I read Christine Cegelis's concession webposting with great sadness. Sad because it read as an all-to-familiar effort by a second place candidate to take as many parting shots as possible. It is understandable for a candidate to be emotionally raw after such a bruising primary -- her campaign manager is at fault for not protecting her from her own keyboard. Candidates are remembered as much for how they cope with adversity and defeat as how they carry victory, and they should choose their final words with care. Unless she wants to be remembered for her bitterness, Cegelis should rethink these words:
I spoke with Tammy this morning and wished her luck. She’s going to need it.I hope that Christine Cegelis will rethink the divisiveness of her remarks, and recant them soon. For one thing, as a candidate she spent plenty of time raising money in Chicago and seeking support in Washington, so her comments are disengenious at best. But more importantly, even though she may resent the DCCC for not endorsing her and may not like the fact that Tammy Duckworth got into this race, Duckworth ran a classy, issue-based campaign that never had a negative word or even made a negative inference about Cegelis or Lindy Scott.
All of you...proved that you are a political force to be reckoned with, and anybody who ignores that fact does so at their own peril. You sent a loud and clear message to...the Democratic Party.
the Democrat leadership had better recognize right now that the real future of this Party isn’t going to be determined in Chicago or in Springfield or in Washington.
You and everyone else who’s been part of this campaign and who voted for me – YOU are the future of the Democratic Party, and you are the best hope that this nation has to reverse all of the wrong directions that we’ve been going in.
it was real people, average Americans, men and women young and old, with the unmitigated audacity to believe that this was their Congressional District and their country. Imagine that: people trying to take control of their government.
It’s still our District, and it’s still our country, and, at least on paper, the government still belongs to us. We have to take it back. If not this time, next time. If not then, then the time after. Until then, whenever it is, we just have to keep working at it because if we don’t take control, someone else will.
I know Cegelis and some of her supporters may be tempted to help fullfill their own prophesy: that there will be some sort of liberal backlash against Duckworth that will end in Roskam's election. Well, the primary is over, and if Cegelis and her supporters really meant what they said about protecting a woman's right to choose and standing up for working families, Cegelis should clearly endorse Duckworth and urge her followers to join her in helping to defeat Peter Roskam. I don't have a doubt that if Cegelis had won the Primary, Duckworth would have done the same.
As for Cegelis, I still think she has a future as a Democratic elected official, if that's what she really wants. As far as I know, Democrats are still looking for a candidate to take on State Rep. Carolyn Krause in the 66th Representative District, and as I've said before, Cegelis should be slated as that candidate. Cegelis has built the name recognition and volunteer base to give Krause a run for her money. She should think of all the good she could do in Springfield on the issues she cares about, and make peace with Duckworth and the past.