Monday, February 27, 2006

Of Democrats and Tribune Endorsements

From your Chicago Tribune's 6th District endorsement of Rahm Emanuel's candidate for the 6th District:

Christine Cegelis, a software engineer, picked up 44 percent of the vote against Hyde in 2004.
Holding Hyde to the lowest percent of the vote in decades.
She's running again.
Actually, Christine never stopped running. Christine has been out and about in the 6th District, meeting with her neighbors, getting to know their concerns about the direction in which our country is headed. Since 2004, she has been building on the grass-roots network of supporters who pulled in 44% of the vote without any support from Washington.
But Democrats have a better candidate in Tammy Duckworth, a veteran of the Iraq war who has fresh and pragmatic views on trade, health care, taxes and other issues.
And what criteria does the Tribune editorial board use to determine what views are "fresh and pragmatic"?

Let's ask Don Wycliff, the Trib's Public Editor:
[T]he editorial board is guided in making its decisions by what might be called the "Tribune manifesto," a statement of philosophical principles and attitudes. Based on a 1969 editorial that marked a change of administration--nay, a change of era--at the newspaper ***. One exemplary paragraph:
The Tribune believes in the traditional principles of limited government; maximum individual responsibility; and minimum restriction of personal liberty, opportunity and enterprise. It believes in free markets, free will and freedom of expression.

These principles, while traditionally conservative, are guidelines and not reflexive dogmas.
So the Tribune, whose editorial page is still considered generally conservative, bases its endorsements on a "manifesto" formulated back when the paper was even more conservative. Are we to believe that the Tribune manifesto reflects the views of Democrats in the 6th District?

Back to the Tribune's analysis of the Emanual candidate:
She has some well-considered views on how the U.S. and Iraqis can finish the job there and bring American soldiers home.
And just what does the Tribune see as "well-considered views" when it comes to Iraq?

Well, let's take a look at the "well-considered views" of the man the Chicago Tribune endorsed for president in 2004:
Bush arguably invaded with too few allies and not enough troops. He will go to his tomb defending his reliance on intelligence from agencies around the globe that turned out to be wrong. And he has refused to admit any errors.
But, nevertheless, the Tribune endorsed George W. Bush.

The Tribune endorsed the candidate who "arguably" invaded with too few troops and not enough allies... and insufficient armor for our troops... and no plan for reconstruction... and a self-evident inability to protect Iraq's "democracy" from a sectarian civil war... and who still -- STILL -- has refused to admit any errors.

You know, it's almost enough to call into question the Tribune's judgment when it comes to candidates and their views on Iraq.

And how did the Tribune cap off that regrettable endorsement from the fall of 2004:
For three years, Bush has kept Americans, and their government, focused -- effectively -- on this nation's security. The experience, dating from Sept. 11, 2001, has readied him for the next four years, a period that could prove as pivotal in this nation's history as were the four years of World War II.
And since then we have seen how "effectively" the Tribune's "readied" candidate bungled the aftermath of the Katrina disaster.

We have seen how "effectively" the Tribune's candidate has let Iraq descend into chaos.

We have seen how "effectively" the Tribune's candidate has turned our nation's ports over to the royal families of the United Arab Emirates -- one of only three countries in the world to recognize the Taliban government that protected Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda.

Nice call, Tribune.

And, if nothing else, 6th District Democrats should ask one question when contemplating the value of the Tribune's endorsement in the Democratic primary: Who did the Chicago Tribune endorse in the 6th District in 2004?

Henry Hyde.

The Tribune's endorsement history gives us a clear record of the Trib's philosophical principles and attitudes.

Now 6th District Democrats have to decide which candidate best represents them and their philosophical principles and attitudes.


Pat Hickey 1:06 PM  

So Called Mayor,
Nice stewardship! Your candidate has a good friend in you. Keep at them!

Skeeter 1:09 PM  


Keep supporting Cegelis.

If she gets the nod, she might actually get 45% this year. In 2008, she might get 46%, and then you would be thrilled.

I, on the other hand, would back a candidate who can win against Roskam and hold the seat in 2008. But that's just me. I like winning.

Anonymous,  1:12 PM  

None of it matters, Roskam's gonna win.

SenorAnon,  1:17 PM  

So, no Democrat with the Tribune's endorsement will get your vote? If Cegelis had received the endorsement, you would have dissected it as carefully?

Pat Hickey 1:22 PM  

Not with the way the Austin Mayor's going at it. Plenty oftime to work that 'out-of-district' dollars going to Duckworth into the voters. I wish some other campaigns had as articulate and diligent an advocate as the Mayor of Austin.

BTW - I Rarely agree with him - too joined at the hip to the 'Progressives'for my parochial weltanshaung.

Bill Baar 1:33 PM  

What are Lindy Scott's chances of beating Cegelis?

What are Scott's chances of beating both Cegelis and Duckworth?

