Monday, November 28, 2005

The DCCC is Buying My District

Here's a story for you: One driver works his way up to the Big Race by racing dirt tracks, fixing up his own cars, begging, borrowing and co-opting money for his racing team. He had a surprising showing in his first major outing, even though he was a last minute entry and had almost no national sponsors. He's a good driver and learned a lot from his experience in the dirt track, and has gotten to know the people in the local racing scene.

Another driver is a favorite of a big race sponsor. He has a great bio and photographs well, so he can be marketed easily. He hasn't driven in any races yet, but his connection to the race sponsor helps grease his path. The big race sponsor buys him a top of the line car, sets up all his sponsors for him, and even gets him all kinds of press touting him as the best thing to hit the Big Race since sliced bread.

So which driver is better? If you are the DCCC, you like the guy with no experience and the best team money can buy.

In case you've missed it, the DCCC has been trying to undermine the Cegelis campaign for months. Now, according to Lynn Sweet in the Chicago Sun Times, they've fixed their sights on injured Iraq vet, Tammy Duckworth - a political rookie with no campaign in place - except the very best one money and DCCC connections can buy.
While Duckworth is a political rookie with no campaign experience or political organization behind her, if she runs, she will be able to tap into a turnkey political operation engineered in large part by Emanuel. That operation consists of some of the state's highest-profile Democratic political professionals, including media consultant David Axelrod, direct mail marketeer Peter Giangreco and Jasculca, who said he met with her in Washington a few weeks ago to discuss the possibility of a campaign.

So a political rookie, who hasn't declared yet, is able to afford all those DCCC consultants? Where did she get the money? Especially given what this beneficiary of a DCCC turn-key campaign think about the war in Iraq, given that she has first hand experience fighting there:
It's unclear what Duckworth would say about the Iraq war. When I asked her, she would not declare the war right or wrong: "There is good and bad in everything."

So in a political environment in which the Iraq War is becoming more and more unpopular, a candidate looking to take the DLC middle of the road position, tossing away the chance to bash Roskam for his unwavering support of the war, gets the turn-key campaign courtesy of the DCCC. But Cegelis is out of step for the DCCC:
Cegelis ran as an anti-war candidate in 2004, and on Sunday, her campaign manager, Patrick Mogge, said her position is "it is time to come up with a plan for a complete withdrawal from Iraq." Asked about running a race against a war hero, Mogge said they "definitely respect her service to this country."

Boy, Cegelis sure is out ther with those "liberal" views. So what about experience and background. This must certainly be the reason Duckworth is getting all that DCCC backing:
As a teen, Duckworth lived in Hawaii; she has an undergraduate degree from the University of Hawaii and a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University. She landed in Illinois as a doctoral student at Northern Illinois University. Duckworth joined the ROTC as a graduate student in 1991 and was commissioned in the reserves the next year, becoming a part of the Illinois Army National Guard in 1996. Before deployment to Iraq, Duckworth was a staff supervisor at Rotary International headquarters in Evanston.

Cegelis founded her own information technology consulting business.

So the candidate who has spent almost all of her life outside IL-06 is again the candidate to get a turn-key campaign ala the DCCC. She went to school out of state, then in rural DeKalb. Then she worked in the military as a supervisor in Evanston - located north of Chicago on the lake, a good hour out of the district in good traffic. But Cegelis, who starter her own business and has lived in or near the district for nearly 20 years is the bad candidate here.

So the candidate who sees the good and bad in Bush's War of choice, with no political experience, and no experience within the district boundaries will have the best campaign money can buy. I wonder what type of fundraising Duckworth will have with the DCCC lining up every fat cat donor they've got behind her, while telling them Cegelis is a poor candidate. I wonder what mistakes Duckworth will avoid thanks to her high paid DCCC consultants that Cegelis might have avoided. I wonder how a candidate like Duckworth, who hasn't been around the district long enough to see the changes over the last two decades, will bring the understanding of anything but her bio to the district's issues that Cegelis would.

Mostly, I wonder why the DCCC is buying my district with a turn-key campaign for a pre-packaged 'war hero' candidate who doesn't know me or my neighbors.