Chicago Sun-Times
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Washington Post: Duckworth story


On the media:
Sunday’s Washington Post featured a front-page flattering story about Democratic congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth, running in the March Illinois Democratic primary for the seat being vacated by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.)
There was no new ground plowed—but, for the record, the report was wrong in explaining exactly when Duckworth ``officially’’ announced her candidacy on Dec. 18. The backstage story is this:

Back in December, Duckworth’s handlers, very eager to launch her with national attention were ready to hand an exclusive interview to ABC’s "This Week with George Stephanopoulos.’’

Stephanopoulos bragged that he would have an exclusive the week before, but it never came to pass. Even though by Dec. 17 it was clear Duckworth was running, the ``formal’’ announcement was still worthy of attention, since it would be the first time the political press would be allowed to talk to her. Duckworth's handlers originally envisioned a national rollout, ignoring the local press.

However, the Duckworth campaign switched gears and decided to offer interviews with Duckworth to interested reporters from Chicago area papers on Friday. This seemingly generous offer only came after the campaign received a strong complaint about how they (and by inference, the candidate) cared more about network exposure (great for fundraising) than the local papers.

So on Friday, Duckworth did a series of interviews with Chicago outlets as well as ABC.
The Sun-Times put up a story on its website that night. Stories ran in the Sunday edition of the Sun-Times (published on Saturday) and in other papers.

But in the Washington Post story that ran this Sunday, the Chicago-based reporter wrote , ``Duckworth formally announced her candidacy on Dec. 18 on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

Perhaps readers were supposed to infer something between the lines. But the line itself-never happened.


From what I hear, the theory of Duckworth's handlers is that if they overwhelm residents of IL-6 with enough glossy mail pieces and automated "robo" calls, the people will meekly do the bidding of Duckworth's Chicago and DC masters.

But maybe, just maybe, the good Democrats of DuPage and Western Cook county will instead listen to their friends and neihbors, as well as to the:

* International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), which has thousands of workers in the district (because of O'Hare)

* Illinois Committee for Honest Government

* Independent Voters of Illinois - Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO), which conducted its endorsement session IN the district to get local input.

* Schaumburg Area Democratic Organization

* Democracy for America of Elk Grove Township

and many more LOCAL organizations that back Christine. People may also remember that they voted for Christine TWICE in 2004, as she became the first candidate in decades to give Henry Hyde a run for his money.

Those are some nice endorsements, but I think Tammy has some equally impressive supporters:

Illinois AFL-CIO

Citizen Action/Illinois

Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT)

Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31

EMILY's List

not to mention Senator Durbin, Senator Obama, and Congresswoman Schakowsky.

Yes, just as I said: a bunch of Chicago and DC based politicians and organizations, most of whom didn't even bother interviewing Cegelis this time around: two minutes with Duckworth (actually with Rahm Emanuel) and their minds were made up. True democracy in action -- NOT!!!

So the Progressive Democrats of America and Democracy for America are based out of DuPage county?

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 21, 2006 6:23 PM.

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