Monday, December 12, 2005

Duckworth on Iraq War

Duckworth Il-06 Bid Quite Likely....

Two campaign sources tell the Hotline that it looks very likely that Tammy Duckworth (D), a triple amputee who sustained critical injuries as a Black Hawk pilot in the war in Iraq, will be running in the IL-06 race against state Sen. Peter Roskam (R).

Duckworth has been mum about a potential campaign; she can't comment while on active duty.. but DCCC Chmn. Rahm Emanuel (D) has been actively recruiting her. Duckworth is not originally from Illinois -- she was born in Hawaii, with an undergraduate degree at the University of Hawaii and a graduate degree at George Washington University. She moved to Illinois when she was a doctoral student at Northern Illinois University. She joined ROTC there, and later served in the state National Guard in 1996 before being deployed to Iraq. And according to the Chicago Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet, she is presently applying for a release from active duty -- a necessary precursor to officially enter the race.

The district borders Emanuel's -- and he views this race as a key chance to pick up a seat that GOPer Henry Hyde has held since 1974. It also borders Speaker Dennis Hastert's (R) district, as well. Assuming Duckworth enters, this could easily be one of the most competitive and compelling House matchups -- a talented, aspiring Republican state senator against a genuine war hero -- with members of both parties' leadership right next door. The district leans Republican, but it's clearly a swing district that Dems can pick up. Obama won easily here, and Bush only won with 53% of the vote in '04.

Duckworth's policy views are largely a mystery. But she is likely to take a more favorable view of the war in Iraq than some of the current Dem leadership in the House. As a guest of Sen. Dick Durbin for President Bush's 2005 State of the Union Address, she said: "Getting to see this ritual of democracy in person tonight is not only a fantastic experience, it really brings home what we were over in Iraq fighting for -- this country and the freedoms that go with it."

Sounds more Lieberman-esque, than something coming from Min Ldr Nancy Pelosi. [JOSH KRAUSHAAR]

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