Bill Daley stuns Illinois, drops out of gubernatorial race

posted at 10:41 am on September 17, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

A Daley who doesn’t want to run for office? We have to admit that this comes as a shocker even to those outside of Illinois. Former White House chief of staff and brother and son to two of Chicago’s mayors, Bill Daley spent the last six weeks charging hard at fellow Democrat Pat Quinn in order to unseat the incumbent in next year’s primary, but yesterday suddenly declared himself uninterested in running for office or running the state:

Bill Daley abruptly ended his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor today, telling the Tribune that a lifetime in politics had not prepared him for the “enormity” of his first run for office and the challenge of leading the state through difficult times.

Daley, a member of two White House administrations, a presidential campaign manager and the son and brother of two former Chicago mayors, dropped out of the race less than four months after declaring his political resume gave him the best credentials to replace Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

“One of the things I always thought in my career that I wanted to do, I thought I would be able to have that opportunity, I hoped, would be to run for office. And even though you’re around it for a long time, you really don’t get a sense of the enormity of it until you get into it,” Daley told the Tribune.

“But the last six weeks or so have been really tough on me, struggling with this. Is this really me? Is this really what I want to spend my next five to nine years doing? And is this the best thing for me to do at this stage of my life?” he said. “I’ve come to the conclusion that this isn’t the best thing for me.”

Daley made it clear that his decision had nothing to do with a newfound respect for incumbent Governor Quinn:

Daley said he still believed Quinn was a weak candidate who would lose the November 2014 general election to a Republican.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Pat Quinn will not be the next governor of Illinois,” Daley said. “This governor is not that strong that somebody should fear running against him.”

While the anti-endorsement won’t be terribly helpful to Quinn, Daley’s departure undoubtedly will be. Daley had the money and the organization to force Quinn to spend a lot of money and effort in the primary, leaving him weaker in the general election. Daley had already raised $1.2 million since first organizing a potential run in June, and only got started in earnest at the end of July. Democrats have three months to find another challenger to Quinn, but with Lisa Madigan already aiming at re-election as Attorney General, there may not be another high-profile candidate willing to primary Quinn, especially with Daley out of the race.

Of course, Bill isn’t the only Daley in politics, either. His brother Richard turned 71 this year, after serving six terms as Mayor before retiring to a life of public speaking and lucrative law practice. Could Richard end up pitch-hitting for Bill?


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Bill was always a power-behind-the-throne kind of guy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Richie does to Illinois what he did to Meigs Field.

Steve Eggleston on September 17, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Abrupt change of heart = “Nice life you’ve got here, it’d be a shame if something happened to it…” ??

bofh on September 17, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Let me translate this for you. Bill Daley, perhaps the best and brightest of the two brothers, does not plan on being the Governor who has to turn out the lights on the failing state. I don’t expect that Richard M wants that j0b either.

jerryofva on September 17, 2013 at 10:46 AM

So what happens to the million bucks he raised to run and now won’t be spending. Does he get to just keep it?

HotAirian on September 17, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Bill isn’t the only Daley in politics, either. His brother Richard turned 71 this year, after serving six terms as Mayor before retiring to a life of public speaking and lucrative law practice. Could Richard end up pitch-hitting for Bill?

Not likely. Being Governor of Illinois is a demotion from being Mayor of Chicago.

Mr. D on September 17, 2013 at 10:49 AM

He’s accepted a position as the captain of the Costa Concordia. It’s in better shape than Illinois.

mankai on September 17, 2013 at 10:52 AM

This reminds me of Tom Dart announcing that he wouldn’t run for mayor against Rahmbo because he “wanted to be able to spend more time with his family”.

Coincidences don’t happen in Illinois politics.

wbcoleman on September 17, 2013 at 10:52 AM

i think the term intended is pinch-hitting.

hurricain on September 17, 2013 at 10:53 AM

So what does the NSA have on him?

rbj on September 17, 2013 at 10:54 AM

The Illinois Republican Party is not exactly thriving. Quinn may be a weak candidate for the Democrats, but it’s unlikely that the Illinois Republicans will come up with anyone much more impressive.

