Bill Daley told a crowd of more than 200 this morning that he's still considering a run for governor.
"I am giving it a lot of thought," he said.
Daley, the brother of the former Chicago Mayor and former chief of staff to President Obama, told reporters after a benefit breakfast at Misericordia he hadn't done any fund-raising and hasn't had any discussions with powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Daley and David Axelrod talked in a panel discussion this morning that was moderated by longtime political writer Jim Warren.
"I think people have great interest in the state of the state.
Many people have said they would be supportive if I decided to do
this. I'm giving it serious thought," Daley said after the event.
"Most of it is personal right now, whether this is what I want to do at
this stage in my life. I've been fortunate to be around politics and
government my whole life. I understand... how difficult it is for
families and this is a difficult time."
Asked how he was spending his days now after stepping down last year as Obama's chief of staff, Daley said he's studying up on whether he should make a run.
"I'm doing a lot of things that go into making a decision. ... I'm talking to a lot of
friends and elected officials and people who are involved in community
activities and getting their sense of what is needed and whether or
not in the end I think I can add something to the debate. As I've said
repeatedly, Pat Quinn is a very decent, honest guy who came in at a
tough time but who has been there for 12 years as the number one or
number two elected official in the state."
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was at the event, too, giving opening remarks, razzing Axelrod for looking "naked" without a mustache and continuing in an ongoing back and forth with Sister Rosemary of Misericordia over taking away the not-for-profit's free water. Sister Rosemary roasted Emanuel a year earlier over the issue and toasted to him with a water-filled cup today.
Emanuel handed her a gallon of water.