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Madigans and Mells: Who Needs More From Our Political Family Dramas?

07/19/2013 11:30 am ET | Updated Sep 18, 2013

House Speaker Michael J. Madigan doesn't just talk the talk. He walks the walk.

I guess we all really know now, once and for all, that Mike Madigan, truly, does NOT believe in early retirement.

Think about it. He's leading by example for all those union members who are balking at having to retire later in life as part of some of the pension crisis solutions.

What a fascinating few weeks in the world of "All My Illinois Political Children" we've been watching, eh?

Really. That statement issued by Attorney General Lisa Madigan is a virtual gold mine.

She pretty much laid it out there that she can't run for governor because her dad won't retire as Speaker at age 71 and after 42 years in elected office.

"Ultimately, however, there has always been another consideration that impacts my decision," Lisa Madigan's statement read. "I feel strongly that the state would not be well served by having a Governor and Speaker of the House from the same family and have never planned to run for Governor if that would be the case. With Speaker Madigan planning to continue in office, I will not run for Governor."

As whomever runs the fake Mike Madigan Twitter account @Speaker Madigan put it in a pseudo-tweet from the Speaker: "I anticipated a somewhat awkward Thanksgiving dinner this year." Classic.

Anything else strike you about that quote from Lisa Madigan? I suppose it's got to be done in formal public life, but I also noticed the way she referred to her dad as Speaker Madigan.

She probably really didn't have much choice, right? She couldn't very well say, "With Dad planning to occupy office for every second possible..." or "With that other Madigan planning to stay forever..." Still it seems so weird to see a daughter refer to her father as "Speaker Madigan."

It's even weirder to me than hearing Michelle Obama refer to her husband as "the president."

Of course, it's also worth noting that General Madigan's statement said she has "always" had another consideration that she feels "strongly" that the state would not be well served with a governor and speaker from the same family.

Odd because many of us remember hearing her say in June that she didn't think there'd be any problem with a governor and speaker from the same family.

It would have been a big problem.

It's already getting a little sticky, what with Democratic state Rep. Deborah Mell holding hearings about the Metra mess that involves Speaker Madigan that's causing Attorney General Madigan's office to have to answer questions about what she'll do if there's any hint there should be more of a formal investigation launched from the Metra fallout.

Actually, there probably wouldn't be any Metra hearings if Speaker Madigan didn't approve them and so he is in some way condoning the negative attention he's been getting for acknowledging that he asked for a long-time campaign worker to get a raise at his Metra job.

I suspect, then, that he is fairly confident he did nothing legally wrong. Or at least that nothing will come of it.

Or, maybe he's just confident that House Mass Transit Committee Chairman Mell soon will be leaving the committee and the House to become the next Alderman Mell, thereby giving him the power to appoint the next chair or watch this all eventually fade away.

What will happen next? Will Lisa and Mike stand side by side smiling warmly at the Democrats' big rally day at the state fair? Or will Attorney General Madigan authorize an investigation into Speaker Madigan's Metra manueverings? Will Chairman Mell become Alderman Mell and this all goes away? Perhaps soon-to-be former Alderman Dick Mell will be the next appointee Metra Board of Directors, appointed to save the political day?

In Illinois, the possibilities are endless. Don't touch that dial! Stay tuned for the next episode.

-- See more at Reboot Illinois