-- His gubernatorial term got off to a rocky start with a series of spending missteps, including much-criticized decisions to upgrade his state-funded car from a Ford to a Cadillac, a $27,000 taxpayer-funded office renovation, and the creation of a chief-of-staff position for the first lady's office.
-- He faces low poll numbers.
-- He's been criticized for taking a position on the board of the now-defunct Ameriquest Capital Corp., a mortgage company accused of predatory lending practices.
BIO: Age: 54. Harvard Law School graduate, clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall. One of the nation's leading legal scholars. Author of numerous ground-breaking books on constitutional law and behavioral economics. Recently left long-time post as University of Chicago Law School professor to join faculty at Harvard Law.
-- He would be a judicial rock star on the court who could easily go toe-to-toe with Roberts and Scalia and leave a lasting legacy for Obama.
-- He is collegial and supported Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court.
-- He is a close adviser on legal issues to Obama, who deeply admires his accomplishments.
-- As a white man from the rarefied world of academia -- who graduated from and taught at elite educational institutions -- he flunks the "diversity" criteria.