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Once again, it’s about who can win indy suburban women

Monday, Jul 18, 2016

* New York Times Magazine

Unendorsing Trump was perhaps a more politically viable option for Kirk than for his fellow endangered Republican senators. “I’m probably the only one around here who absolutely embraces the M-word,” [Sen. Mark Kirk] said, referring to “moderate.”

And as the Crain’s Chicago Business columnist Rich Miller recently wrote, in Illinois “independent suburban women have been the deciding factor in just about every statewide race since 1990.” Given Trump’s 70 percent disapproval rating among women over all, criticizing the nominee may prove not only useful to Kirk, but also — especially against a female opponent like Duckworth — imperative.

That’s true, but suburban women can be more complicated than just that.

* For instance

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk may frequently be cited as among the most vulnerable incumbents in the country, but the national organization backing GOP Senate candidates says it’s planning to pour money into his race against Democrat Tammy Duckworth. […]

[NRSC Executive Director Ward Baker] declined to reveal how much the group was willing to invest, saying he wouldn’t disclose strategy. In Kirk’s 2010 race, the NRSC pledged $3.4 million.

“2010 was a different environment. Yesterday was a different day. I try to win a day at a time,” Baker told POLITICO Illinois. “Kirk has always run a suburban strategy. Senator Kirk has never had an easy race. The suburban strategy is how you’ll win. He’s the only candidate we knew who could win this race.” […]

Recent terror attacks in Europe and questions about national security strengthen Kirk’s hand in the race, Baker argued. Kirk, a former Naval intelligence officer, has called for a national moratorium on allowing Syrian refugees into the country, opposed President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran, and opposed the closing of Guantanamo Bay.

“It helps him a lot. Do you want someone who has always been a hawk and at the forefront of protecting America? Or someone who supported closing Gitmo [allowing] Syrian refugees into Illinois and backed the Iran deal?” he said. “She’s a dove, he’s a hawk.”

I’ll believe the money when I see it. So far, the NRSC has treated Kirk like a red-headed stepchild.

* But

In 2004, George W. Bush won reelection by mitigating the loss of the women’s vote to Democrat John Kerry to less than 10 percentage points. He did this, in part, by scaring “security moms” not to change horses mid-war.

If the absolute craziness in the world and in the nation the past few weeks continues through November and people truly start to freak out, then Sen. Kirk could capitalize on the fears of “security moms.” It’s probably his best hope.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

51 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 10:02 am:

    Kirk’s national security bona fides are in his own mind, and often highly exagerrated.

    Like Kirk, Richard Goldberg is a navy reserve intelligence officer. Jason Plummer was a navy reserve intelligence officer. Doesn’t make them Eisenhowers.

    I don’t think it’s wise for him to compare service records with Duckworth. Just doesn’t make sense.


  2. - slow down - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 10:04 am:

    I have little doubt that Kirk’s desperation means we will all be subjected to a constant stream of fearmongering from the senator. There’s little reason to think it will genuinely help him in a race against an opponent with genuine combat experience and the wounds to show for it, but that doesn’t mean that Kirk won’t try.


  3. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    Was Eisenhower a Navy Intelligence Officer? lol.

    I do agree that comparing service records is not a great strategy, though in a fair comparison (even without the senseless embellishment) Kirk’s is far more expansive than Tammy’s. Higher rank, longer service, etc. She made a very significant sacrifice that ends the conversation early.

    Her Achilles is a very lackluster career in public service. That’s where there’s more paydirt for Kirk. Someone over there better figure it out.


  4. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 10:12 am:

    Serious question, on topic for suburban moms: Where does Kirk stand on gun control?


  5. - @ A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 10:20 am:

    Longer service, sure, but he’s also 8 years older. And aren’t lieutenant colonel in the army and commander in the navy analogous?


  6. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 10:22 am:

    – Kirk’s is far more expansive than Tammy’s. Higher rank, longer service, etc. –

    What’s the “etc.”? Because the other stuff doesn’t support your point.

    Kirk was commissioned in 1989 and retired a commander in 2013. Duckworth joined ROTC in 1990, was commissioned in 1992 and retired a lieutenant colonel in 2014.


  7. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 10:24 am:

    @, they are similar, though I believe a Commander is a step up from a Lt. Colonel. There is a bit of a difference in being promoted in the Nat’l Guard vs. Active/Reserve Navy. That being said, I would never diminish anyone’s service. I don’t think either candidate should engage in that approach.

