Monday, December 05, 2005

The Plan for Victory in IL-06?

One of the biggest knocks on Bush and his Iraq strategy is that he is disconnected from the reality on the ground in Iraq. The same can be said of Emanuel and the DCCC when it comes to the race for IL-06. They keep pushing their conventional wisdom for this race, which might as well be called "The Plan for Victory in IL-06":
First, Democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran, nearly won a House race in Ohio’s strongly Republican 2nd District over the summer. Then Duckworth signaled she might run. Then, with opposition to the war mounting, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), an early supporter of the war, called last month for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq. Several Democrats who have served in uniform are now running or contemplating bids across the country.

Should Duckworth run, the general election would be one of the few contests in the country that would be truly competitive next year, Democrats contend.

Democrats in Washington have praised Cegelis as smart and likable but voiced skepticism about her chances of beating Roskam, despite routinely adding that Roskam is “too conservative” for the district.

Just who are these anonymous "Democrats" who "contend" this? Rahm Emanuel and his staff at the DCCC? Just like Bush's plan for Iraq, their conventional wisdom doesn't match the reality on the ground in IL-06:
“It’ll be about me, about how basically I’ve been a resident of this district for the last 20 years,” Cegelis said of her campaign for the suburban-Chicago seat.

“I think I’m going to take advantage of the fact that I know the people of my district,” she added. “I’ve got the organization that I have been building over the last two years.”

[...]

Gayl Ferraro, chairwoman of the DuPage County Democratic Party, said the issue of Duckworth’s residency coupled with her outside backing could hurt her prospects.

Ferraro noted that Democrats in DuPage, many of whom back Cegelis, have been working for years to build the party despite long odds.

Never mind the organization in place or that every township organization in DuPage is behind Cegelis. Never mind that the Democratic Chairman for the County notes that residents are supporting Cegelis and have been for working for years to build the local Democratic party. Doesn't matter. The conventional wisdom, confirmed by "some Democrats" in pure Fox News style, is that the Hackett model will win the day in IL-06. While Cegelis has supporters circulate petitions to get her on the ballot and turn up every weekend to canvass for her, who is doing this for Duckworth? Oh yes, forgot. Money buys these sort of things, including a publicist:
Lori Goldberg of Jasulca/Terman and Associates, a public relations firm in Chicago that is helping Duckworth, would say only that her candidate is waiting for the Army to release her from active duty.

What is it they see in Duckworth anyway? Oh yes. A bio and a photo op they can package:
Emanuel wants Ladda “Tammy” Duckworth, an Army National Guard pilot who lost her legs and suffered a broken arm when Iraqi insurgents hit her helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade, to jump into the race. According to Bill Burton, the Democratic Campaign Congressional Committee’s (DCCC) spokesman, Emanuel believes her military credentials and wounds give her an edge in a district that no Democrat has ever won.

How exactly do wounds give a politician an edge other than photo ops? And they admit it. Emanuel's Plan for Victory in IL-06 is as disconnected from the reality on the ground as is Bush's plan victory in Iraq.