J.S.K. on September 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Another victim of the sequester.

/lefties

mankai on September 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Maybe he realizes even with all his corrupt organizational skills, family and backing that after he won, his state is still gonna go bankrupt anyway, that’s a given.

Tim Zank on September 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM

A large manilla envelope delivered to him yesterday filled with 8×10 photos might have something to do with it. /

portlandon on September 17, 2013 at 11:01 AM

This is a smart move, if what I hear about the IL fiscal crisis is true. Who wants to be Captain of the Titanic before it sinks?

tomshup on September 17, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Paging Lisa Madigan!

libfreeordie on September 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Let me translate this for you. Bill Daley, perhaps the best and brightest of the two brothers, does not plan on being the Governor who has to turn out the lights on the failing state. I don’t expect that Richard M wants that j0b either.

jerryofva on September 17, 2013 at 10:46 AM

The Daley family is really crooked. This sounds more like someone found some pretty interesting dirt on either him or someone close to him.

melle1228 on September 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM

large manilla envelope delivered to him yesterday filled with 8×10 photos might have something to do with it. /

portlandon on September 17, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Bingo! Exactly what first came to my mind.

melle1228 on September 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM

As an Illinoisan, I have always felt that Daley was half heartedly running for governor. He has obviously wanted Quinn unseated and gave himself wiggle room to get out if Lisa Madigan were to get in the race. When she announced that she would not seek the governorship, he began to organize a legitimate campaign operation. But since the beginning of his candidacy, he has seemed somewhat aloof to the idea of actually going through with it.

Lisa is waiting patiently for Daddy Madigan to retire so that the messiness of having father and daughter as the most powerful elected officials in Illinois. She will get her chance in 2018

As for Quinn, he should have lost to Brady in 2010. Quinn won by around 20,000 votes. Brady conceded most of Cook County without even trying. Had e put a little bit f effort into the county, we likely would not have Pat Quinn as our governor.

Quinn has proven himself even more inept at leading the dysfunctional Illinois legislature than Blago was. He lets MIke Madigan, the real leader of the Illinois Democrat party run roughshod over him in every legislative battle. Madigan, always concerned about his speakership and this keeping Democrats in control, is unwilling to make any difficult decisions to solve te state’s massive unfounded pension problem. So the problem continues to fester.

A competent Republican candidate should be able to unseat Quinn in an off year election. Is Dan Rutherford that guy? I guess we’ll see.

h a p f a t on September 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Paging Lisa Madigan!

libfreeordie on September 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Why not? The Madigans are just as corrupt as the Daleys, and Illinois last four governors before Quinn ended up in prison. If that is the end result, could actually be a win for Illinois.

melle1228 on September 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM

What I would give for Mike Royko’s ghost to comment on this right about now.

Paging Mr. Benson. Paging Mr. Malcolm. Please pick up the white courtesy phone.

Steve Eggleston on September 17, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Obviously, obama prefers having Quinn in office – and told Daley to drop out.

Pork-Chop on September 17, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Paging Lisa Madigan!

libfreeordie on September 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM

In case you missed Ed’s dismissal of that possibility as she is looking at keeping her AG job (which you probably did), she previously ruled out a gubernatorial run because her dad is Assembly speaker and she doesn’t want to make Springfield openly look like the Daley machine.

Steve Eggleston on September 17, 2013 at 11:11 AM

A ballerina will be mayor then.

Schadenfreude on September 17, 2013 at 11:11 AM

I doubt Richard will pinch-hit for Bill. How would he do that anyway? The point of pinch-hitting, rather than direct substitution, is to play some small portion of the game — the at-bat portion — while giving the manager many options once batting is over and they again take the field.

About the only option that might be available, here, that fit the the meaning of pinch-hitting for his brother would be to invoke the Mel Carnahan rule, but I doubt Richard would be interested in that.

Dusty on September 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Paging Lisa Madigan!

libfreeordie on September 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM

She dropped out back in July moron.

