Big news in the Illinois senate destruction derby. William Daley, the Clinton-era Commerce Secretary and brother to Chicago mayor Richard Daley, has opted not to get into the race after all:
It's over: "I was gung-ho, and hired pollsters and talked to fund-raisers and planned to make an announcement in mid-April," Daley told Sneed yesterday. "But I'm getting remarried in June and decided I want to take a new tack in my life. I just don't want to live a commuter life back and forth from Washington."
Hmmm. Maybe he didn't like what the pollsters were telling him, or more likely, he didn't like what he was in his wallet, compared with the $1.1 million that treasurer Alexi Giannoulias pulled down in the first quarter. Still, with the full force of the legendary Daley machine behind him, he would have presented Giannoulias with a formidable challenge... maybe enough of a challenge to outright win, or more ominously, enough of a challenge for him and Giannoulias to punch each other out and accidentally allow Roland Burris, on the strength of African-American votes, to win the primary.
With Daley out, a one-on-one contest between (Friend of Barack) Giannoulias, and Roland Burris and his $845, seems like no contest whatsoever. But now Daley bailing out (and Burris's increasingly apparent ineptitude) raises the question of whether someone else gets in. Rep. Jan Schakowsky is certainly interested in the senate seat but seems loath to leave her safe house seat; a likelier possibility may in fact be Rep. Danny Davis, who has been urging Burris to get out of the way and may now see more of an opening for himself now that it looks like Burris may not even have much of a foothold on the African-American vote.