WASHINGTON--If Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is to "merit" re-election, he "needs to show leadership and produce results," fellow Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin said Wednesday, with the senator seeming to prod Attorney General Lisa Madigan to get in the race.
Bill Daley, former White House chief of staff and former Commerce Secretary--and brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley--is mulling a run for governor but is likely not to challenge Quinn in a Democratic primary if Madigan is in the race.
Durbin, speaking to reporters at a session hosted by the Wall Street Journal, said, "I don't think Bill Daley will get in the race. But I leave that up to him. I mean, that's really ultimately his decision."
"Illinois is going through a period here," Durbin said, "as I mentioned earlier, with our legislature in Springfield and our governor that's as hard a political assignment as I've ever seen, dealing with this pension problem. And it's - it is awful, as you can imagine. And all the choices are bad. And there's a feeling that the governor needs to show leadership and produce results in order to merit renomination and re-election.
"There are people looking at running against him. They include Lisa Madigan, the attorney general, and Bill Daley, who's known to everyone here in the room. I don't believe - I don't know that Lisa has made a decision. I think she's going to make one soon. If she gets in the race, she is likely to be the only challenger. I don't think Bill Daley will get in the race. But I leave that up to him. I mean, that's really ultimately his decision."
One of Lisa Madigan's potential main liabilities in a statewide run is her father, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), the state Democratic Party chairman.
Durbin, asked if Speaker Madigan could stay on if his daughter runs for governor, said "That's a hard question.
"He's been around for many years, not only the most powerful person in the state capital as speaker - and she has - she has really earned her stripes as an individual, not as his daughter. I mean, she won a tough primary for attorney general. She has served well and has high approval ratings, one of the highest approval rating of any state official. So the relationship with her father and her possible future run - I'm not going to speculate on that."