Four years ago, President Barack Obama's name was as good as gold in the northwest suburban 8th Congressional District, where he trounced Republican John McCain.
Democratic congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth is hoping to ride those Obama coattails through a recorded phone call he made on her behalf that began going out Monday evening.
Paid for by Duckworth's campaign committee, the robocall represents Obama's first foray into an Illinois political contest this fall, and the recording doesn't make mention of her Tea Party-backed GOP opponent, U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh.
Here's the script:
"Hi this is President Barack Obama and I'm calling to ask you to vote for my friend Tammy Duckworth on Tuesday, November 6th. Tammy served our country with valor. She was a tireless advocate for Veterans as a member of my administration and she will be a powerful voice for the middle class.
"Now we need her in Congress to fight for good jobs, to improve public education and to strengthen the middle class. I know Tammy. I know her commitment and dedication to the people of Illinois is unwavering. When you go to vote on Tuesday I hope I can count on you to support Tammy Duckworth for Congress."
Walsh's campaign belittled the president's involvement in one of the nation's most closely watched congressional contests.
"For a candidate who had a district drawn just for her, this shows the level she's going to go to get elected, it's not surprising," said Justin Roth, Walsh's campaign chief of staff. "The fact she needs to call in all the heavyweights, the big Democrats, shows she's against the ropes and she's scared."
In 2008, Obama got 62 percent of the vote in the 8th Congressional District, making it one of the most heavily concentrated Obama strongholds in the country now represented by a Republican congressman.
Obama's work on behalf of Duckworth comes after she appeared with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) at a fundraiser last Thursday at Harry Caray's downtown to benefit Democratic congressional candidates here.
Two other Democratic hopefuls, former U.S. Rep. Bill Foster and 10th Congressional District candidate Brad Schneider, each have had recorded phone calls piped into their districts in the past day by former President Bill Clinton.
Walsh, meanwhile, spent the day campaigning, starting the day off at an Itasca train station with U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.).