Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Beltway Dems Coalescing Around Tammy Duckworth For The Illinois Senate Seat


Blue America has a page devoted to progressives running for the U.S. Senate in 2016. There aren't many candidates so far; we're looking forward to adding Russ Feingold (D-WI) soon. But we know our endorsement list isn't going to get too long. You've probably read how CitiGroup and other Wall Street banksters have been threatening the DSCC because they claim progressives like Elizabeth Warren are gaining too much influence. The move this week to put Wall Street whore Chuck Schumer into the top Democratic leadership job is meant as a peace-offering to the banksters. But the Beltway Democratic Establishment had already been going out of its way to recruit mediocre and conservative candidates to appease the Wall Street predators. Tragically, the political leaders who will stand firm for the legitimate aspirations of America's working families, not for the monied special interests, aren't ones favored by the DSCC.

Few DSCC recruits are as overtly bad as Florida New Dem Patrick Murphy but uninspiring careerists as candidates will likely keep Blue America out of hot contests in New Hampshire, Ohio, California and North Carolina. And Illinois. Yesterday Tammy Duckworth announced she's challenging vulnerable wishy-washy Republican incumbent Mark Kirk. The two other potential candidates the DSCC was looking at-- Blue Dog Cheri Bustos and New Dem Bill Foster-- are even worse than she is. But that doesn't make her any good. Here are their Progressive Punch lifetime crucial vote scores:
Tammy Duckworth- 65.11
Bill Foster- 56.00
Cheri Bustos- 44.03
The best Member of the Illinois congressional delegation to challenge Kirk would be Jan Schakowsky, whose 96.61 score is the 4th best in the whole House. The DSCC, predictably, did not show any interest in recruiting her. New-comer Robin Kelly is also considering a run. Her score is 87.34 but few consider her a viable candidate at this point. The Establishment seems to be coalescing around Duckworth as the Democrat with the best chance to beat Kirk.
Duckworth is an Army veteran who lost both her legs and sustained damage to her arm when a helicopter she was co-piloting in Iraq was shot down. Kirk is also a veteran and is disabled from a stroke he suffered in January 2012.

...Sen. Richard J. Durbin, who has been a champion for Duckworth, told CQ Roll Call in January he thinks Democrats will work to avoid a messy nomination process... [T]he electorate is expected to be much more favorable for Democrats in 2016. President Barack Obama carried his home state by double-digit margins in 2008 and 2012. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is expected to announce a presidential bid within weeks, could see similar support and boost down-ballot Democrats.
Despite an inspiring personal story, Duckworth is a run-of-the-mill politician, an ally of Rahm Emanuel's, who is likely to vote with the party leadership and not make waves in the caucus. She's no Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders or Sherrod Brown-- which is why you won't find her on this page despite being a better choice than Mark Kirk.

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