    On the service front, I consider them, and all others who serve, Heroes.


  8. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 10:28 am:

    Sling, Part of the problem in the Intelligence Corp is that you really aren’t at liberty to offer details into much of your service.

    It’s unbecoming to diminish anyone’s service. I won’t do so. Both served honorably. One came away with horrible wounds. They’re a credit to the uniform- both of them.

    I’ve already said; if she’s got a weakness, it lies within her record and experience outside of her military experience.


  9. - Amalia - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 10:33 am:

    smart for Kirk, especially in terms of women, to have pivoted away from Trump a long while back, now that the running mate is Pence, who has a radioactive record on reproductive choice.


  10. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 10:34 am:

    –Sling, Part of the problem in the Intelligence Corp is that you really aren’t at liberty to offer details into much of your service.–

    You mean like when you’re running the War Room at the Pentagon, or your plane is being shot at over Iraq and or you’re named Intelligence Officer of the Year?

    Those kinds of things?


  11. - MOD - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 10:49 am:

    Their final military ranks are identical; they are both an “O5″ and in either service there are high levels or responsibility associated with each - too much nuance to be a determining factor for individual voters because it’s virtually impossible to articulate in an ad or mailer and unlikely to get traction.

    What is ironic (and misguided) in Baker’s comments is identifying Kirk’s military record as an advantage; if anything it’s a liability given his “misremembered” snafu in the last race and the (totally appropriate) positive perception voters have for wounded combat vets. Additionally, tagging Duckworth as a “Dove” seems like a very poor angle to play given her record - even with the talking points of policy positions.


  12. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 10:57 am:

    ===I would never diminish anyone’s service.===

    And yet you just did. Also, I believe Duckworth’s Achilles heel was blown off when she was shot down, so perhaps you ought to avoid saying dumb things like that.

    And a U.S. Army Lt. Colonel is comparable to a U.S. Navy Commander, so they attained equalt rank. And you still found a way to diminish her by suggesting Kirk outranked her.

    But yes, please, let’s keep this line of conversation going.


  13. - A Jack - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 11:07 am:

    I hope most moms can tell the difference between trading a commander-in-chief during a war and trading a Senator during heightened world tensions.


  14. - DGD - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 11:14 am:

    Serious question, on topic for suburban moms: Where does Kirk stand on gun control?

    Gun owners despise him, if that helps.


  15. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 11:15 am:

    47th, you need to read better. You’re arguing no point that was even made. A Colonel and a Commander are equal. A Lt. (either) is one grade below.

    I am personally a fan of Tammy’s. I like her personally. I wish she wouldn’t be running for a position that isn’t well suited for her.

    I did not diminish her service one iota. Never have.


  16. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    ===though in a fair comparison (even without the senseless embellishment) Kirk’s is far more expansive than Tammy’s. Higher rank, longer service, etc.===

    ===a Commander is a step up from a Lt. Colonel. There is a bit of a difference in being promoted in the Nat’l Guard vs. Active/Reserve Navy.===

    I read just fine. And you’re still wrong about the rank. Lt. Colonel is equal to Commander, as Colonel is equal to Navy Captain. Source:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:United_States_uniformed_services_comparative_ranks

    Not that it’s possible for you to ever admit a mistake. But don’t worry, I enjoy pointing out when you’re wrong.


  17. - RNUG - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 11:20 am:

    –Sling, Part of the problem in the Intelligence Corp is that you really aren’t at liberty to offer details into much of your service.–

    Word, I have friends who are retired intelligence officers. They really can’t talk much about what they did in their career under penalty of prosecution under National Security rules. They even have to get permission to publish anything about what they did, or to be a security / political commentator / analyst for the news channels.

    Although now that Hillary has skated on a similar charge, maybe they can talk …


  18. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 11:23 am:

    RNUG, I guess that’s why when Kirk talked about his naval intelligence service, he just made up a bunch of stuff.

    That way, not revealing any real secrets.

    –I wish she wouldn’t be running for a position that isn’t well suited for her.–

    Wasn’t bred for it?


  19. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 11:27 am:

    They both served honorably. Not going to get into a spitting contest over who achieved more. It’s not about that. Every Veteran is heroic in my book.