Involved in scandal with her daddy.

sentinelrules on September 17, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Melle:

You think Daley is going to out himself. Who do you think runs the machine?

jerryofva on September 17, 2013 at 11:25 AM

<a href="http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Illinois2010.png&quot;

Just an interesting graphic to spotlight for this thread.

h a p f a t on September 17, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Thanks for the autoplay video. Appreciate that.

Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads. on September 17, 2013 at 11:29 AM

That didn’t work. Let’s try again…

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Illinois2010.png

h a p f a t on September 17, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Perhaps Daley has bigger aspirations, such as a Chicago alderman or even mayor in a few years? In Illinois all politics is local….local to Chicago.

simkeith on September 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Just an interesting graphic to spotlight for this thread.

h a p f a t on September 17, 2013 at 11:27 AM

OK, I get Chicago and East St. Louis, but what’re the other blue areas down south?

With as red as that is, how come there isn’t any secession talk going on and why isn’t the legislature seriously red?

Kafir on September 17, 2013 at 11:37 AM

I’d leave Dems unopposed in this state at this point. Let their policies come to their natural finish and pick up the pieces after the deluge. Dems need to fully own the long-term results of their endeavors in Illinois.

Meremortal on September 17, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Free Blago!

Punchenko on September 17, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Since the NSA and all other coercive organs of the State have taken the role of Stasi; one has to factor blackmail and threats into any political calculation. It is a fact of life that such organizations are not necessarily loyal to the Party that controls them, but rather to the faction of the Party that controls the State. Thus, any decision that Daley freres make may have the White House behind it. If Obama is planning any unilateral actions domestically, he needs to first secure his power base from any rival intra-party Apparat‘s.

And it may well be that the Daleys already know just how buggered up the state is financially and that an unavoidable collapse is imminent. Thus, they do not want to be in charge when it happens.

The Republican Party in Illinois is not known for competence. And in fact it may well be in large part chattel of the Democrats. This is Illinois, after all. If a Republican defeats Quinn, especially if Chicago suddenly does not turn out at the normal greater-than-living-population-levels in the governor’s race; you can bet that the outcome was what the Democrats decided was in their best interest.

In either case, this is a storm warning of something far larger than who gets to be governor of Illinois. Battening down hatches and keeping codpieces buttoned may be prudent.

Subotai Bahadur on September 17, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Watching Blue America devolve into dystopia is rather entertaining. NYC’s transformation — with Mayor Wilhelm at the, er, helm — will be most interesting.

Punchenko on September 17, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Free Blago!

Punchenko on September 17, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Blago’s hairpiece is up for early release. Maybe it could run.

HumpBot Salvation on September 17, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Could Richard end up pitch-hitting for Bill?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinch_hitter

steebo77 on September 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Jesse Jackson, Jr. to the rescue!

Oh, wait…

steebo77 on September 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Melle:

You think Daley is going to out himself. Who do you think runs the machine?

jerryofva on September 17, 2013 at 11:25 AM

I was merely speculating. I just don’t see a Daley saying ” Oh Goley Gee, this Governorship seems way more harder than I thought.” That family is about power, and if it gives them power even if it is over the Titanic they don’t care. I find the whole thing odd, and think there is WAY more to the story.

melle1228 on September 17, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Free Blago!

Punchenko on September 17, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Blago’s hairpiece is up for early release. Maybe it could run.

HumpBot Salvation on September 17, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Meh, the hairpiece is not nearly as entertaining without the idiot underneath.

Punchenko on September 17, 2013 at 12:25 PM

chicago way: stealing votes on a Daley bases (baseball pun added for fun)

hurricain on September 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM

The Godfather sent some goons over inquiring what size shoe he wears and informed him they have a nice cement pair that would fit him nicely. Chicago style.
What happened to the well-worn “spend more time with the family” bit? “This is too hard” isn’t believable either. Someone’s got dirt on this guy.

Buttercup on September 17, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Bill Daley abruptly ended his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor today, telling the Tribune that a lifetime in politics had not prepared him for the “enormity” of his first run for office and the challenge of leading the state through difficult times.

