Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - Announcement video released *** A somewhat odd Duckworth rollout
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*** UPDATED x1 - Announcement video released *** A somewhat odd Duckworth rollout

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The conventional wisdom was that Congresscritter Tammy Duckworth would wait until after the municipal elections to announce her US Senate candidacy. Apparently, that was wrong

Rep. Tammy Duckworth D-Ill., will announce a 2016 Senate bid likely on Monday, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned. She is aiming to win the Democratic nomination to run against Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.

On Monday evening, Duckworth gathers some of her top donors at a home in the Hancock Center in Chicago to discuss securing the Democratic nomination to run against Kirk, who is seeking a second term.

* The original headline was changed on the article, from she’s doing it on Monday, to she’s “likely” announcing on Monday. Not sure why, but check out Greg Hinz’s experiences

As the Sun-Times reported the other day, Tammy Duckworth, the Democratic congresswoman from Hoffman Estates who has been pondering a race against Kirk next year, has a big fundraiser March 30 at the Hancock Center in Chicago.

That has sparked chatter today [Friday] that Duckworth definitely has decided to run and might announce so on Monday.

That appears to be wrong, or at least preliminary.

Said her spokesman, “She will not be meeting reporters or speaking publicly on Monday except at her fundraiser, which is closed (to the) press.” Obviously, it’s kind of hard to announce a candidacy without the media there to spread the news.

* And then a 4 pm update

The Sun-Times says Duckworth will announce Monday. But her office is refusing to confirm that report, and previously had pretty much denied to me that she would do so then.

So, she’s “likely” announcing today, but won’t appear in public or talk to the media at all?

And what’s up with misleading reporters?

* Kirk response…

“Senator Mark Kirk is an independent voice for Illinois and is proud of his bipartisan record of achievement in the United States Senate,” said Kirk spokeswoman Alissa McCurley. “While he looks forward to a vigorous campaign, the Senator believes there will be plenty of time for politics, and he is focused on fighting for veterans who have not received the treatment and respect they have earned from our government, as well as advocating for policies that encourage economic growth and job creation.”

* And the IL GOP took the low road…

Chairman Tim Schneider issued the following statement:

“Rod Blagojevich protégé Tammy Duckworth is not the kind of partisan politician Illinois families want to represent them in the United States Senate. Duckworth represents the extreme wing of the Democrat party — voting with Nancy Pelosi 92% of the time. I have no doubt that next November, Illinois voters will re-elect Mark Kirk who has been a strong & independent voice for our state in Washington.”

*** UPDATE *** And away we go…

Rolling Meadows, IL – Today, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate. In a video message to supporters, Duckworth talks about her upbringing, service in the military, commitment to Illinois’ families and lays out her vision of leadership for the state.

“I’m running for the United States Senate in 2016 because it’s time for Washington to be held accountable and to put Illinois’ families and communities first,” said Duckworth. “I look forward to visiting your community soon, and if you elect me as Illinois’ Senator, I will fight my heart out to represent you with honor and integrity.”

Duckworth, a Blackhawk helicopter pilot, served in the Army Reserve Forces for 23 years until she announced her retirement at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2014. She served as Director of the Illinois Department for Veteran Affairs from 2006-2009 and as an Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs from 2009-2011. Duckworth is currently in her second term as Representative of Illinois’ 8th Congressional District.

* Video

* Transcript…

Hi I’m Tammy Duckworth.

I’d like to tell you a little about myself.

I’m the daughter of a Marine, a wife, a new mom and a combat veteran.

When I was in High School, my dad lost his job at 55 and struggled with unemployment.

The bottom fell out for us. For a time, food stamps kept my brother and me from going hungry.

Graduating from college was a challenge, but I made it with help of loans, Pell grants and lots of waitressing.

That’s why I’ve always believed that if you don’t give up on yourself – our nation should never give up on you either.

Bryan and I met when we were both cadets in ROTC.

Later, I was given the opportunity to become a Blackhawk helicopter pilot and deployed to Iraq.

In 2004, while flying a combat mission near Bagdad, an RPG tore through our cockpit taking my legs and part of my arm with it.

The only reason I made it home was because of the heroism of my courageous buddies who risked their lives to save mine.

I view my time now as a bonus, and that has allowed me speak up without fear.

So when Congress failed to pass a budget, I sponsored the no budget no pay act and led by example - returning more than ten thousand dollars of my own pay to taxpayers and cutting a over a hundred thousand from my office budget.

