Bill Daley on his family’s next generation and the future of the Daley dynasty

SHARE Bill Daley on his family’s next generation and the future of the Daley dynasty
SHARE Bill Daley on his family’s next generation and the future of the Daley dynasty

Former White House chief of staff William Daley predicted more young relatives would get involved in politics after his nephew Patrick Daley Thompson became the first family member to take elected office this week.

“In one form another they’ve all been involved in public service or politics,” said Daley, who again is publicly pondering a run for governor. “I think they’ll stay that way. Some are active in charities … A couple of [Thompson’s] cousins helped him out on his campaign [for commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago] and stuff like that. They seem to have interest. Others have no other interest. They’re like, ‘Uh-huh, thanks, we’re out of this stuff.’ So, they’re all unique. They’re all different.”

Daley mused about the future of the local political dynasty in an exclusive interview with the Sun-Times after Thompson was sworn into office Tuesday. The comments came as Daley broke the family’s silence to react to Monday’s indictment of another nephew — Richard “R.J.” Vanecko — on an involuntary manslaughter charge.

In his inaugural speech, Thompson singled out Daley for his support as he was growing up.

“I’m his godfather,” Daley explained. “I give him more grief than any of the other [uncles].”

Daley said he expected Thompson, a lawyer, to succeed as an elected official: “He’s a great young guy. He’s worked hard to get to this job. He’s excited about it and I think he’ll do a heckuva [job]. He takes it very seriously. So we wish him good luck. It’s a real proud day for all of us.”

But Daley would venture no predictions when Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown asked if Thompson planned to seek higher office before long.

“I don’t know,” Daley said. “He’s first got to do a job, you know. People who get elected for a job and start to look for the next job usually get in trouble. And I don’t think he’s of that mind. That doesn’t mean that he probably won’t — we’ll find out. Maybe he’ll find out public service is a lot harder and not as much fun as he thought. Maybe he’ll decide to go do something else. I really believe that people, on the day they get inaugurated, if they don’t concentrate on the job they’re going to do, and start look for another job — that’s a problem today in politics [with] too many people.”

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