Bye-Bye, Bill Daley: The Enormity of the Office
Last night, the man who has constantly criticized the current “populist” Governor for not being a leader decided he didn’t want to be a leader either.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Mr. Daley “abruptly ended his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor Monday, saying a lifetime in politics had not prepared him for the ‘enormity’ of his first run for office and the challenge of leading the state through difficult times” (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-bill-daley-governors-race-20130916,0,17259.story).
Enormity, which actually means a huge scale of moral wrong, is probably the first time Daley misused the word correctly to describe the kind of leadership he would have brought to the race.
You’ll remember that Mr. Daley, having accomplished so little in both his leadership of the Al Gore campaign and his position as Chief of Staff for President Obama after Rahm Emanuel, turned his attention from banking to the Governor’s office this last year. In fact, many thought he was a guaranteed Democratic runner with the backing of President Obama and the Mayor of Chicago. When Lisa Madigan dropped out, Daley was considered the probable lead in a coming battle with Quinn.
Despite gathering some serious money in the few months of his bid, Daley has not necessarily received the outspoken backing of the powerbrokers in the state. Indeed, it has been suggested that the ersatz Democratic Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel is actually putting his money and influence behind Republican Bruce Rauner. According to conservative writer Bill Kelly, “That was part of the original deal-swap: Emanuel gets Chicago, President Obama taps Daley for White House Chief of Staff” (http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/08/kelly-rahm-wants-gop-pal-rauner-not-bill-daley-for-illinois-governor.html).
Tit for Tat. And now no more.
As for enormity, listening to Bill Daley get an earful from callers on a local talk show in July was revealing to say the least.
Revealing for Bill Daley too.
Given an observation by a listener to the Dick Kay program, one that included the following: “It’s about time to tell the truth about the pensions, Mr. Daley. We don’t have a pension problem; we have a revenue problem. We’ve had this problem for decades and these problems were made worse when Jim Thompson had had pension holidays in which they paid nothing into the pension fund. You had Blagojevich doing that twice, not paying into the pension fund. Furthermore, we have never collected enough taxes to cover the normal costs of government, which we would call education, public safety, infrastructure, and health. So we rob – we took – the money that was supposed to go into the pension funds –and we use that to cover any shortfalls we’ve had in the state. And now, lo and behold, we have this shortfall and you expect the pensioners to pay for it. That’s sort of like making the victim pay for the crime. Illinois needs to deal with its revenue problem. It needs a graduated tax rate system.“ (Thanks, Carl).
Bill Daley was silent.
Later, Daley stumbled for an answer, which included banal phrases like, “lots of people are suffering in the state (not just pensioners). The tax increase that went in to effect two years ago impacted a lot of people (like pensioners will be affected). Our local governments are struggling with a loss of tax base. We’re all in this boat together. It’s not just the pensioners’ problem, nor should it be… (http://www.doogiesplace.com/).
Yep. The enormity of the problem, Bill. The moral wrong done to these people for decades is, well, it’s an enormity.
Looking at the current field of Governor wannabees, it’s hard to imagine another person who will correct the moral wrong…morally.
Of course, there’s still time for Lisa to re-enter the field – no, don’t laugh; after all, this is Illinois.