Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Gov. Daley – can name really dominate city vote enough to win IL election?

Chicagoans who are politically depraved enough to care already about the 2014 election cycle woke up Tuesday to word that William Daley really is going to go for a bid next year for Illinois governor.

DALEY: He's in!
I write that because personally, it feels way too early to be speculating about who will prevail in the November ’14 general election. Even the March primary seems a long way away.

YET WE’RE ALREADY getting the candidates trying to jockey for position so that when real people do start paying attention to the election cycle, they might actually have a chance to be thought of as the front-runner.

In Daley’s case, the newspapers on Tuesday had stories about how the Daley brother who has focused to date on federal government (he’s a former Commerce secretary and White House chief of staff) is creating his exploratory committee. Anyone turning to his campaign website on Tuesday saw his video, where he takes swipes at both Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly’s leadership.

Daley could, in theory, back away in the future. But he’s committed himself to the point where if he doesn’t succeed, he will be considered a loser – rather than a non-entity – in this campaign.

The real question is whether he’s willing to get into a three-way campaign against Quinn (who says he wants another four-year term) and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (who has long hinted she’s interested in moving up the governmental hierarchy).

IF HE’S NOT careful, Bill Daley has the potential to become the “spoiler” just as his brother, Rich, was back in 1983 when he ran for mayor against incumbent Jane Byrne and then-Congressman Harold Washington.

QUINN: Not ready to retire
All the people with the racial hang-ups about Washington were convinced that Byrne would have prevailed, if only Rich Daley hadn’t taken votes from her.

Fortunately for us, that same racial dichotomy doesn’t exist in the upcoming election cycle. But it could be that Bill Daley winds up serving to steal votes from Quinn.

Because I’m convinced that if Lisa Madigan gets into this particular campaign (I’d be willing to bet that she will), she will be its focus. Both from the people who personally admire and respect her and those whose priority is to put a female in the Executive Mansion.

SHE ALSO WILL gain the negative attention of those who detest the idea of putting the daughter of the Illinois House speaker into a position of authority – as though she’d be nothing more than Mike Madigan’s rubber stamp of approval on whatever HE wanted to do.

MADIGAN: The favorite, IF she gets in!
Personally, I’m inclined to think that Quinn’s best chance of re-election is to appeal to that attitude – since his goo-goo activist background would make him a natural to appeal to those individuals on Election Day.

Although with Bill Daley in the mix, those people now have a choice. Could it turn out that Daley drives Quinn into third place? Or is there the chance that people will be repulsed by the “Madigan” and “Daley” names enough to overcome their apathetic attitudes toward the “Mighty Quinn?”

As for the latter viewpoint, that would only prevail outside the six counties that comprise metropolitan Chicago. Because we’re likely to see a repeat of 2010 – where the “rest of Illinois” gave minimal support to Democratic candidates.

RAUNER: Will rural voters accept adopted Chicagoan?
THOSE WILL BE the people who will be preoccupied with the Republican primary – where Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford and business executive Bruce Rauner have said they’re running, with ’10 leftovers William Brady and Kirk Dillard both hinting that they want to try again!

I’m not going to try to predict who prevails in the primary; except that I wonder if Rauner’s chances will be hurt when rural voters who are the GOP base realize that Bruce willingly moved to Chicago to live – a thought that is anathema to too many of their mindsets.

Which may be why Rauner felt compelled to counter Daley's move Tuesday with two new television spots promoting his own campaign, while also issuing a statement saying that Daley is just another part of the "entrenched Illinois political power structure."

It means the end result of next year could wind up focusing on who gains the support of the two-thirds of Illinoisans who reside in metro Chicago – many of whom probably haven’t fully recovered from sending Barack Obama back to Washington for four more years.


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