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Sneed: Gov. Quinn’s paycheck play a political setback — or comeback?

President Harry S. Truman holds an early editiChicago Tribume with famous headlines as he upset Thomas E. Dewey e1948 presidential

President Harry S. Truman holds an early edition of the Chicago Tribume with famous headlines as he upset Thomas E. Dewey in the e1948 presidential election. Truman was shown the newspaper when his campaign train stopped in St. Louis on his way back to Washington.

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Updated: August 12, 2013 11:51AM



Give ’em hell, Harry . . . er, Pat?

Setback or comeback?

Gov. Pat Quinn’s decision to run with scissors this week and cut legislators’ paychecks until the state’s pension mess is resolved may not be a political setback.

It could be a political comeback.

The plight of Quinn, whose poll numbers have plunged because of the state’s insolvency and political ack ack since he took office, is reminiscent of one faced by President Harry S. Truman, who took over the reins of office when President Franklin D. Roosevelt died.

◆ Truman was considered an odd duck.

◆ The economy was in a state of flux after the war.

◆ Truman railed against a “do nothing” Congress, which was a legislative nightmare, and a Congress controlled by Republicans and populated by his own party of lukewarm Dem supporters.

◆ Entering the 1948 presidential campaign, Truman was almost a certain loser. Southerners were bolting; headlines were scathing; criticism mounting; yet Truman continued to rail against the Republican Congress and even called special sessions to enact legislation.

◆ As was widely reported, polls, journalists and even the president’s wife, Bess, predicted that Truman would lose by a landslide. But Harry Truman would not give up, and his tenacity proved to be his comeback.

◆ In the end, the nation decided they liked “Give ’em hell, Harry!” and gave Truman an upset victory over his Republican opponent, Thomas Dewey — and gave the Chicago Tribune a mighty black eye for prematurely declaring Dewey the winner.

Who knows how all this will go . . . but who knew Quinn was a street fighter?

Little Miss Muffet. . .

Curds & whey: What’s a girl to do when her tuffet becomes a hot seat?

◆ To wit: Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan — a top vote-getter and poll doll with a sterling reputation — is now in the spotlight over Gov. Pat Quinn’s paycheck bazooka.

◆ To wit: Madigan, who has yet to declare publicly her quest for Quinn’s gubernatorial mantle and is being told bigger political moves would be hindered if her father, powerful state House Speaker Mike Madigan, stays in office, must now decide if Quinn’s paycheck snip is constitutional.

◆ If she declares it’s illegal, will it sound political — using a sword to go after a political foe?

◆ If she decides it’s legal, won’t it elevate Quinn’s status in the big political muscle department?

As the old Mother Goose rhyme stated: “Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey; along came a spider who sat down beside her, and frightened Miss Muffet away.”

Does a spider exist to scare Lisa Madigan? Sneed bets not.

Simon sez . . .

Ah, a tasty tidbit of political intrigue about who is running for what.

◆ Gavel grist: Sneed hears Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon may want to be Illinois attorney general but is being encouraged to run for the Illinois Supreme Court if Justice Lloyd Karmeier does not seek retention.

Royal baby blab . . .

What’s a fella to do? Prince William, whose royal issue is expected any day now, intends to play polo this Sunday — 100 miles from London.

◆ That is, of course, unless his wife, Kate Middleton, gives birth this week. Which raises the question: Why did his royal nibs have to issue such a ridiculous statement at all?

◆ Whew! Let us breathe a sigh of relief knowing Kate’s mother, Carole, who will be present at the birth, received emergency midwife training from British Airways when she was a stewardess in 1976.

Sneedlings . . .

I spy: Actor/comedian and Chicago native Neil Flynn stopped in at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse on Kinzie on Tuesday after attending the Cubs game. . . . Former Yankees manager Joe Torre lunched at Rosebud on Rush on Tuesday. . . . Condolences to the family of Cook County state’s attorney spokeswoman Sally Daly, whose beloved mother, Rose, died Tuesday at 89. A big hug, my dear Sally. . . . Congrats to Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin on becoming executive director of the Builders Association. . . Thursday’s birthdays: Lil Kim, 39; Richie Sambora, 54, and Giorgio Armani, 79.



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