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Reply #3: Tammy Duckworth [View All]

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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-19-06 02:45 PM
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3. Tammy Duckworth
Big names back Duckworth, but where's ground support?
Chicago Sun Times (IL), Final, Sec. News, p 14 (03-06-2006)
By Lynn Sweet ; Special to The Chicago Sun-Times

It was snowing Sunday afternoon, and cold in north suburban Roselle, so I concede upfront that the weather impacted the turnout at a "family fun festival" campaign event for Democratic congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth.

There is a saying in politics: If you want a big crowd, book a small room. The classroom in the basement of a Roselle Park District building at 555 Byrn Mawr had space to spare.

During the course of more than an hour, no more than 20 adults showed up, not counting Duckworth staff and children, and I may be overestimating the size of the crowd.

It's not that the Duckworth campaign did not try to round up folks; I was hanging around her storefront headquarters in a Lombard strip mall Saturday afternoon, and I listened as about six volunteers spent hours making calls to drum up a Sunday audience.

Saturday morning was better for Duckworth, when between 80 and 100 people went to a rally in Lombard headlined by the father of her campaign, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).


Durbin recognized Duckworth's political potential when he met the Iraq war vet in January 2004, while she was recovering from her wounds -- she lost her legs when a missile hit her helicopter -- and launched her on a political bid to win the seat being vacated by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.).

Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates resident, has some of the nation's most powerful Democrats helping her, including Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D- Ill.), who runs the House political operation, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

This choosing up sides in a primary has created resentment among area activists because there are two other candidates in the 6th Congressional District race: Christine Cegelis, the 2004 nominee from Rolling Meadows, and Lindy Scott, a college professor who lives in Wheaton. The winner takes on state Sen. Peter Roskam (R- Wheaton), who has no primary opponent.

Last week, two e-mail appeals sent by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) aimed at veterans raised more than $120,000 for Duckworth in a blink.

"We were floored by the response," said William Brandt, who chairs Duckworth's finance committee.

Duckworth commands the air war with a television spot featuring the endorsement of the popular Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who presumably has coattails. Her patrons have helped her line up key endorsements.

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