Gov. Pat Quinn repeated this week that he plans to run for re-election -- and he did so in a setting that allowed him to associate himself with two of Illinois’ greatest politicians.
At the Sangamo Club, a popular political hangout in Springfield, Quinn attended a book launch for The Essential Paul Simon: Timeless Lessons for Today’s Politics
, a compilation of writings and speeches by his lieutenant governor’s daddy. (Sheila was there, too. Coincidentally, the book has the same title as the other Paul Simon's greatest hits collection
. During Simon's 1988 presidential campaign, Saturday Night Live
made light of their identical names by having them appear onstage together
, claiming it was a booking mix-up.)
Quinn ran for Simon’s seat when the senator retired in 1996 but lost the Democratic primary to Dick Durbin. On the other hand, Simon ran for governor in 1972 but lost the Democratic primary to Dan Walker, so the two politicians have come out about even. But Simon, being dead, is more widely respected, so it helps Quinn to stand beneath his halo.
Asked whether he planned to run for re-election, Quinn told the State Journal-Register, “I don’t plan to change the title. It’s a tough job, and I volunteered to do it, and I think I’m doing a good job under the circumstances and want to continue.”
Then, he delivered a quote that managed to work in both Simon and Abraham Lincoln: “I’m sure if Paul was alive today, he’d be right there in Washington, addressing the need to avoid the fiscal cliff, and at the same time, [pushing] some of his favorite issues of making sure everyone in the world had water and that Americans understood the importance of speaking a language other than English, learning other languages, learning other cultures,” Quinn said. “And I think he definitely would like the movie ‘Lincoln’ that just came out. He was a great student of Abraham Lincoln.”
November 2012 was a great month for Illinois politicians. Barack Obama was re-elected to the presidency, and Lincoln got an Oscar-worthy portrayal from Daniel Day-Lewis. It wasn’t a great month for Quinn, as Michael Madigan won a veto-proof majority in the House and Illinois was named the third worst-managed state in America. He’s hoping November 2014 will be better.