Bill Daley doesn't mince words when he talks about wanting to unseat fellow Democrat, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, in the state's gubernatorial primary in March.
"We've got a situation in our state that's very dire and we need new leadership," Daley told News 8.
In the Quad Cites for the first time since announcing his candidacy, Daley, the former Commerce Secretary and Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama, said, in this race, at least, he's an outsider.
"I've been around politics and government, but not for the past 12 years, like Governor Quinn has been" he told News 8, "It needs to change, and I think I can bring a different way of looking at things."
Daley claims it's a lack of leadership from the governor's mansion, especially on the issue of pension reform, that's lead to a Democratic-controlled stalemate statewide, and he doesn't begrudge longtime Democrats for questioning the party's plan.
"There's good reason to be skeptical," Daley said. "but I think part of the problem is these people have all been in the system too long. The governor, he and Blagojevich were together for six years, and a lot of the problems we're dealing with today are the results of policy decisions that they made."
As for any Western Illinois voters' concerns that his deep ties to Chicago, including a father and brother who'd served as mayor there for more than four decades combined, would guide his politics, Daley asks voters to simply give him a chance to be his own man.
"We often think of stereotypes," Daley said, "but the truth is, there are fewer people in Chicago, less than 3 million people in Chicago-- there's over 12 million people in the state."
The Illinois Democratic Primary is set for March 18, 2014.