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.

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IL-06 Press event. Put pressure on Peter Roskam today

This morning at 10am there will be a press event calling on Roskam to support parts of the First 100 Hours agenda in Schaumburg. I know it's late notice but I only got the email yesterday. Read on to see how you can join in and help force lil Petey's hand or if he sticks to his guns highlight just how out of the mainstream he is.

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DNC Chair Election

Damn Straight: James Carville for DNC Chair. Everyone agrees that seats were left on the table and a healthy discussion of why that happened will be great for the Party heading into 2008.

Carville's candidate recruitment has failed to date, so he should stop acting like such a coward and throw his own hat in the ring. Let's get it on.

The DNC deserves no less than to have a competitive campaign of ideas on whether Dean should have given the DCCC more money, especially now that Rahm Emanuel let adnags where the money would have gone [HINT: not to win the seats we left on the table]:

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Petition to the new DCCC Chair: Support our Candidates!

I recall reading that Newt Gingrich advised Republican candidates who lost House races by less than 10% to run again in the next election; some of the infamous Class of '94 freshmen who rode the Republican wave into the House had run close races in '92, and some of '94's losers won seats in '96.  I think this is one Gingrich idea we need to adopt -- and further, we need to push the DCCC to adopt it as well.

What I would ideally like to see is a petition with a huge number of signatures delivered to the new DCCC chair on his or her first day on the job.  I think Moveon.org would be the ideal forum for collecting signatures -- on-line petition drives are a large part of what they do, and their mailing list can generate literally millions of signatures in a matter of days.

If anyone on MyDD has contacts in the management of Moveon.org, I would greatly appreciate your help in bringing this to their attention; I intend to submit it via their feedback form after incorporating any comments or suggestions from the MyDD community which seem useful.  I'd especially appreciate any information on who the new DCCC chair is likely to be, what the selection process is, and when we'll know for certain.

(petition text below the fold)

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About Cegelis

In his update to Johnathan's "Examining the DCCC v. Netroots Meme" Chris laments (I corrected his spelling):

Did any grassroots and movement candidates lose in the House once they got out of the primary? Makes you wonder how Christine Cegelis would have done in IL-06.

As anyone who's read this blog since the primary is aware, I was a big proponent of Christine Cegelis' campaign and a big detractor of Duckworth's. How Christine would have faired in this race is anyone's guess, and I can only dream of what we could have done with the type of resources Duckworth's campaign had along with Christine's strong anti-war populist message.  However, right after a close loss is not the time, especially for the volunteers who worked their asses off for Duckworth. I remember how I felt after the primary. They can't feel much better and deserve credit for working so hard for a candidate they believed in or to just to try and regain the House for Democrats. Now is not the time to play "what if Rahm backed Christine."

Instead, this post is about what Christine Cegelis did post-primary. I think it's an and astonishing example of what one person is capable of doing for the Party even after it threw her under the bus.

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Diaries

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