Opinion: Bill Daley Wastes Our Time for a Lark - NBC Chicago
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Opinion: Bill Daley Wastes Our Time for a Lark



    The Cook County Democrats said no to Bill Daley during their August slate making session. 

    Berrios and friends decided to back incumbent governor Pat Quinn for the 2014 race for the statehouse. The state Democratic party appeared on course to do the same thing this Sunday. 

    So Daley is bowing out. 

    The former White House Chief of Staff, and Commerce Secretary and banking executive, said he had a change of heart.

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    "This isn't the best thing for me," he said about his exit. And "it's one thing to be, quite frankly, in the gallery and it's another thing to be on the dance floor." Thin gruel. 

    He acted flip with reporters questioning his motives Tuesday morning.

    "You came to this decision on your 65th birthday," one reporter asked. "What got you to that point?"

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    "The 64 years before it," he replied. 

    More curiously, he said he wouldn't support Quinn going forward  -- because of bad genes?

    The whole thing smacks of sour grapes. None of the Democratic slate makers would extend the ring for Daley to kiss, so he's quitting, and throwing mud on them.

    The problem is, he didn't need to kiss any rings to make a strong showing in the race. That's the old way of doing things, the way his dad and brother did things in Illinois politics. But there is a new era in the Democratic machine -- to which Rahm Emanuel and even Barack Obama can attest. It's possible to run against the slate-makers and win.

    But that's been the criticism of Daley over the last few years -- that he's stuck in an old way of doing things. Take this passage from Politico's January 2012 story on why Daley had to go from the White House chief of staff role, another endeavor that ended abruptly. 

    Daley, the son of legendary Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, irked some in the West Wing with his faith that collegial, backroom deal-cutting with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would work. He believed that the Washington he left after serving in the Clinton administration still existed and counseled Obama to go all-in on a grand bargain with the speaker despite signs of tea party revolt in Boehner’s caucus.

    Daley was done in at the White House and in Illinois Statewide politics because he hadn't caught up to the political realities. It was a good thing that Daley was in this race because someone needed to push Quinn. Now Quinn runs alone among the Democrats, and the state will have no new ideas coming from the left.