December 16, 2005

One to watch

This should be an interesting race, and Duckworth will no doubt get enormous, including national, press attention.

And no matter what the outcome, there's a silver lining to it all.

Philanderer and amiable dunce Henry ("The flag is falling!) Hyde will no longer be in office.
With a campaign totally packaged by some of the nation's leading Democratic strategists in Washington and Illinois, wounded Iraq war vet Tammy Duckworth will announce a Democratic congressional primary bid Sunday.
Duckworth was released from active Army duty Wednesday, a necessary step for her being eligible to file nominating petitions with the state by the Monday deadline for the seat being vacated by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.).

Active military personnel cannot run for office.

The Duckworth campaign is entirely orchestrated by a team of political professionals with ties to Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the chief of the Democrats' House political organization.

Duckworth will talk about her run for the first time today, in a series of interviews timed to coincide with her campaign rollout.

Duckworth, making her first political bid, was recruited to run by Emanuel and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who met her while visiting wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.

Duckworth, an Army major, lost her legs and badly hurt an arm after the Blackhawk helicopter she was piloting was hit by a missile in November 2004.

Emanuel started looking for a candidate because he was convinced that Cegelis could not beat the likely GOP nominee, state Sen. Pete Roskam (R-Wheaton).

Nationally, Emanuel has been trying to recruit candidates with military and national security backgrounds in order to dramatically demonstrate that the Democratic Party is not anti-military.
Of course, Rich Miller was all over this back in November.

Here's a pretty graphic account of the ordeal Duckworth went through when the helicopter she was piloting was hit by a rocket.

I've asked this before, (I think it got a whopping one comment), but is recruiting Iraq/Afghanistan vets to be Dem candidates a very practical and shrewd goal, or do you disagree?

While the strategy seems sound and hard to argue with, there is still an aspect to it that's awfully calculating and cynical.

Not to take a thing away from Ms. Duckworth, but an African Asian-American candidate has a certain symbolism and political value, and an African Asian-American female, even more. But now they've found an African Asian-American female who also happens to be a severely wounded Iraq vet.

No word yet if she's lesbian and her husband comes from a large latino family.

NOTE: I made a horrible blunder in thinking Duckworth was African-American. As pointed out by a commenter, she is indeed of Asian descent and grew up in Hawaii. I'm still searching in vain for the site where I'd gotten the idea that she was African-American. The Dope regrets the error and any confusion it may have caused.


At 12/16/2005 11:23 AM, Blogger Polt said...

While it may be a bit unseemly to "recruit" candidates like this, if they're willing to do it, and eligible to do it, why not? I'd much rather put up with a slight twinge of unseemliness, than with any more time of total Republican control. It's time to derail the runaway Republican political train, and if the only way to do that is with qualified candidates with a military background, then I'll sleep just fine at night.

At 12/16/2005 11:27 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


I agree.

Seems like sound strategy, and let's face it, if the Republicans hadn't cynically (and falsely) ran a campaign to suggest that Dems are all wimps and anti-military, this tactic wouldn't be necessary.

At 12/16/2005 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Democrats have to turn the table on the GOPers, whose cynical smear campaign against combat veteran John Kerry took us to the lowest depths of smearing. If it takes recruiting combat veterans like Duckworth to win, let's do it.
Politics ain't beanbag. Democrats are tough on national security.
We're smart on national security.
We have to prove to Americans we are to win.

At 12/16/2005 12:39 PM, Blogger Carl Nyberg said...

I generally like the strategy, but I'm a vet.

There's some danger in reenforcing the public seeing veterans as symbols instead of human beings.

And there's danger in the campaign subtly reenforcing the message the GOP has a natural advantage on security issues.

At 12/16/2005 4:48 PM, Blogger highxlr8r said...

I'm nto so sure it's a bad thing to recruit candidates who have military experience. I don't think it is a good tactic to recruit exclusively from the military, or to do so over more qualified Democrats, but it is a worthy goal, considering that there is a significant percentage of the military that votes Democratic. It probably hasn't been a majority for a while,if ever, but a good segment of the military must be Democratic. So, go for it, don't use them as tools or symbols, but find qualified candidates that can speak to military issues, as well as the traditional economic issues that Democrats win with.

At 12/16/2005 5:51 PM, Blogger youngdem503 said...

If I am not mistaken Dope, isn't she Asian. I think she is was a great strategic pick haveing a female minority is great but add in the veterian part in there and you have a wining candidate. If I am not mistaken Dope, isn't she Asian. I think she is a great strategic pick having a female minority is great but add in the veteran part in there and you have a wining candidate for sure. I am not too familiar with Hyde’s district I wonder what the demographics are there.

At 12/18/2005 1:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's fine to recruit military vets - to run in districts where there isn't already a good candidate. Why recruit anyone to run against another Democrat when there are nearby districts where Pubs are running unopposed. That's the failed strategy, IMHO.

At 12/18/2005 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duckworth's entry into the race will bring great publicity for the candidates to debate the issues. Scott, Cegelis, or Duckworth: who is the strongest on the issues? I would put my money on Lindy Scott. He has worked on political issues for thirty years and already beat Cegelis in the first two debates. Take a look at his book "Terrorism and the War in Iraq."

At 12/18/2005 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christine CEGELIS is clearly the most qualified Democrat in this district. She is bright, amiable, connected to other progressive members of the House, and she is intimately involved with the growing Democratic party in this district. In fact, Cegelis created the Democratic party in my district. I know nothing about Tammy Duckworth, and I am shocked she does not reside in my district. Because Christine has been around for two years, and because Christine has been gracious enough to invite me into her home in order to discuss problems I am having with the local high school, I believe I will have to vote for her. I just wonder why Duckworth is running in my district instead of the district in which she resides: Illinois 08.


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