Updated 06/11/13 – 3:48 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley said Tuesday he is formally exploring a bid for governor, ripping state lawmakers for their inaction on major issues this spring.
“Let’s face it, we’re in serious trouble,” Daley said in a video announcement. “The news from Springfield always seems to be bad. Our state needed a productive legislative session, but what happened? Pension reform failed again. Marriage equality died at the last minute. Protecting our kids from illegal guns—another joke.”
Daley, 64, said he is forming a committee to explore a run for governor, which allows him to raise cash for a potential challenge to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has said he’ll run for re-election.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan also has said she is considering a run for governor, though she has yet to take any formal steps to do so, and it’s unclear if Daley would stay in the race if she stepped in.
“I am very seriously considering running for governor,” Madigan said Tuesday.
While Madigan wouldn’t talk about Daley, a campaign aide said “polls have shown Mr. Daley does not fare well in either a two-way or three-way race.”
Daley told CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine that he’s seen polls that show Madigan may not be as strong a candidate as some believe.
As for their family ties, Daley said he waited to run until his brother left the mayor’s office.
Madigan has never dealt with the potential conflict of her father being House speaker, and refused again today.
“When I announce I’m running for governor, if that’s my decision, we can handle all those exciting questions then,” she said.
For his part, Quinn stayed on the sidelines.
“The primary’s in March of next year,” Quinn said. “That’s politics. I’m interested in policy right now.”
Though he did not name Quinn in his announcement, Daley clearly criticized what he viewed as a lack of leadership in the governor’s office.
“We need solutions. We need action. We need leadership that gets things done. And the people of Illinois can’t wait,” Daley said. “We can’t wait for the legislature to get well on its own. We need a governor who takes the field, takes command, and gets things done.”
“This will be a campaign of action and urgency, because that’s the leadership the people of Illinois deserve,” he added.
In an interview on the Mully & Hanley Show on 670 The score, Quinn said he’s not afraid of a challenge from his own party.
“I know how to compete. I did last time. A lot of people counted me out, and I won, and I’m going to do it again. I believe in everyday people, and they believe in me,” he said.
The governor said, for now, he’s focused on getting a comprehensive pension reform deal done by next week, when he’s ordered a special session of the Illinois General Assembly to deal with pensions.
“Especially next week, our job is to get comprehensive public pension reform that’s overdue. If I could have done this by executive order, I would have done it a long time ago,” Quinn said.
However, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton have yet to agree on an approach for pension reform.
Daley boasts a strong combination of government and private sector experience. The brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, Bill Daley served as chief of staff to President Barack Obama, helped President Bill Clinton pass the North American Free Trade Agreement as Clinton’s Commerce Secretary, and chaired Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 run for president.
He’s also a longtime banker and businessman, having served in top positions at Amalgamated Bank of Chicago, JP Morgan Chase, and SBC. He’s also a former partner of the law firm Mayer, Brown & Platt.
On the Republican side of the race for governor, Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and multi-millionaire businessman Bruce Rauner have announced their candidacies. State Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady also are possible candidates, as is talk show host and GOP analyst Dan Proft.