Whenever a new governor is about to be sworn in, one of the most popular Springfield parlor games is figuring out who is on their way out and who is on their way in.
Of course, when a new governor is sworn in from a different party, the "who is out" part is relatively easy - pretty much everybody without civil-service job protection is out. Governor-elect Bruce Rauner is a Republican who just defeated Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, so almost all of Quinn's people are surely gone.
But who will Rauner bring in to run the government? I cannot tell you how many times I'm asked that question every day.
Much of the recent local speculation has focused on Republican state legislators, partly because most of the people closest to the outsider Rauner are unknown to the Springfield crowd. Legislators, on the other hand, are very well known. Some of those legislators are not-so-subtly floating their own names; some are just naturally assumed to be on a short list.
As a result, there are so many rumors going around about so many legislators being "sure thing" appointments that I long ago lost track of the count. It seems at times that the number could be half of the Republican caucus.