I’m running for the United States Senate in 2016 because it’s time for Washington to be held accountable and to put Illinois’ families and communities first.

I believe that together we can build an America this is strong from the ground up.

We need more Pre-K.

We need college loans to be affordable.

And the engines of Illinois’ economy are small businesses and the middle-class – I believe we need tax cuts for them for a change.

I look forward to visiting your community soon, and if you elect me as Illinois’s Senator, I will fight my heart out to represent you with honor and integrity.

Thank you.


  1. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 10:24 am:

    Multiple stories over the weekend said she was announcing today. The announcement non-announcement confusion is somewhat odd when running for Senate.

  2. - Juice - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 10:25 am:

    Well I am certainly glad to see that Chairman Schneider’s copy of NRSC mad-libs arrived in the mail on time. God, I hate DC.

  3. - sleepysol - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 10:26 am:

    She ran 3 points behind obama in a district that Joe Walsh claimed was drawn for her in 2012. This is not a great start to her Senatorial bid in what is expected to be a crowded Democrat field.

  4. - A guy - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 10:26 am:

    ===And what’s up with misleading reporters?===

    That and blatantly telling them lies is about the only thing you can do to them that causes them to hold a grudge. Not a very good way to start.

  5. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 10:32 am:

    This just was posted on YouTube…

  6. - anonin' - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 10:34 am:

    Good to see CarWashTIm not exceeding any expectations once a Cook County GOPie hack always one. Kinda make Pat “Fire Madigan” Brady look like a smartie.
    As long as we are making Blagoof comparison nothing this month can top BVR selling the JRTC.

  7. - Team Sleep - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 10:38 am:

    To tap into the post about Congressman Schock…

    Tomorrow is Congressman Schock’s resignation day. We have rightfully hammered him over his hubris and inability to honestly come clean.

    Congresswoman Duckworth is not in the same boat, but the hubris lesson is one that can be learned by anyone and utilized in any situation.

    There is no reason to be coy or secretive. This is a pretty big announcement - especially for a serious candidate - and her rollout will set the tone for future media endeavors and perhaps even the relationship she has with media types all over the state.

    Senator LaHood is doing six (6) announcements. He notified the press in all corners of the 18th CD and he blasted it over social media. That is how you do it.

  8. - Guzzlepot - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 10:42 am:

    It is interesting to see Kirk & Co emphasizing how independent he is. Independent from who or what? It is going to be an interesting race.

  9. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 10:46 am:

    Besides the video, a blast email just went out announcing her run.

  10. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 10:50 am:

    “She ran 3 points behind obama in a district that Joe Walsh claimed was drawn for her in 2012.”

    She beat an incumbent by 10, that she was a rounding error away from the President is pretty weak spin.

  11. - Wordslinger - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 10:50 am:

    The statements these political committees put out are just awful; painful to the eye, excruciating to tne ear. Schneider’s is just another example of communications with a total lack of style, wit, or even purpose.

    They all sound like dreary Soviet era Politburo missives: “The imperialist capitalist running dogs….”

  12. - walker - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 10:53 am:

    Rod’s protege? Not even close.

    Comment is beneath Schneider’s dignity. Let someone else play in the mud.

  13. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 10:54 am:

    HUH - what an odd approach and wasted opportunity.

  14. - Gooner - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 11:01 am:

    Trying to claim Cong. Duckworth was a Blago protege is a terrible move. Nobody believes it and it just tells us that the GOP is going to get into the dirt.

    That’s the kind of cheap attacks that will motivate the other side. Frankly, after reading it, I’m ready to write a check to her. If they are going to start on the low road, I want to make sure that she has what it takes to fight them off.

  15. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    To the update, this is more like it.

    Still vexed by the ==likely== business with the S-T and why they were stringing Greg along.

    A decent intro that does a good job of telling her background. ILGA Dems may not appreciate hearing a ==we need tax cuts== message at this time, but she is not running to help them.

  16. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    Kirk better get Elk back on board ASAP.

  17. - Wordslinger - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 11:22 am:

    TS, I’m not seeing a Schock comparison here or “hubris.”

    I think I’m seeing SNAFU, which definitely is not a good thing.

    You should probably knock some heads together if you can’t pull off your announcement without it being all FUBAR.

  18. - Gone, but not forgotten - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 11:23 am:

    Besides returning $10,000 of her pay due to lack of budget, exactly what else has she accomplished? I don’t recall any accomplishments during her appointments in the veterans positions, nor anything remarkable during her present position. And the 10K was probably what she collected while she did no work for us while on maternity leave. So what do we have? Zero.

