The 2014 race of Illinois governor is still a long way off, but that hasn't stopped several would-be candidates from declaring, teasing and otherwise hinting at their gubernatorial ambitions.
(Scroll down for a list of rumored Illinois gubernatorial candidates in 2014.)
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan — who was previously quite mum on the issue — seemed to tip her hand significantly, according to ABC Chicago.
"I think there's a lot of people who are considering what they want to do in the future and if they can be of greater service to the people of the state. I am among those people," Madigan said.
U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, most recently in D.C. to emcee the Illinois State Society inaugural ball, said to ABC, "I think I can make the case to my primary voters that maybe we need to be thinking about who can actually win the general election," he said.
Schock's confidence, meanwhile, was met with a metaphorical eye-roll of FLOTUS-like proportions from another potential GOP contender.
"I do not think he’s the right person or qualified to be governor — not even close," said rumored candidate Bruce Rauner to the State Journal Register in Springfield.
The recently-retired influential businessman (with close ties to Rahm Emanuel) said he supported Schock's run for... Congress.
Schock told the Register he finds Rauner's alleged about-face "interesting," chiding the businessman for lousy tactics. Schock went on to say Rauner "four years ago met with me and encouraged me to run for governor... and said that he and his friends would raise me all the money I ever needed.”
Unlike the bolder statements from Schock and Madigan, former U.S. commerce secretary, banking executive and White House chief of staff (and former Chicago mayor Richard Daley's younger brother) played it coy at a recent charity event.
"I'm talking to a lot of friends and elected officials and people that are involved in community activities and getting their sense of what is needed and whether or not they think I can add something to the debate."
Daley also confirmed to state politics blog Capitol Fax that former President Bill Clinton has encouraged him to run for the office.
Race-watchers can rule out at least one major political player: Rahm Emanuel.
Emanuel told the Tribune during weekend inauguration festivities he is only interested in the job he currently has.
"I love what I'm doing," said Emanuel. "I think being mayor is the best job promotion I've ever gotten."
Current Gov. Pat Quinn has maintained he is focused on governing and not on defending his seat come 2014. Quinn's approval ratings have been sagging since before November when he was voted the nation's least-popular governor — and likely did not improve after the state's credit rating took another hit Jan. 11.