That would be a bloggers' jackpot...fodder for the rest of the year.

Skeeter 1:45 PM  

Scott or Cegelis would not be a blogger's jackpot.

It would be one less race to watch in November.

Roskam beats Cegelis and Scott, and loses to Duckworth.

Roskam is a relatively weak candidate, but Cegelis is not strong and Scott cannot be taken seriously.

Yellow Dog Democrat 2:21 PM  

Hickey, I have to agree with you. S-CAM did a nice hatchet job.

Look, everybody loves the Tribune when they are on their side, and hates them when they are not. But S-CAM conveniently ignores the fact that the Tribune does occasionally get it right. After all, they endorsed Lisa Madigan and Barack Obama.

But we don't have to dig through Tribune archives to figure out why Duckworth is singled out as the candidate with fresh, pragmatic, and well-thought out ideas. While Duckworth's solution to Iraq is pragmatic: step up training of Iraqis and gradually withdraw Americans, Cegelis borrows her dogma from Dennis Kucinich: immediate withdrawal of all troops. Cegelis's position may be politically smart for it's simplicity, but it would be a military disaster.

I generally think S-CAM has some good points to make, but you can go too far in defense of your candidate and beyond the edge of reality. And yes, if the Tribune had endorsed Cegelis, you better believe S-CAM would be talking out of the other side of his mouth.

grand old partisan 3:48 PM  

Did anyone else see the Sun-Times today? Great story in there about how only 3% of Duckworth's campaign cash has come from inside the district.

Streamwoody,  8:25 PM  

"Now 6th District Democrats have to decide which candidate best represents them and their philosophical principles and attitudes."

Actually, 6th District Democrats have to decide which candidate will best advance their philosophical principles and attitudes in Washington. I'd prefer to win rather than make a philosophical statement. Dems have a chance to take back Congress, and Speaker Pelosi is worth a hell of a lot more to my philosophy than a vote to make a statement in support of a philosophical principle. A vote for Duckworth is worth something. I love Christine, but if she can't beat Kerry in 6, she can't beat Roskam.

Anonymous,  8:28 PM  

You know the GOP is worried when Grand Old Partisan is flacking for Cegelis...

Pat Hickey 8:43 AM  

Down here in the 3rd District,

The Chicago Tribune proclaimed Dan Lipinski to be the "nuanced" candidate.

John T. Kelly is not Nuanced -that means that he can give you his address.

I am voting for John T. Kelly!

Gary Kleppe 8:46 AM  

Duckworth the stronger candidate? Yeah right. She's such a strong candidate that her backers have to do everything for her, and pour hundreds of thousands of dollars down the drain just to keep her competitive.

grand old partisan 8:56 AM  

Anon 8:28 – that is hardly the case. To be honest, I’d be more worried about running against Cegelis in the general than Duckworth.

I think a seasoned politician like Roskam, who has been an able and popular elected official from that district and has an expansive grassroots and financial network there, will finish off any Democrat quite easily. But if I had to chose which Democrat that would be, here is what I would consider:

Purple Hearts aside, Duckworth is a political neophyte who doesn’t even live in the District and apparently does not have a base of financial (or any other) support within the District. Cegelis has both, and almost unseated the DuPage icon who has held that seat for decades.

But that’s just my two cents. You guys go ahead and nominate whomever your want.

Yellow Dog Democrat 4:57 PM  

Um, Gary, when your backers do everything for you, we call that "volunteering", and its generally considered a good thing for candidates.

And when people pour money into your campaign, we call that "fundraising", which is also something campaigns are encouraged to do.

Jonathan Kelley 6:09 PM  

Yellow yellow yellow ... it's not Duckworth's "volunteers" who have done everything for her. It's her BACKERS: political muckety-mucks from outside the district, plus those who are on the payroll provided by said muckety-mucks.

But you knew that.

And I would love to see where Christine has called for "immediate withdrawal" from Iraq. Heck! On her Website, she's pretty damned clear: "I am not asking for immediate withdrawal of the troops, indeed I feel that would be undermining our mission in Iraq. However I do expect this administration to construct reasonable timelines to guide our expectations."

But you knew that (or are a very lazy person for not even investigating that).

Moreover, the Tribune specifically said that it was her ideas on issues other than Iraq that were "fresh". Yet, I have yet to hear Ms. Duckworth articulate even one "fresh" position on any of a number of issues. In fact, I've heard her change her answer on what position she holds (on CAFTA, on health care).

Something tells me you knew that too.

Anonymous,  8:51 AM  

Yellow dog - don't confuse what I'm doing - volunteering - for what Duckworth's backers are doing. One doesn't volunteer to create cable tv ads or create and mail half a dozen mailers or robo call the district.

Volunteers canvass, show up to events, phonebank, and work at a campaign office that is open 18 hours a day.

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