So how much was he paid, and by who to take a powder?

Sounds like Rahm Immanuel wants the governor’s seat.

Just another episode of “All in the Family”.

GarandFan on September 17, 2013 at 1:10 PM

…Illinois last four governors before Quinn ended up in prison.

melle1228 on September 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Huh? Better check your source on that one. Bill Thompson and Jim Edgar seem to be free as birds.

Jaibones on September 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Pardon me … JIM Thompson.

Jaibones on September 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Quinn has made the Illinois mess much worse, and voter revenge will not re-elect him. New leadership is badly needed or we are finished. Most states that are run by Democrats are in financial trouble, and Illinois, California, New York are the worst.

Amazingoly on September 17, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Wonder how much the buyout was?

Another Drew on September 17, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Of course, Bill isn’t the only Daley in politics, either. His brother Richard turned 71 this year, after serving six terms as Mayor before retiring to a life of public speaking and lucrative law practice. Could Richard end up pitch-hitting for Bill?

Pretty sure Shortshanks would view the governorship as a step down from the mayor’s office.

novaculus on September 17, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Huh? Better check your source on that one. Bill Thompson and Jim Edgar seem to be free as birds.

Jaibones on September 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Been awhile since I actually lived in that sinkhole, so let me amend it to FOUR out of the last seven Governors.

That makes it sooooo much better doesn’t it..//

There is a reason every gas station on 57 sells shirts that say ” Illinois where our Governors make our license plates.”

melle1228 on September 17, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Since Illinois is bankrupt and ready to implode it would be good for dems to have a repub gov. They will have to clean up the mess while dems blame mean ol’ republicans for all the pain of a tightened belt. Dems will then elect a dem gov to restart the rape and pillaging of Illinois.

makaput on September 17, 2013 at 2:37 PM

The Illinois Republican Party is not exactly thriving. Quinn may be a weak candidate for the Democrats, but it’s unlikely that the Illinois Republicans will come up with anyone much more impressive.

J.S.K. on September 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Oh… I don’t know… This guy has a lot of ILGOP support (seriously):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTtUbzYDzB0

*banging head against desktop*

Can’t stand Ruthie or Brady, either… Grrr. What’s a girl to do?

Fallon on September 17, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Hey, anybody heard from Tony Rezko lately?

Fallon on September 17, 2013 at 2:47 PM

The rats are jumping off the ship before she goes under.

Scotty J on September 17, 2013 at 3:10 PM

I’d leave Dems unopposed in this state at this point. Let their policies come to their natural finish and pick up the pieces after the deluge. Dems need to fully own the long-term results of their endeavors in Illinois.

Meremortal on September 17, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Tempted to agree. It’s lose-lose for the GOP though. If a Dem wins gov, Obama will bail out IL. If a Republican wins, he won’t. Neither will a Republican President, for good reason. But then a Republican will end up captain of the sinking IL ship.

Missy on September 17, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Will this pave the way for Rahmbo? He’s being groomed, doncha know. Get the sleezeball McCauliffe in VA and the D takeover of the really big voting blocs will be nearing completion.

Kissmygrits on September 17, 2013 at 4:06 PM

The aldermans didn’t approve, so they got the goods on him and blackmailed him out. Sound about right?

jake49 on September 17, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Bill Daley stuns Illinois, drops out of gubernatorial race

Daley’s fellow Illinois Democrats are masters of opposition research and undoubtedly it’s a target rich environment with Bill Daley as the target.

Sounds like Bill wants to spend time with the family and out of jail.

RJL on September 17, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Really, Hot Air? Autoplay video?

NealK on September 17, 2013 at 5:24 PM

He figured out just how little could be done to save the state from financial ruin. Let Twinkle Toes take the rap for that sinking ship.

Philly on September 17, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Don’t forget his nephew killed a kid in a drunken fight back around 2004. The nephew wasn’t charged until last year, only after the manslaughter was revealed by the local media. Reeks of a cover up due to the nephew being a member of the Daley clan.

cpddet on September 18, 2013 at 8:17 AM