  19. - Phil - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    I’ll piggy back on to Guzzlepot’s comments. I think Kirk’s recent actions in the Senate do away with any basis for claiming to be independent. His signing off on Tom Cotton’s letter was disgraceful. I also find his position on the Affordable Care Act to be hypocritical, since he’s benefited from the best health care available courtesy of American taxpayers, yet wants to undo what the President was able to achieve through the ACA and make health care available to more Americans.

    I’ll reserve judgment on Duckworth’s announcement, but I hope Kirk loses his seat in 2016.

  20. - slow down - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 11:41 am:

    You can tell by some of the posts here how nervous the Kirksters are becoming. He can’t run on being a moderate any longer, and now with Duckworth in the race, he can’t rely on his stroke to carry the day. What else can he run on in Illinois? This isn’t Arkansas folks.

  21. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 11:42 am:

    “And the 10K was probably what she collected while she did no work for us while on maternity leave.”

    I heartily encourage the people who don’t like Duckworth to keep harping on her maternity leave. I’m excited to see how that one plays out.

  22. - Soccermom - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 11:45 am:

    Okay, GOP. I know you don’t listen to good advice, so I realize I am wasting my breath. But give up on that “skipped work after having a baby” nonsense. If you’ve lost Megyn Kelly, you’re not likely to win over a lot of independents with that one.

  23. - Hedley Lamarr - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 11:46 am:

    Didn’t Car wash Tim engineer selling his golf course to
    Cook County while he was a sitting Commissioner?

  24. - Gone, but not forgotten - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 11:58 am:

    Well, since -slow down brought up Kirk’s stroke, Tammy can only run so long on her military story. As far as the maternity comment I made - yes, all new mothers are entitled, although such a thing did not exist when I had children, you just lost your job. That aside, it should be noted that even though someone stated Tammy sided with Pelosi 92% of the time, that same Pelosi would not allow Duckworth votes on committees since she could not physically be in DC to do so, so who’s really against maternity leave?

  25. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 12:06 pm:

    Saw Duckworth’s video announcement. Is she announcing her run as a Republican for Kirk’s seat? She sure sounds like a Republican here. Out of all the budgets proposed in Congress during her stay there, how many of them did she actually vote for?

    Doesn’t use the word Democrat at all, not even with the closing.


  26. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 12:12 pm:

    I will not vote for Her ever.

    I will vote for Hillary but not Duckworth. The district was made for her or else she never would have won.

  27. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 12:14 pm:


    How so? For comparison purposes, here is the first line of the statement put out by Team Kirk:

    “Senator Mark Kirk is an independent voice for Illinois…”

    He isn’t a conservative voice or a Republican voice. Odd indeed.

  28. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 12:25 pm:

    “That aside, it should be noted that even though someone stated Tammy sided with Pelosi 92% of the time, that same Pelosi would not allow Duckworth votes on committees since she could not physically be in DC to do so, so who’s really against maternity leave?”

    Nancy Pelosi, I guess? You convinced me, I won’t vote for Nancy Pelosi for the U.S. Senate in Illinois.

  29. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 12:27 pm:

    “I will vote for Hillary but not Duckworth. The district was made for her or else she never would have won.”

    Is that really that much worse than Hillary’s Constituent-shopping in 1998-2000?

  30. - Reader - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 1:00 pm:

    “He isn’t a conservative voice or a Republican voice. Odd indeed.”

    - Not that odd for a Republican in a solid blue state like, IL. At least, not odd for those in the know.

  31. - Walter Mitty - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 1:01 pm:

    I think it will come down to what has she done? She can hammer Kirk all she wants on his record… The reality is, in the years she has been in this seat, list accomplishments? Great personal story. GREAT. But, when it comes to the record, enlighten me.

  32. - slow down - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 1:16 pm:

    If the election came down to what he/she has done, Rauner wouldn’t be Governor (no offense to the private equity world). Rauner was running in an off year election against an unpopular incumbent. Duckworth will be running in a Presidential election year in a heavily blue state, and while Kirk isn’t unpopular, he’s far from untouchable. Without judging Duckworth’s record one way or the other, she can win on the basic fundamentals of the election and her personal story and without much more.

  33. - Angry Chicagoan - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 1:18 pm:

    The Republicans’ very first two words on this are the name of a convicted former governor. How classy.

