Sheila Simon, her admirers argue, can disagree without being disagreeable.
As Pat Quinn's newly anointed running mate, that's going to be an important asset.
Remember that Simon was one of the governor's appointees to his Reform Commission.
That was the commission that wanted far more sweeping ethics and campaign finance reforms than House Speaker Mike Madigan would ever flip for.
And so Governor Quinn caved into Madigan, signed a bill that didn't do what needed to be done, hailed it as "landmark" anyway, and then was forced to veto it. Leaving his Reform Commission in the dust. Ultimately, a new bill was signed, still lacking some of the crucial finance reforms that Illinois desperately needed but with some slight improvements.
During that process, Sheila Simon ended up being one of the pragmatists, settling for half a loaf rather than a whole.
Whether you regard that as a good compromise, she exhibited a distinct savvy about the process without pretending that the job had been completed.
The real question now will be about her role.
Pat Quinn was hardly an equal, working partner to Rod Blagojevich back when Quinn was the lt. governor.
Not unlike lots of other anonymous lite guvs in Illinois history.
Will Sheila Simon be given a more meaningful role?
Let's hope so. If only because Quinn, a longtime solo-operator and micro-manager, needs not only a wider circle of smart advisers but advisers he is actually willing to listen to.