Friday, April 26, 2013

“Better late than never” rarely works when it comes to electoral politics

Bill, Billy, William!.

DALEY: A little late to be entering race?
For all the time William Daley has been involved in government and electoral politics at its highest levels, you’d think that he would know better by now.

BUT I JUST can’t help but snicker at the report about Daley – the son and brother of Chicago mayors, and a presidential cabinet member and chief of staff in his own right – saying he’ll let us know within the next two months whether he will give us the chance to make him our governor.

The 2014 election cycle dynamic may be uncertain when it comes to the Republican part of the equation (other than to say it won't be Aaron Schock and that I'm skeptical it will be Bruce Rauner, who can't seem to decide if he lives in a downtown high-rise or in a North Shore suburb). But when it comes to the Democrats, it is a bit more certain.

Incumbent Pat Quinn is going to seek another full term of his own and will get the support of the goo-goos (the good government types) and a few other people who have always bought into the rhetoric of the “Mighty Quinn” when it comes to government reform.

Which means he’s likely (and unfortunately, in my opinion) to get his clock cleaned by the political aspirations of Lisa Madigan, the state’s attorney general, who has long been in that position preparing herself for the RIGHT TIME to make her own bid for one of the top political posts.

THERE ARE VARIOUS reports indicating that Madigan already is drawing significant campaign contributions from the political establishment who view Quinn as the guy who got the post because of Blagojevich’s impeachment.

As in, his time is done. It’s time for Quinn to be a good boy and leave so that someone more serious (as in aligned with the political and business establishment) can take over.

QUINN: Giving it the old college try
There are various polls indicating that Quinn’s support is limited, and that Madigan actually has the appeal to reach out to a significant share of the electorate – then go on to clean the clock of whichever GOPer manages to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination for next year’s election cycle.

I really believe that if Daley were to get involved now, he’d wind up getting his clock cleaned as well by the Madigan types – who will not want to offend the high-and-mighty Illinois House speaker by daring to appear to act against his daughter.

NOW IF THIS were a campaign for a political post at City Hall, then the dynamic would be reversed. The organization types would be inclined to take a Daley seriously and would be dismissive of a Madigan bid just because that's the way things are (which all too often is the logic upon which our government is based).
MADIGAN: A premature winner?

But this is for the Statehouse in Springpatch, as in Illinois state government – which has for the past four decades been the domain by which Mike Madigan asserts his influence over our political structure.

A Daley in charge of the Statehouse scene? You might as well talk about building the Chicago White Sox a new stadium in the Sauganash neighborhood!

If Daley were serious about a gubernatorial bid (I don’t doubt he’d like to hold the position, but wanting it isn’t the same as being capable of getting it), he should have used his assets (financial and political) to take such an early lead that he would have scared Lisa Madigan off into thinking that maybe a fourth term as Illinois attorney general was in her best interests.

DALEY WILL TELL us in 60 days what he will do? Heck, he should have told us at least 60 days ago, or else accept the fact that his future for the time being is not going to be the latest state chief executive who spends minimal time actually living in the Executive Mansion. Why else would brother Rich have given the bulk of what was left of his mayoral campaign fund to charitable causes, unless even he suspected that his brother’s gubernatorial talk was little more than hot air?

Daley told a gathering in McHenry County earlier this week that “there are some good people who are looking at it also. The state’s got to change.”

He’s right. There is a certain need for change in the political ways of our state. Yet somehow, the thought of picking a Daley for the position sounds too much like doing things the old way.

And I doubt I’m the only person who thinks that way.


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