Obviously the big news last week was former White House chief of staff Bill Daley’s decision to drop out of the race for governor.
This probably means that Gov. Pat Quinn has clear sailing to once again win the Democratic nomination for governor. It is pretty late in the process for someone to start gearing up a campaign for governor and all that it entails, like having an organization in place and enough campaign cash to make it competitive.
Daley’s stated reason for quitting is he decided he didn’t want to face the prospect of a grueling campaign and then possibly 4 or more years as governor. At least, as governor in a state with as many problems as Illinois has.
If that’s his reason for dropping out, so be it. The state may be better off that it doesn’t have a chance to elect someone whose heart wouldn’t be in the job. Illinois already did that with Rod Blagojevich. We all know how that turned out.
Even though he dropped out of the governor’s race, Daley said he would have defeated Quinn.
Maybe so, but you definitely can’t beat Quinn if you’re not in the race.
There was plenty of speculation about how Daley’s exit would affect the campaign for governor.
Some said Quinn was a big winner because he no longer faced a credible primary challenger. He can now hoard his campaign cash for the main event and doesn’t have to worry about getting beat up in a primary election.
Others, though, said the Republicans are the winners in this. Quinn will now be the Democratic nominee, and his approval ratings continue to be dismal. The eventual Republican nominee can lick his chops about facing Quinn, unless Quinn miraculously improves the state and the way he runs it.
Sit back and relax. It’s going to be another year before we find out who is right.
A different view
For a couple of weeks now, we’ve heard people taking shots at the $51.5 million renovation of the Capitol’s west wing, particularly the famous $670,000 copper-plated doors.
Now for a different perspective. Pulitzer Prize winning architecture critic Blair Kamin of the Chicago Tribune added his perspective to the project last week. The story was headlined “Illinois Capitol rehab worth every penny,” so it wasn’t going to be another attack on the project’s various outlays.
Quinn compared the refinished Capitol to the Palace of Versailles. Kamin’s take: “Not a king’s palace, as at Versailles, but a people’s palace, one that has been deftly restored.”
He noted that the Capitol is expected to last basically forever.
“When investing in a building like this, you take the long view,” he wrote. “You don’t cut corners.”
By the way, since news of the famous copper doors broke, you can sometimes see folks, presumably visitors, at the west entrance taking pictures of the doors or having someone take pictures of them standing in front of the doors.
So to the degree the Capitol renovations are supposed to attract tourists, the doors seem to be contributing.