Saturday, December 17, 2005

New Candidates from Iraq

Our military presence in Iraq has contributed to more than a positive turnout for the latest elections in that country. It appears to be producing candidates for public office back home. And some of them are Democrats.

Today's New York Times reports that Maj. L. Tammy Duckworth, a helicopter pilot and double-amputee veteran of the Iraq war, will seek the Democratic nomination to run for the Congressional seat being vacated by Illinois Rep. Henry Hyde.

I was impressed by Duckworth when I encountered her and fellow vets back in April on C-Span's "American Perspectives: Conversations with Soldiers Wounded in Iraq." (The program linked to that post is no longer archived.)

Paul Hackett, who commanded a Marine unit in Iraq, earned 48 percent of the vote in his run for Congressional seat a heavily Republican Ohio district. He's now pursuing the Democratic nomination to challenge Senator Mike DeWine. Here is a transcript of Hackett's recent appearance on Meet the Bloggers.

If nothing else, these candidates will allow some Democrats to move from "supporting our troops" in the abstract to getting to know real, and real quality, people who have served in the military.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, but unlike Paul Hackett, Duckworth does not have any real relationship with my district. This poses real problems for me, for the Democrats in my district have been building our party from literally nothing with the help of Christine CEGELIS, who is a progressive Democrat who almost ousted Rep. Hyde in 2004, forcing Hyde into requirement. Although Duckworth may be a lovely woman, her policies do not resonate with the district. She also does not have any volunteers from the district. I also believe her sense of entitlement to run in a district in which she has not tried to establish relations with her potential voters reflects very poorly on her character.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Charlie Quimby said...

Thanks for your comment. The Times article says Duckworth was "recruited" to run, but not by whom.

This points up the problems of trying to understand what's really going on in local districts we observe from afar. Yet, we engage in national political commentary and are encouraged to view every seat lost or gained by a party to be our loss or gain.

Given the seats DeLay purloined in Texas, perhaps they are. But shouldn't they first and foremost still be about representing the people of the district?

I have received solicitations from candidates in other states, apparently because I have made some progressive donations somewhere, or because of this blog.

If Al Franken decides to run for Senate in Minnesota, does anyone believe his support will be all Minnesota-based? Despite his family roots, will he be any more a Minnesotan running than Hilary Clinton was a New Yorker?

I'll watch this race even more closely now, thanks to your comment.

7:46 PM  

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