Saturday, August 10, 2013

Madigan vs. Madigan?

Political observers are getting all worked up these days over the apparent verbal sparring between the Madigans.

LISA: Waiting her turn?

Did Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan knowingly talk up her chances of running for governor (and all the accompanying fundraising efforts) knowing she’d be unable to pull the trigger, so to speak, on a campaign?

OR DID ILLINOIS House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, knowingly sabotage his daughter’s chances of political advancement?

Back when she said it official last month that she was NOT going to run for governor in next year’s election cycle, Lisa Madigan made it known that her father being in such a high profile political position was just too much of a conflict.

Her desires to move up in government by being the state’s chief executive would have to wait for the retirement of her father – who has been in the Illinois House of Representatives since the early 1970s and has been the Democratic leader since the early 1980s and shows no signs of wanting to retire.

I wonder at times if Madigan (as in Mr. Speaker) is the Illinois political equivalent of Queen Elizabeth, who seems determined to die in her throne.

FOR MADIGAN (THE speaker) this week told reporter-type people that he had spoken with his daughter about his political intentions on several occasions. “She knew very well that I did not plan to retire,” he said about his daughter.

Personally, I believe Mike Madigan’s statement, insofar as his desire not to retire. I never fully expected that he would step aside to allow Lisa Madigan a chance to advance.

I do believe he will hang on to his post until the day he passes from this realm of existence. For all I know, the attempt to replace Madigan as Illinois House speaker will be more of a free-for-all than the political brawls that occurred after the passings of mayors Daley and Washington!

But let’s not get obsessed right now with that ugly mess of the future.

INSOFAR AS THE Madigan situation, I was always convinced that a Madigan gubernatorial campaign would have to deal with the potential for a conflict of interest. And I’m sure there are some people who wouldn’t have voted for her because of her father’s presence as the leader of Democrats in Springfield.

MICHAEL: Not ready to retire
My own observations make me believe there are some differences between the two; enough to know that she isn’t the political carbon copy that the conservative ideologues want us to believe she is.

Although the reality is that many of the conflicts we now see in state government are because we have both a Democratic governor (who theoretically is leader of his own political party) and a Democratic speaker (who has been his party’s leader for so long – and isn’t the least bit willing to share his authority). Which may well be why Democrats won’t bother to do anything special with their “day” next week at the Illinois State Fair!

I seriously wonder if a Madigan/Madigan pairing at the highest level of government would have resulted in such a spat that the two would have had some serious fractures – perhaps even worse than the split we saw when now-former Alderman Dick Mell turned on his son-in-law – former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

SOME MIGHT WANT to believe that family ties and blood are thicker than partisan politics. But there are times when I wonder if just the opposite is true.

Which is why I wonder if the truth about this whole situation is that Lisa Madigan had some sort of naïve hope that her father would change his mind about his position in political life. Or maybe she was in some sort of denial about Mike Madigan and only gradually realized that the duo couldn’t work.

CHARLES: The English Lisa Madigan?
Either way, it makes it a positive that she backed away from a gubernatorial primary – even if that means for now we’re stuck with a choice of incumbent Pat Quinn or mayoral brother William Daley for the Democratic nomination.

Madigan (as in Lisa) may be better off if she waits a little longer. Let’s just hope she doesn’t become the political equivalent of Prince Charles – who’s almost as old as Mike Madigan and may never get the King of England post he so desires.


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