Friday, December 09, 2005

Who's Shutting Down Who?

Over at Rick Klau's blog, he reflects on the blowback towards the Duckworth campaign by Democratic Township organizations in DuPage:
I want to see Christine win in the primary, and beat Roskam. But the way to get her there is not to remove potential competitors. It’s to win by attracting a higher percentage of the vote than any competitors, and by outraising her competition. Shutting down potential competitors before they’ve had a chance to establish their fitness for the position is undemocratic, unfair and ultimately irresponsible.

I tried to comment on his blog with no luck, so I'm posting here. I disagree. Strongly. I don't disagree that shutting down competition is undemocratic, unfair and ultimately irresponsible. That's the crux of the animosity here.

The problem is, it's not Duckworth's campaign that is being shut down here. It's Cegelis' campaign.

Dick Durbin isn't loaning one of his staffers to the Cegelis campaign. No one is throwing a high dollar meet and greet complete with a suite at the Hilton Towers in Chicago for Cegelis. The only DCCC I've read about hasn't repeated noted Cegelis as their best chance to win the district. The anonymous Democratic aides I've seen quoted haven't been negative toward Duckworth.

Even if Duckworth is a comparable candidate and Rahm is looking only to win in the District, why not support Cegelis then? She has the name recognition, the support on the ground, the volunteers in place, and the campaign organization ready to go. Plus she's got a rock solid position on the war in Iraq that resonates with the large and growing majority of the country. Duckworth looks poised to take the DLC centrist middle ground that will take the Iraq war off the table and not provide a great way to contrast a the Democrat running for this seat with Roskam. I've yet to hear any reason Cegelis is not better positioned to win IL-06 than Duckworth would be. Yet the entire support of Rahm's organization is pushing to undermine Cegelis.

Shutting down potential competitors like this is undemocratic, unfair and ultimately irresponsible. But it's the Cegelis campaign, not the Duckworth's, that is being shut down here.