It probably couldn't have gone any worse.
When Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn arrived at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, Ill., on Wednesday -- Governor's Day -- he was met by hundreds of pro-union demonstrators who practically drowned out his speech with boos and chants of "Gov. Quinn has got to go," "Respect Illinois workers" and "Liar!" Later, the governor made a gaffe worthy of Webster's.
As the Associated Press reports, union groups are angered by the governor's cancellation of raises for state workers and his plan to cut thousands of jobs by closing a number of state prisons and mental health clinics.
"We are extremely disturbed that at a time when collective bargaining rights for public employees are under attack by a number of Republican governors, here in Illinois we have a Democratic governor who is undermining fundamental collective bargaining rights for public employees," Michael Carrigan, president of Illinois' AFL-CIO, told the Chicago Tribune of the unions' opposition to the governor's policies.
The protesters also, NBC Chicago reports, booed other top state Democratic leaders including Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon and House Speaker Michael Madigan.
And the embarrassment didn't stop there. Quinn also made what the Chicago Sun-Times rightfully described as "the mother of all gaffes:" As the governor was attempting to rally support for President Barack Obama, he commented, "I think everybody knows that Obama, uh, he’s gone, he’s dead, and the American auto industry is alive and well, thanks to our president," the State Journal-Register reports.
A few moments later, the governor admitted that he had meant to refer to Osama Bin Laden and said that he "goofed that one up."
Still, the governor appeared to take the tough day in stride, later telling reporters that "if you want to be governor of Illinois, and you want to step into the arena, you better have a tough hide,” according to the Sun-Times.