  34. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 1:21 pm:

    “I think it will come down to what has she done?”

    Nah- and come on, Kirk isn’t exactly a legislating machine, either.

    It’s going to come down to whether Illinois wants a generally mainstream Democrat or a generally mainstream Republican.

  35. - slow down - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 1:38 pm:

    The problem for Kirk is that his party in DC has gone so far right that it’s more and more difficult to sell the “generally mainstream Republican” to a blue state electorate in a Presidential election year.

  36. - Left Leaner - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 1:39 pm:

    Completely flubbed announcement any way you look at it. Missed opportunity to start with (needed) gusto.

    Duckworth campaign team: Better up your game…quickly.

  37. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 1:54 pm:

    ==Tammy can only run so long on her military story.==

    At least her military story is true, unlike Kirk’s record of lies and stolen valor.

  38. - OurMagician - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 1:56 pm:

    It never makes any sense to me that someone who works in Washington, has been elected to serve in Washington, is running because “it’s time for Washington to be held accountable and to put Illinois’ families and communities first.” What have you been doing before while you are there? Both sides do it, just plain silly and pandering in my opinion.

  39. - Team Sleep - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 1:58 pm:

    Word - maybe snafu is better and hubris is too stiff for this scenario, but her rollout has been “somewhat fair to poor”.

    One thing that a lot of the general (voting) public never seems to grasp is that only a handful of legislators move anything of actual importance and impact through an elected body. You see a lot of comments on Facebook and newspaper website talkback sections that essentially ask why all 177 members of the ILGA are not actively involved in budget talks. After all, that is apparently the only task that the ILGA handles (snark). Same with both chambers in D.C. 535 men and women at our U.S. Capitol need to all have a say in immigration reform, tax codes, military strategy and - DUH! - the budget. I am amazed at that belief. What would a company look like if EVERY employee worked on one project? What would a police force look like if EVERY officer showed up at the scene of one crime? What would a retail store look like if EVERY employee on the floor responded to a customer who needed help in the men’s department? It would be a cluster, and I am glad that our elected bodies are not set up that way.

    I think the who “accomplishment” thing is overblown. Outside of Leader Pelosi and her top team, who in Congressional Dems moves big ticket legislation out of the U.S. House or even has a hand in negotiations? The same can be said for Senator Kirk’s position within the Senate GOP. Outside of Majority Leader McConnell, Whip Cornyn and Conference Chair Thune, few Senators have much of a hand in day-to-day operations or major legislation.

  40. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 2:00 pm:

    I don’t think this is an odd rollout at all.

    1) If reporters are asking if she was going to hold a big kickoff rally today, her folks were right in denying such a thing would happen, because it isn’t happening today.

    2) Yes, she released a video, but that isn’t exactly speaking in public the way reporters were asking (i.e. a rally).

    3) The event today is a donor kickoff, not a public rally.

    4) Not everyone can get a captive university audience to launch political campaigns.

    5) Most importantly, avoiding a big rally today means volunteers and others involved in municipals won’t be blocked from coming due to current duties while allowing her campaign to move along at a legal timeline amenable to their plan.

  41. - Old IVIer - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 2:27 pm:


    Before they schedule the coronation; why is everyone ignoring Congresswoman Robin Kelly?

    (1) Robin Kelly has won a statewide primary
    (2) Robin Kelly has served in the legislature and paid her dues;
    (3) Robin Kelly has has experience in local government as the COO of Cook County;
    (4) Robin Kelly is identified with an important issue — gun control. What’s Tammy’s signature issue, other than not being Joe Walsh?
    (5) Robin Kelly has a base –30% of the statewide Democratic primary vote is African American
    (6) Robin Kelly has shown she can raise the money to be viable (just ask Debbie Halvorsen)

    How much longer do the Democrats get to ignore their most reliable voters?

    Shouldn’t the Democratic primary voters decide; rather than have have Durbin decide for them??


  42. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 3:24 pm:

    Robin Kelly has not announced that she’s running for U.S. Senate.

  43. - Dirty Red - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 3:25 pm:

    Bustos is out.

  44. - Gooner - Monday, Mar 30, 15 @ 3:29 pm:

    Interesting about Bustos.

    She was my choice.

    Duckworth may end up without opposition. It is tough to believe that Foster will take her on and give up his seat to do so.

    The Bustos news is terrible for Kirk, who may end up having to defend the seat in a primary against somebody from the far right.

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