Bill Daley is making his first attempt at elected office in a state whose problems, he says, are purely political. Daley says that those running Illinois are holding it back, mainly Governor Pat Quinn.
“We have the second highest unemployment in the country, one of the worst education systems, we have tremendous assets but we can’t seem to get out of our own way,” said Daley.
The ability to lead is what Daley, 64, identifies as the quality he most admired in his dad and in his brother — two former Chicago mayors. He also says he learned a lot of leadership from his two former bosses in the White House.
“Neither Bill Clinton nor Barack Obama hesitate to lead, and I think that’s an enormous difference between them and those who have the opportunity to serve but don’t take advantage of it,” Daley said.
Daley’s most recent stint in Washington as White House Chief of Staff was short, as he served from January 2011 to January 2012.
Daley’s decision to run may speed up a decision from Attorney General Lisa Madigan. With money in the bank, she would be the likely frontrunner in what could be a three way primary. Daley says she would have to answer how she would bring about good government as governor, with her father still serving as Speaker of the House.
Daley waited to run, he says, until his brother was no longer mayor. He insists that he is his own man, despite carrying a name Chicagoans have known for generations.
“I don’t come from the Springfield milieu that seems to be rather dysfunctional right now,” Daley said.