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Daley for Governor: Second Obama chief of staff follows Rahm by running for office in Illinois

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Illinois,Chicago

Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley hopes to repeat Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s success in running for office after leaving President Obama’s side, even though the Democratic Party already holds the governorship that Daley wants.

Daley promises to govern Illinois the way Obama runs the country — implementing policies despite legislative opposition. “When I was Chief of Staff to President Obama, the Republican Congress tried to grind the federal government to a halt,” Daley said in a statement today. “So we launched the ‘we can’t wait’ campaign. On issue after issue, President Obama took executive action where the Congress failed to act. We need that same urgency in Illinois. 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. And for those who aspire to lead this state, now is the time to proclaim: ‘we can’t wait’.”

Daley’s use of the ‘We Can’t Wait’ phrase for an out-and-out campaign would seem to corroborate the idea that the initiative was always geared towards the reelection campaign, rather than serious policy-making.

“Bill Daley may think that tired campaign slogans are enough to convince the voters of Illinois to look beyond the fiscal wreckage that his party and his family have wrought in their state over the years, but anyone who followed his brief but tumultuous tenure in the Obama White House knows he’s a master at putting politics over policy,” a Senate Republican aide suggested. “And nothing demonstrates that more than Daley’s pride in cooking up a scheme to re-elect Obama by deflecting blame for the President’s own economic failures on Republicans in Congress.”

If the message works, Daley would replace Pat Quinn as Illinois’ Democratic governor and join Emanuel as the second Obama chief of staff to win an election in the president’s home state. Emanuel succeeded Richard Daley, Bill’s brother, who had served as mayor for 21 years but decided not to run again.

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