By Benjamin Yount
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — One year in the White House and half that on the campaign trail.
Bill Daley, President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, didn’t make it six months in his bid for Illinois governor. He quit the campaign earlier this week.
“This isn’t the best thing for me,” Daley told reporters via an interview with the Chicago Tribune.
Daley, who is the both the son and brother of former Chicago mayors, said he does not believe he wants to spend “five to nine years” as governor.
Daley had promised “action” and “leadership” to “get things done in Illinois.” However, he said he didn’t want to commit the time it would take to “fix” the state.
He did, however, take a parting shot at Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D), the only major Democratic candidate left in the race.
“I could have won,” Daley said after noting any of the four Republican candidates can beat Quinn.
Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, one of the GOP hopefuls, said without Daley, his path to the governor’s mansion is easier.
“I now know, without a question, that Pat Quinn is going to be my opponent,” Rutherford told Illinois Watchdog.
Republican state Sen. Kirk Dillard said, “We know Pat Quinn … 12 credit downgradings by Wall Street, an economy that is the second worst in America … he is a completely ineffective leader.”
Rutherford and Dillard both say they are the only candidate who can beat Quinn in a general election.
Political newcomer, millionaire businessman Bruce Rauner, said he can beat any candidate and thinks that, without Bill Daley, Illinois is ripe for Republican picking.
“Quinn was likely to beat Daley in the primary anyway,” Rauner stated. “(But) Pat Quinn is very beatable.
Rauner said his focus has always been the GOP primary in March.
The fourth Republican candidate, state Sen. Bill Brady, has said in the past he is the only candidate conservative enough to win the Republican contest and then go on to beat Quinn in a general election.
Still, each candidate left in the race is vying for what could be one of the worst jobs in the country.
Illinois has seen unemployment hover near 10 percent this year, the state is facing $7.5 billion in unpaid bills, and Illinois’ unchecked pension debt of $130 billion is threatening to bankrupt the state.
Voters will pick a GOP candidate next March, the general election is still more than a year away.
Posted Sept. 18, 2013