Duckworth Looks at Another Run in Illinois 6
by Jonathan Singer, Tue May 29, 2007 at 11:06:23 AM EDT
(Just as an aside as I quickly connect to the internet from O'Hare airport in Chicago en route to Portland: As I alluded to in my previous post, I was hoping to be able to use my wireless broadband card from ATT/Cingular to connect my MacBook Pro to the internet this weekend so I could blog during a family vacation, but simply put the card did not work even though there was more than sufficient coverage from the company where I was. A few of you recommended switching over to Sprint. Do others agree? Any other suggestions for those in my boat who have a Mac and want to have wireless broadband coverage?)
According to a blog post from the Chicago Sun-Times' columnist Lynn Sweet, one of the Democrats' most heralded and watched 2006 congressional candidates, Tammy Duckworth, is looking at possibly making another bid for the House in 2008.
Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs chief Tammy Duckworth told the Chicago Sun-Times she is considering a second run for Congress, torn this Memorial Day weekend over whether she can do more good for vets in her current post or in the House.
Duckworth, a wounded Iraq war vet, is weighing a rematch with Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) in the west suburban 6th District after a narrow loss to him in 2006.
"I am wrestling with it on a daily basis," she said when we talked Sunday.
Without wading into previous debates over the role of the Democratic Congressional Committee in the primary in Illinois' sixth congressional district during the 2006 cycle, I just want to take the opportunity to lay down a few thoughts on the prospect of another run by Duckworth in 2008.
I am not inherently opposed to Duckworth running again, at least in part because I think she can win in the district, which leans about three points towards the Republicans in presidential campaigns, according to the Cook Partisan Voting Index. But if she is to run again, I believe it would be in her best interest to run a fundamentally different campaign in 2008 than she did in 2006.
Take Nancy Boyda as an example. During the 2004 cycle, when she first ran against Jim Ryun as a much touted candidate for the Democrats, she matched the Republican incumbent almost dollar for dollar with strong support -- and perhaps too much advice -- from Democrats inside the Beltway, losing by a 15-point margin. In 2006, however, Boyda ran a significantly more grassroots-focused campaign with less support and attention from the Beltway, but managed to win by a 4-point margin despite being outspent by a significant amount of money.
This, of course, is not to say that Duckworth should forsake campaign contributions in a potential 2008 run. Far from that. But if she wants to run and win in 2008, I would hope that she would learn from her mistakes during the 2006 cycle as well as the successes of candidates like Boyda and New Hampshire's Carol Shea-Porter, both of whom were able to overcome the odds to win by relying more heavily on the grassroots than those in the Beltway.