By Chris Fusco and Lynn Sweet
Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, chief of the Illinois Veterans Affairs Department, appears will be tapped Tuesday to be an assistant secretary in President Obama's Department of Veterans Affairs, a White House source told the Chicago Sun-Times Monday night.
Duckworth comes to the White House with backing from powerful political patrons: Obama, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and senior White House adviser David Axelrod, who fostered her failed 2006 House bid.
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed Duckworth state veterans affairs chief in December 2006 after her high-profile congressional campaign. While serving in Iraq, Duckworth lost her legs and mangled her arm when a helicopter she was in was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.
Duckworth has not been affected by Blagojevich's political problems and has emerged as one of his most widely praised cabinet members.