Since I really know nothing about her, I am looking forward to watching 6th District Congressional candidate Ret. Major Tammy Duckworth on television this Sunday morning and hearing what she has to say. And while I have no position on the race between her and incumbent Christine Cegelis, I can't help but think back to what happened to former Georgia Senator Max Cleland.
Cleland was a Vietnam veteran who came home a triple amputee. That didn't stop Cleland's opponent in 2002, Republican congressman Saxby Chambliss, from running a post-9/11 campaign that essentially (amazingly?) pounded Cleland for not being patriotic enough or caring enough for the security of our country. The campaign tactic, premised upon Cleland's votes against some of the homeland security measures that were being pushed through by the Bush Administration, worked well enough to oust the war hero from office.
But I'm not drawing a direct parallel between that race and the one closer to home. I just think that it will be interesting to see how the war issue and Maj. Duckworth's status is going to play out in a primary between two Democrats. Understandably, she would want to use her service to her country as an asset. But at the same time, Cegelis is going to want to counter this, but will have to do so without the appearance of attacking a war hero.
Should Maj. Duckworth win the primary, the general election contest with Peter Roskam raises a whole new dynamic. Should be interesting.