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Bill Daley says Bruce Rauner strongest contender in gov race

Former White House chief staff Bill Daley talks reporters Tuesday Chicago after making decisidrop out 2014 gubernatorial race.  |

Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley talks to reporters on Tuesday in Chicago after making the decision to drop out of the 2014 gubernatorial race. | M. Spencer Green~AP

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Updated: October 19, 2013 7:23PM



The Daley discussion . . .

“There was no tipping point!”

Thus spoke former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley in a one-on-one interview Tuesday about his decision to pull out of the gubernatorial race — and his belief that Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is the strongest contender.

“It was brewing for a month, but the final decision happened Saturday after a long, quiet talk with my wife, Bernie, in the country,” said Daley, whose announcement Monday to quit the contentious Dem primary race stunned political pundits and threw his staff off-guard.

“A month ago, I began wondering where was I going with this thing,” Daley said. Sneed is told that Daley’s wife, Bernie, never really was warm to the idea of his running.

“But things were beginning to creep up, and only recently I began wondering, ‘Do I really want to commit myself to this for the next five to nine years?’

“We had already began talking to people about the possibility of being my running mate: state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), state Sen. Andy Manar (D-Staunton) and Ald. Will Burns (4th Ward) . . . and people in the private sector, who looked at you like you were crazy to ask them to go into politics.

“Then we hired the brilliant Tom Bowen as our campaign manager last week. And then I realized, hey, I’m getting in deeper and deeper and really what is my projection for the next five years. Is this really where I want to be? Am I being fair to everyone in the campaign?

“Bernie and I went up to the country Friday night and began going over everything and then Saturday it all seemed clear . . . pretty obvious, what I had to do . . . the right thing for me to do. Get out.

“We could give back almost every dollar we raised. We had yet to go out with petition sheets. Things were creeping up and we were approaching a time when we’d be going over the line . . . in being fair to others . . . and soon we’d be going in December [when petitions have to be filed].

“After all was said and done, I finally realized it just wasn’t where I wanted to be in five years’ time. But I believe [Gov.] Pat Quinn will be beaten by any one of the four Republican gubernatorial candidates in the general election!”

◆ Sneed: “Would you consider voting for a Republican?”

◆ Daley: “I’m not going to go there.”

◆ Sneed: “I’m told you think Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, who is close to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, could win?”

◆ Daley: “I do think Bruce Rauner is the strongest candidate.”

Loud and clear, Bill.

◆ Postscript: Sneed is told that Daley, who claims he has no immediate job plans, jets off to New York on Wednesday to be interviewed by Charlie Rose. Stay tuned.

Scoopsville . . .

Listen up! Sneed hears Gov. Pat Quinn wants State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) to be his running mate but is seeking legal opinion on whether she can also retain her current job in order to placate Dem state party chief Mike Madigan, who doesn’t want to lose the seat. If he wins, she would become the first African American to be lieutenant governor in the state.

The money pit . . .

$$$$$$: Sneed is told that President Barack Obama will appoint fiscal guru Janet Yellen as the Federal Reserve Board’s first female chief in the next few days — despite the fact his favorite candidate, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, wants him to appoint Don Kohn, a former vice chairman of the Fed.

“No way in the world Obama passes up a chance to appoint a woman to the spot,” said a top Dem source.

Sneedlings . . .

Wednesday’s birthdays: Jada Pinkett Smith, 42; Lance Armstrong, 42, and Frankie Avalon, 73.



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