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Bill Daley may be close to announcing gubernatorial bid, source says

In still from GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's candidacy announcement video farmer waters his crops front mountains. Phofrom

In a still from GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's candidacy announcement video, a farmer waters his crops in front of mountains. Photo from

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Updated: July 7, 2013 1:07PM

Sneed exclusive . . .

Whoa!!! Sneed hears former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley may be this/close to officially announcing his bid for governor.

A top Daley source tells Sneed: “He seemed to be heading off the campaign trail but is now in a furor over the state’s latest pension debacle.”

Is it green-light time?

“I’ll let you know next week,” Daley told Sneed. “And that’s all I’m going to say.”

A top source close to Daley, who was Commerce secretary during Bill Clinton’s presidency, tells Sneed, “Daley was already outraged by the state’s financial mess — but seemed to be steering out of the campaign business.

“But all that changed in the last few days,” the source said.

“The truth is the absolute defense. So consider the latest debacle in the state’s escalating pension crisis and latest fumble by House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton,” said a Daley source. “It’s got Bill eyeing a new course.”

Daley was reportedly tired of waiting to see if Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who is raising tons of cash, was going to jump into the race.

“But that doesn’t seem to matter anymore,” the source added.

Informed speculation has it that Daley was definitely not going to run for governor if Madigan — Speaker Madigan’s daughter, a huge vote-getter who outdistanced Daley in early polling — jumped into the gubernatorial fray.

“He now seems loaded for bear,” another Daley source said.

Stay tuned.

The Rauner race . . .

Huh? Is this a case of mountains or molehills?

Sneed watched multimillionaire Bruce Rauner’s video announcing his Republican run for governor and poses a question.

Just where are those mountains and/or huge hills in Illinois appearing in Rauner’s campaign video — which seems largely comprised of stock B-roll — and includes a farmer irrigating his field in front of a mountainous silhouette?

Could this be near Rauner’s ranch in Montana? Nawwww.

Obamarama . . .

The power list: Wanna know President Barack Obama’s power clique, who are thick as thieves and recipients of Obama’s undying support no matter what?

◆ The clique: White House senior adviser/best friend Valerie Jarrett, who has been accused of clogging up the White House machinery; embattled new National Security chief Susan Rice, who was blasted for her handling of the Benghazi kerfuffle; embattled Attorney General Eric Holder, who has been blasted for the IRS scandal and his media probes, and new U.N. Ambassador-nominee Samantha Power, who was blasted for once calling Hillary Clinton a “monster” when the former first lady was running for president.

Oh, well.

The party place . . .

The crew of the new flick, “Divergent,” which is being filmed in Chicago, lost no time finding a reason to party before they wrapped up the movie. Thus, the crew and film’s stars, Shailene Woodley and Theo James, were spotted hanging out at the Public House recently for what they called “The Half Party.”

Test for Vonn . . .

Vonn verdict: Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods’ new girlfriend, was abruptly tested for drugs as mandated by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency during her Monday night attendance at the Council of Fashion Designers of America gala in New York.

According to the New York Post, Vonn, who is training for the 2014 Winter Olympics, was told she had to be available at a moment’s notice for the urine test — which was conducted in a public bathroom while she was wearing a couture gown!

Sneedlings . . .

Thursday’s birthdays: Paul Giamatti, 46; Bjorn Borg, 57, and Natalie Morales, 41.

The Edwards file . . .

Checking in: Former Dem vice-presidential nominee John Edwards, of marital affair fame, is returning to public life by opening a new law firm in Raleigh, N.C.

◆ Tweet twaddle: Surprisingly, Edwards, seems to want to stay mostly out of the public eye — by giving up his Twitter handle, @JohnEdwards, which was once scoured by media.

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