Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"War Hero" Narrative Hits Local TV

If you watched the news tonight, there was actually some pretty fair coverage of the local race in IL-06 on ABC 7 News at 5:00, of course stressing Tammy Duckworth's 'war hero' narrative:
A war hero wounded while fighting in Iraq may run for the seat that will soon be vacated by Congressman Henry Hyde (R). Illinois Democrats want Major Tammy Duckworth to enter the race. She cannot announce her decision publicly until she is officially released from active duty with the National Guard.

Democrat Christine Cegelis, a computer consultant from the northwest suburbs, ran a strong but unsuccessful race two years ago against Republican icon Henry Hyde for a seat in the 6th Congressional District. While Cegelis is giving it another try, Chicago Congressman Rahm Emanuel -- who is recruiting democratic candidates to run for House seats-- believes his party has a better chance with a decorated war veteran. Major Duckworth, a 37-year-old Hoffman Estates helicopter pilot, lost both legs in an insurgent attack in Iraq a year ago.

"I met Tammy Duckworth. I like Tammy Duckworth. She is a hero and has sacrificed for her country," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, (D) Chicago

Boy what a ringing endorsement from Rahm there. Get ready for the 'war hero' narrative 24/7 starting Sunday.

As to Cegelis, and Roskam, they received a fair amount of coverage on this story as well:
Even so, Cegelis says that she's in the race to stay despite the party's courtship of Duckworth.

"This is politics, and I guess competitive juices flowing is probably the best way to put it because I do believe that one of the things I bring to the district is the fact that I have been here for a long time and I know the people and I have made a lot of networks," said Christine Cegelis, (D) 6th District Candidate

The only Republican in the race is Henry Hyde's handpicked successor. State Senator Peter Roskam of Wheaton said he admires Duckworth, but not her party's motivation for recruitment.

"My sense is that you're really getting a feeling of turmoil from the democrats and that they don't seem to really have a voice," said Peter Roskam, (R) 6th District Candidate.

This will get interesting next week, when Duckworth has formally announced and we will begin to hear where she stands on the issues. But as noted in the video, Duckworth already has Rahm's handlers at work, so we'll probably get well crafted position papers that will read like glossy advertisements.

So here's to a third candidate in the race and a real old fashioned grassroots against the machine contested primary. This should be interesting.