to learn about the state partnership marketplace that will begin enrolling people in October, I suspect many people will find it easier to comprehend Simon’s uncertainty toward what office she wishes to seek than the deals of federal health care reform.

Simon on Wednesday held her own public event in which she said she does not plan to seek another term as the governor-in-waiting come the 2014 Illinois elections. So when Quinn proceeds to seek election to another term as governor, he’s going to have to have another second-in-command in mind.

Not that Simon told us what she wants to do – only what she doesn’t. Although she did pretty much confirm that all the speculation about her electoral future is true.
QUINN: Upstaged by Simon?

She may run for state attorney general or state treasurer – both positions of which have the potential to be vacant as the current incumbents are considering campaigns for the gubernatorial post. Or, she may take on state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka next year, assuming that no one else tries to pre-empt her by seeking the Democratic nomination for that post.

IT PRETTY MUCH seems that Simon, the daughter of long-time Illinois politico Paul Simon and herself a law school professor (Southern Illinois University College of Law), has her fate in the hands of Lisa Madigan.

For if Lisa goes for governor (following three terms as attorney general), she would go for the post of being Illinois government’s attorney. If Madigan decides that a fourth term is preferable, then Simon goes for one of the lesser posts – potentially treasurer since incumbent Dan Rutherford is likely to be one of the Republican candidates for governor next year.
SIMON: Daughter following in his footsteps?

Ironic, in that a poll published this week by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute has Lisa Madigan and Dan Rutherford as the top candidates among those rumored to be running in the Democratic and Republican primaries, respectively.

Supposedly, 31.9 percent of Democrats would back Madigan, while 10.2 percent of Republicans would prefer Rutherford. Which might sound like much, except that it is more than any other candidate except for the “undecided” option that gets 53.9 percent.

FOR THE RECORD, Quinn was included in the poll, and he gets only 22.9 percent – which is almost double the support for one-time Commerce Secretary and White House chief of staff William Daley.

But Madigan wallops them both!

It would seem that Simon will wind up with her choice of which statewide offices she will choose to seek – which will be encouraged by the Democratic Party because there’s an overwhelming chance that the rest of the party candidate slate for statewide office will consist of Chicago or suburban Cook County residents.
MADIGAN: Simon's fate in her hands?

Carbondale resident Simon will be offered up as the “face” of downstate Democrats.

I KNOW I already have stumbled across some speculation that Simon offers little of benefit to Democrats – since much of the Southern Illinois region either backs Republicans or wants Democrats who are willing to buck the party leadership and vote like Republicans on social issues.

For all I know, they’re the kind of people whose reaction to Quinn Wednesday morning was to be repulsed at the idea that the Affordable Care Act is going to be the “law of the land,” even though the notion of some 500,000 more people having health coverage ought to sound like a good thing!

Perhaps if Quinn wanted some serious coverage, he would have had Simon make her announcement in conjunction with his event, rather than prior to a United Negro College Fund luncheon like she actually did.


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