Duckworth Looks at Another Run in Illinois 6

(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.

Tags: House 2008, IL-06, Illinois, Tammy Duckworth (all tags)

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by Jeff Wegerson 2007-05-29 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Duckworth Looks at Another Run in Illinois 6

Roskam and the Repubs outspent Duckworth $10 million to $7 million even though Tammy personally outraised Roskam by over a million bucks. That's quite a bit more than the $300,000 Ryun outspent Boyda by. The Repubs weren't going to be outspent for Henry Hyde's seat which is bordered on one side by Hastert's and Emanuel's on the other. I expect with Hastert retiring there won't be nearly as much money spent in this district next time. If that means fewer dumb DCCC commercials undermining the Dem candidate then that's fine with me. If there ever was too much money spent on a race this one was it.  

Roskam claims he won by being the "local" candidate. Of course that included photoshopping Duckworth's eyes in his ads to make her look like Mao's daughter. But he may have had a point when he said it was more important to have a write up in the Lombardian than foreign mags like the Economist or the Financial Times.

As for running a better campaign herself, Tammy could have done worse. Jon Carson her campaign manager is now Obama's Illinois manager. The ground game was there but she got carpet bombed in the air war.

by markg8 2007-05-29 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Duckworth Looks at Another Run in Illinois 6

I have been connecting to the internet via my Sprint cell phone for years, without serious problems. I have their older "Vision" service so it's not nearly as fast as their newer "Power Vision" service, which is supposed to approach if not rival broadband speeds (in both directions). More like a 56K modem connection for me, maybe a tad faster. But it works, is reliable, connects anywhere I can use my phone, and fast enough for occasional use when I'm away from home or free WiFi.

By way of illustration, last year I took Amtrak cross-country, and was able to connect to the internet most of the time, even in remote areas, because it works wherever cell phones work. Try doing that with WiFi. If you do much travelling and driving, this is really the only reliable way to connect to the internet at present.

Note that my setup requires a special USB cable to connect the phone to my laptop, but that this is supposed to be equivalent in terms of performance and connectivity to a dedicated PCMCIA card. I do it this way because I don't have a need for a dedicated card since I don't use it that often, and service is essentially free, since it doesn't eat up my talk minutes or cost me anything extra because it's an extension of the "Vision" service that's mainly meant for phone-based browsing.

Sprint reportedly frowns upon such usage, but the word is that so long as you don't abuse it--which I don't, around 100MB-200MB/month--they won't bother you. And I understand that the much faster and newer "Power Vision" service does away with this restriction if you have the right service plan. You can even connect your phone wirelessly to your laptop using bluetooth, if both have this capability. But if you'll be using this a lot then you probably want a dedicated PCMCIA card and service plan.

Basically, it works, it's reliable, it's available just about everywhere, it's not that expensive, and with their newer phones it's supposed to be quite fast. And I'm guessing that it's also more secure than WiFi.

Good luck.

by kovie 2007-05-29 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Duckworth Looks at Another Run in Illinois 6

It would have been a race we could have won if sockpuppet duckworth hadn't used democraticparty funds to torpedo the true local candinate Cegelis just so a good corporate d could block out a grassroots progressive.

Duckworth's entire campaign was made in Emmanuels office with no regard for the district or the grassroots. Duckworth is a loser and a spoiler to hear of her thinking about a grassroots campaign is a joke.

by Rational 2007-05-29 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Duckworth Looks at Another Run in Illinois 6

Cegelis needs to run again and we need to have her back. Duckworth was hoisted on them by Rahm after Cegelis had done the heavy lifting in the district by running a grassroots campaign with no big party help the last time around. Duckworth ran a crappy campaign and from what I heard didn't seem to understand many of the issues at play.

by Quinton 2007-05-30 12:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Duckworth Looks at Another Run in Illinois 6

We can make IL-06, IL-10, IL-11, and IL-13 all safe Dem districts in the 2011 redistricting.  The key is moving some 85%-15% Democratic territory close to Chicago in Cook County out of IL-01, IL-02, and IL-04 into all of these districts and taking away chunks of Dupage, Will, and the Westernmost more conservative parts of Cook county and placing them into IL-01, IL-02, and IL-04.  This could give us a 15-4 Democratic delegation in 2012.

by Toddwell 2007-05-29 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Duckworth Looks at Another Run in Illinois 6

Sprint has 2 USB cards, so that would work with Macs and PCS, which is a nice plus. Since I use Sprint for voice as well, I get the unlimited plan for $49.99. I get 700kbps-1200 on speedtest.net everywhere I have used it (DE and FL). I like Cingular for voice coverage, but Sprint overall meets voice needs well and data needs exceptionally.  I'd call them and simply ask if they can match the "SERO unlimited MB plan for 49.99". I bet they will and that will save you $10 a month :)

by Airb330 2007-05-29 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Duckworth Looks at Another Run in Illinois 6

It was so great to see Pelosi become Speaker and Duckworth lose.

by Bob Brigham 2007-05-29 08:33PM | 0 recs
P.S.

If Duckworth runs again, I hope she loses. And in an ideal world, Bean would lose, too.

by Bob Brigham 2007-05-29 08:36PM | 0 recs
Re: P.S.

I hope Cegelis runs again. Bean does seem to sadly be a fairly good match for her district. We're going to have to stomach a few members and senators whose primary value is adding to our a majority. We put up with them when we have to so we remain in the majoirty and we work to replace the faux moderate republicans with progressive democrats and we put pressure on and primary if necessary our incumbants that aren't as progressive as their district and who are vote poorly. That will help us build a progressive majority into a progressive super majority of our caucus while maintaining an increasingly strong majority in the house and senate as a whole.

by Quinton 2007-05-30 12:22AM | 0 recs

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