Bill Daley for governor? He doesn’t want to talk about it

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.–Former White House chief-of-staff Bill Daley’s name has been floated as a possible Democratic challenger to embattled incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn, but don’t bother asking Daley about it. He doesn’t want to talk about a 2014 run.

“Oh, I’m not gonna get into that. Come on. That’s silly,” Daley said after dropping in at Wednesday’s Il. delegation breakfast in Charlotte.

“It’s a year- and-a-half away. That’s silly. You’ve got better things to do. You’re at a convention to elect a president of the United States from our home state and you’re worrying about some election 2.5 years from now. It’s silly.”

Quinn’s budget cuts and sagging poll numbers–along with an ugly fight with organized labor over his proposed pension reforms–has set him up for a possible primary challenge.

Asked whether he considers the governor vulnerable to a challenge from within his own party, Daley said, “I have no idea. I don’t know.”

Bill Daley is the younger brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley. He led the fight for NAFTA and served as U.S. Commerce Secretary under former President Bill Clinton, then chaired Vice-President Al Gore’s ill-fated presidential campaign and quarterbacked the infamous Florida recount in 2000.

Bill Daley’s name has been floated repeatedly for governor and U.S. Senate races, but he has never pulled the trigger on a run for political office.

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