Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Pat Quinn, the Abe Lincoln of Booty

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Illinois has its lowest birth rate since the Great Depression. Like their brother-can-you-spare-a-dime great-grandparents, couples say they can’t afford to have big families. If we don’t start reproducing soon, our state is going to shrink.

    To encourage Illinoians to be fruitful and multiply, Gov. Pat Quinn needs to follow the example set by leaders in other countries with a negative birthrate: he needs to take a trophy wife.

    In the 1970s, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau married Margaret Sinclair, a swinging flower child 30 years his junior. The couple had three children before she Margaret left Pierre to party at Studio 54 and carry on an affair with Mick Jagger.

    In Germany, Chancellor Gerhard Schroder was married four times. His serial monogamy earned him the nickname “The Audi Chancellor,” after the four rings on the German auto’s grill.

    Italy has the lowest birth rate in the world, but it’s not President Silvio Berlusconi’s fault. He has five children by two women, and carries on so many romances that GQ dubbed him “The Mussolini of Ass.”  

    Quinn, in our humble opinion, needs a similar sobriquet: the Abe Lincoln of Booty. The divorced governor has two adult sons, but that’s not enough in a state with a birthrate crisis. And we can all agree Quinn needs a wife. When the legislature is in session, Quinn lives all alone in the governor’s mansion. He’s out of shape, he looks like he sleeps in his suit every night and cuts his hair once a month, with a Flo-bee. When he's in the city, he stays in 1 W. Superior -- basically, the frat house of downtown Chicago apartment buildings. He can’t manage money. But with a sensible woman to teach him how to keep the household accounts, Quinn might be able to take care of that $13 billion budget cap.

    It’s not like he doesn’t have the opportunity. As the saying goes, politics is Hollywood for ugly people. Quinn is the most powerful man in Springfield. State capitals are notorious for romantic intrigue, as lonely legislators, lobbyists and aides drink together in hideaway offices and hotel bars. There must be a young lawyer who would welcome the chance to become First Lady of Illinois.

     Quinn needs a love life. Illinois needs more children. So, governor: get busy.