Could Roskam's GOP primary threat be a ploy of the Dems?
By IR Editor on Campaign Review
Could it be that Rahm Emanuel, former Clinton confidante and current U.S. Congressman for Chicago-area's 5th District, is clawing his way behind the scenes to fill retiring Cong. Henry Hyde's seat with a Democrat?
You decide for yourself . . .
Here's one scenario, the GOP/Conservative vision:
Long time U.S. Congressman Henry Hyde announces his retirement. The area's popular State Senator Peter Roskam jumps out of the starting gate pursuing local Republican party and conservative leaders' backing. Potential primary opponents give up when they realize the committed base Roskam has solidified.
Roskam runs alone through the 2006 GOP primary unscathed and unchallenged, meaning he has spent little money and hasn't been softened, making him tougher for a Democrat to knock off in the 2006 General.
The seat remains Republican and Roskam goes to Washington, becoming President of the U.S. in 2026.
Or the Dems' dream:
Rahm Emanuel, who heads the Democratic Congressional PAC decides the 6th is a district that can be picked up in 2006. He's done the polling and figures that show DuPage County isn't as solidly Republican as it has been in the past. So many Democrats and young professionals have moved from Chicago to the affluent western suburbs that the district is now in play.
Emanuel does all he can to discourage Christine Cegelis, who got 44% of the vote against Hyde in 2004, from running again. The district can go Democratic, Emanuel figures, and we can choke Speaker Hastert's power right in his own backyard. But Cegelis isn't the one to do it. She's just too liberal and too Democratic.
Plan B, Emanuel thinks. "We go for a sympathetic image, one that is more mainstream and will touch the hearts of soccer moms and mushy professionals.
"Yeah, we draft an Iraqi war veteran to run in the district," he strategizes, "but let's notch it up -- let's make the vet a female, and take it up one more, one who's lost both her legs while fighting what Americans are beginning to believe is an unjust war!"
Two problems remain -- Cegelis isn't ready to give up her aspirations and Peter Roskam is just a little too hungry and just a bit too popular in the district to pull off Emanuel's dream.
So, Cegelis begins to feel the squeeze. Democrats begin not returning her calls, her money stream freezes. She's left out in the cold. Finished. Kaput.
Now to soften Roskam. Emanuel sends an intermediary to a local GOP women's group leader who is passionate about the right to abort babies. That leader agrees that "ultra-conservative" Roskam can't be allowed to be unchallenged in the primary, and meets with a guy who is willing to run as a pro-abortion Republican.
Abortion becomes the issue, Roskam is veered off message and he's not as invincible as he once was.
Emanuel dumps millions of dollars into the 6th District (after all, he raised a record $70 million for Clinton's 1992 presidential bid) and the fight for Hyde's seat becomes brutal.
We speculate, you decide . . .
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