Quinn faces key leadership test in coming weeks

CHICAGO – The weeks ahead may be Gov. Pat Quinn's ultimate test.

He has set a January deadline for solving the state's pension crisis — a decades-old problem he says he was "put on this earth" to solve.

He's facing lawmakers intent on expanded gambling in the state despite his veto. And all of it is magnified by the emerging 2014 campaign for governor, with Republicans already lining up to take him on and a few of his party colleagues considering it too.

Quinn insists in an interview with The Associated Press that he runs Illinois as a peacemaker, gathering everyone together, hearing them out and trying for consensus.

But as the Chicago Democrat enters critical weeks, he looks more at home in his old ways as a populist rallying the public.