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Duckworth on CNN: Defends her primary win as ``pretty darn good.''


Wounded Iraq war vet Tammy Duckworth, the Democratic nominee for the 6th congressional district in Illinois, was just interviewed on CNN.

The setup: All but one of the Iraq war vets running for Congress are Democrats.

Duckworth was first asked, however, to explain if her win--44 percent against two rivals, Christine Cegelis and Lindy Scott--showed anything about the strategy of running Iraq vets.

The CNN interviewer was trying to tie Duckworth to a national theme about Iraq vets running....but Duckworth's showing in the three-way contest was also a manifestation of how she got in the race late with the help of national sponsors--running against home-grown challengers. All politics are local.

Duckworth said her 44 percent was ``pretty darn good.''
She competed against ``a wealth of great candidates.''
Tuesday's Illinois primary was ``more a referendum on that.''
There were ``two strong candidates,'' she said.

Turning to the Iraq war, Duckworth was asked if Dems were using Iraq vets as sacrificial lambs just to earn credibility on the war.
Replied Duckworth, ``I'm just worried about the sixth.''

Asked why it was a mistake to invade Iraq, Duckworth said, as she has since she got in the race, that the U.S. needed to ``concentrate on enemies who attack us.''

She then brought up health care and Medicare Part D. (Democrats are in the midst of a campaign to extend the deadline to sign up for the new drug benefit.)

Asked about Bush's defense of the war, Duckworth said the only thing she heard when she went off to Iraq is that she would be greeted with roses.

The interview ended as she brought up Halliburton's no bid contracts.


Duckworth will have to win my vote. I will not give it to her just because she has a D after her name.

And the way she can win my vote is by moving into the district. I realize that she only lives a bit outside the district and her house has been modified for her disability, but by moving into the district and seriously uprooting her life, like Christine did, she will prove to me she is more concerned with winning the district than her own comfort. I know where her house is a non issue to most democrats but the republicans will pound on it and her moving would be great publicity. Duckworth can spout all the progressive positions but all it will get her is a flip-flopper label. Also, once she wins she can go the way of bean and forget all her progressive promises. There is no guarantee that when she gets to the cesspit that is Washington that her handlers and the K street boys will not change her mind for her. By moving to the district she shows in a very physical way she cares about the district.

No more hollow mouthing “I will fight for the district��?. Actions speak louder than words.

The 6th District is too damn Republican. I am sorry to break this news to everyone, but it does not matter if Cegelis won or not. Neither Duckworth or Cegelis would get the votes to beat Roskam. You might as well leave the Congress spot blank in November and undervote. That is the best message to send. It is a lost cause.

Christine Cegelis was such an excellent candidate and should consider running in another district in 2008, like the 10th against Mark Kirk. Yes, Kirk will easily beat his lame Dem opponent again. Sorry.

I'm sorry, but I don't know which decade you're living in. The 6th isn't solidly Republican, and everyone who can vote for Duckworth should. This district is trending Democratic. In 1988 Bush's father got a whooping 68% of the vote. In 2004, Bush got just 53%. I will admit, you are right on one thing Cegelis had no possibility in Hell of winning. Emanuel gave her a chance to prove herself, he's not anti-grassroots. She screwed it up. She raised less seventy thousand dollars in seven months, Roskam raised almost six hundred thousand. He needed a more competetive candidate who was a stronger fundraiser. Dick Durbin pointed him to Tammy Duckworth. I don't hold it against him. It's his job to get good candidates, Cegelis didn't pull it off. I think the Democrats have a very good chance of winning this district, especially given Roskam's ties to Tom DeLay. Any Democrat who wants proof that Rahm Emanuel isn't anti-grassroots, take a look at Francine Busby. She was able to raise money, lots and lots of it, and she proved herself a viable candidate for CA-50, the seat of Duke Cunnigham. Therefore he didn't push her out of the race. And, by the way, national Democrats didn't come and interfere with local affairs, the guy whose district dorders the entire eastern side of IL-6, did. He has a pretty good understanding of the areas needs.

So allen reynolds.

Rahm telling everyone that Cegelis wasn't a good candidate because she couldn't raise money so don't give her money wasn't a self fulfilling prophecy?!

I find it funny since he was so ineffective if finding a candidate that when Durbin finally chose Duckworth they had to use staff people to circulate her petitions rather than locals and had to provide her with hundreds of thousands of dollars and a campaign in a can to beat Cegelis by about 2 votes per precinct.

Wow some great candidate there.

I will however give you a point because even with Cegelis on the ticket it would have been tough to win in the 6th, without her not a chance for Duckie.

Allen Reynolds:
Play all the statistics games you want. In 04, Hyde got 56% and Bush got 53% in the district. It just proves a few republicans are smarter than the rest.

Duckworth will not match the Cegelis 44% in 04. She has no base. Get it? Who will be volunteering for her? City of Chicago employee machine payrollers?

Cegelis has integrity. Duckworth is a stooge of a corrupt Chicago Democratic machine. We don't need that or Rahm as a leader?

Again, Duckworth will lose badly thanks to Rahm.

Mark Kirk is not having an easy ride right now. His opponent appears to be more qualified and he hasn't even been in Congress! The 10th is turning against Kirk. The signs are everywhere. Maybe Kirk should ask his wife what he should do!! She's even better suited for the job than he is!!

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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 March 24, 2006 8:19 AM.

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