Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Will we be ‘begat’ a Daley & a Simon?

Bill Daley is getting off his electoral behind and kicking his gubernatorial aspirations into gear – he formally filed the paperwork on Tuesday that says he’s a gubernatorial candidate (and not just running an “exploratory” committee).

DALEY: Finally going for gov
As if Daley isn’t enough of a candidate with political family connections, we’ll also have Sheila Simon. Our lieutenant governor who doesn’t want that post anymore plans to rent an airplane and make appearances in Chicago, Springfield and Carbondale on Wednesday.

SHE WON’T SAY officially what she’s running for in next year’s election cycle; but we know her desires to run for state attorney general got dumped on when Lisa Madigan refused to try to move up the political ladder to governor, and she’s likely to run for Illinois comptroller.

A Daley and a Simon; it makes me wonder what the spirits of Richard J. and Paul are thinking as they look down upon us to see how we react to their offspring!

It also will give us a chance to see just how venerated the “Daley” and “Simon” names are these days, as voters in next year’s Democratic Party primary get their chance to determine if they want to continue the trend of political siblings.

For Daley (the son and brother of former Chicago mayors and the uncle to a Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioner), he has never held elective office – even though he has the titles of “Commerce secretary” and “White House chief of staff” on his resume.

HE HAS OFTEN hinted at wanting to run for Illinois governor, but has always managed to find reasons to back away from a campaign – until now.
For Daley seems to be banking his chances on the concept that incumbent Pat Quinn is so weak and ineffectual in his political post that there’s no way anybody votes for him.

He expects that all of Chicago will want to have another “Daley” in office, and that the Chicago vote will dominate the Democratic primary turnout. Hence, he wins. Which is an overly simplistic strategy. Reality is rarely that straightforward.

Because while I’ll be the first to admit that nobody is going to get all excited about voting for Pat Quinn, I suspect that many people will be even more offended at the thought of voting for a Daley.

THEY MIGHT WIND up taking out grudges they held against Richard M. (but were too cowardly to do anything about while he was actually in office) on his brother.

... the 'proud' political papas
There also there will be the “good-government” types who will wind up seeing a vote for Quinn as voting against the whole concept of political families (which would have been Lisa Madigan’s biggest problem had she decided to go for governor).

Or maybe some will wind up backing the political siblings. Because it always amazes me how much many people whine and complain about the concept, but then wind up casting their ballots in support of it. I suspect the people who really have an aversion to voting for a "Daley" will wind up casting their ballots in the Republican primary.

Then, there’s Sheila Simon; who could wind up being the only person on the Democratic ballot for the 2014 general elections who isn’t from Chicago – she’s a Carbondale resident.

THE DAUGHTER OF former Sen. (and Congressman and lieutenant governor and state legislator) Paul Simon got herself into her current position because of the disgust felt by many toward nominee Scott Lee Cohen. This will be Sheila’s first attempt at running an actual campaign to get a nomination.
SIMON: Beating Judy in a jam session?
That has some wondering if she’s too inexperienced in the ways of politicking to be running a campaign for a statewide office.
She may well win the primary (I don’t see anybody getting excited over the prospects of Will County Auditor Duffy Blackburn, who wants the comptroller’s post as well).

But can she take on incumbent Illinois comptroller Judy Baar Topinka come the general election? It doesn’t help that the suburban Riverside resident is one of the few Republicans whom the Chicago-area Democrats are willing to accept.

SHE MIGHT BE the lone official who keeps the Democrats from running up a string of victories in 2014 that gives them complete domination of Illinois state government. Of course, we’ve seen how Dems are incapable of “playing nice” with each other, meaning that domination wouldn’t really mean much!

Although there could be a quirk that we’ve never quite had before – a musical campaign. Topinka is the “wacky aunt”-type with the accordion, while Simon plays banjo in a bluegrass band.

I wonder about the younger voters – particularly those 17-year-olds who will now be able to vote come the March primary. Will they think this is intriguing? Or will they view it similar to Simon’s own daughter, who (according to Chicago magazine) once referred to her mother as being in an “old lady band.”


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