He hinted at it for months, but former White House chief of staff Bill Daley has officially taken the first step toward running for Illinois governor.
Daley announced on his website that he formed an exploratory committee that allows him to start raising money for the 2014 race.
"We can no longer stand idly by while our pension debt bankrupts our schools and robs our children of a better future," he said in his video announcement posted Tuesday morning. "From the stinging injustice of inequality to the painful toll of unemployment, the people of Illinois are paying a perilous price for political failure."
Daley goes on to say that now is the time for action and urgency in the state and that's why he's considering a gubernatorial run.
“We need a governor who gets things done,” he says, noting he's highly critical of what little got done in Springfield during the last legislative session.
Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign shot back at the comment, stating the current governor "has a strong record of getting big things done for the people of Illinois."
"Gov. Quinn continues to lead the fight for comprehensive pension reform, marriage equality and gun-safety and he will not stop fighting until these are law."
Still the former chief of staff to President Barack Obama and longtime banker and businessman knows a thing or two about political campaigns. He's the son of one former Chicago mayor, Richard J. Daley, and brother of another former mayor, Richard M. Daley.
He also notes his “we can’t wait” refrain is partially rooted in his experience helping Obama "break a similar logjam in Washington."
“When I was Chief of Staff to President Obama, the Republican Congress tried to grind the federal government to a halt. So we launched the ‘we can’t wait’ campaign. On issue after issue, President Obama took executive action when Congress failed to act. We need that same urgency in Illinois."
But Daley could be going up against the daughter in another powerhouse family. Lisa Madigan has also hinted at running, but with no decision from her camp, Daley's decision to move ahead allows him to start raising funds and creating the possibility that he could face Quinn in a March primary.