  20. - Wensicia - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 11:33 am:

    ==I wish she wouldn’t be running for a position that isn’t well suited for her.==

    But, it’s well suited for KIrk? Explain, please.


  21. - Responsa - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 11:38 am:

    Wordslinger, I give you credit for being relentless in moving and keeping the thread’s narrative to what you want to talk about. But since the original topic is independent suburban women and what it will take to get their vote this fall, may I humbly suggest that whether Commander or Lt. Colonel is the more impressive title (they both are impressive) is NOT the most pressing issue in suburban womens’ minds right now when it comes to voting for a senator. Geez.


  22. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 11:42 am:

    Wens, I’m not the best guy to amplify on Kirk. That being said, he’s got a long record on the Hill. First, with Porter, then as Congressman himself, and now 6 years in the Senate. If you compare Congressional records, his is far more impressive. That’s what he should be focusing on.


  23. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 11:44 am:

    – I humbly suggest that whether Commander or Lt. Colonel is the more impressive title (they both are impressive) is NOT the most pressing issue in suburban womens’ minds right now when it comes to voting for a senator.–

    I humbly suggest clarifications of the actual records was in order in regards to national security bona fides and the concerns of “security moms.”

    I guess you didn’t get that far in the post.


  24. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 1:24 pm:

    An Army Lt. Colonel and a Navy Commander are both O-5s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._uniformed_services_pay_grades#Officer_pay_grades

    – MrJM


  25. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 1:29 pm:

    –They both served honorably. Not going to get into a spitting contest over who achieved more.–

    Take it up with this guy.

    –I do agree that comparing service records is not a great strategy, though in a fair comparison (even without the senseless embellishment) Kirk’s is far more expansive than Tammy’s.–


  26. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:08 pm:

    I was actually responding to this guy-
    ==Kirk’s national security bona fides are in his own mind, and often highly exagerrated.

    Like Kirk, Richard Goldberg is a navy reserve intelligence officer. Jason Plummer was a navy reserve intelligence officer. Doesn’t make them Eisenhowers.

    I don’t think it’s wise for him to compare service records with Duckworth. Just doesn’t make sense.===


  27. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:16 pm:

    A Guy, the evidence against you is written in your own comments. Own it. Embrace it. And if you reflect on it, you can admit you were wrong about a lot of things in this thread. The most obvious being your attempt to diminish Tammy Duckworth’s service while claiming you’d never do that to anyone.

    Admitting mistakes, and sometimes even apologizing for them, can be cathartic. You really should give it a try sometime.


  28. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:31 pm:

    47. Pound sand. I’m always careful about what I say with regard to Tammy. I like her. I don’t diminish her service for a second. After her terrible injuries, she petitioned the Nat’l Guard to be able to continue her service. She was very sincere about wanting to continue to help and advocate for her fellow service members. There is nothing about her service that I don’t admire.

    For her own sake, I wish she’d give up the service in either chamber in Congress and make life a little easier on herself and her family. There are so many roles she could fulfill better. I honestly think she’d be a lot happier too. I’m not sure that being in Congress is something she wants either. She’s being a loyal soldier.


  29. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:38 pm:

    Guy, there’s a fine line between being a psychic and being a psychotic. You have no idea what would make Tammy Duckworth happier, so keep the ramblings of the voices in your head to yourself or people will think you’re a bit nuts.

    For the love of God man, everyone here can read all of the comments you wrote on this thread. For native English speakers, I think it is perfectly clear that you attempted to diminish Tammy Duckworth’s military record. You also made at least one glaring factual error.

    A decent human being, when facing a similar situation, takes a moment to reflect and perhaps re-reads the items in question. And then a simple phrase is often used, sometimes along with another phrase, and then the rest of the readers can assume that, perhaps, you aren’t really mentally unstable afterall.

    “I was wrong.”

    “I apologize.”


  30. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:38 pm:

    So he’s been on the Hill longer. That doesn’t mean he was good at any of his jobs.


  31. - Wordslinger - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 2:48 pm:

    Guy, that is either the most pathetic example of concern trolling I’ve ever seen or you are simply delusional.

    Do you read what you write?


  32. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:08 pm:

    One might conclude that the two of you are guilty of your own silly little charges.

    But, I guess Eisenhower was in Navy Intel. You know all the stuff no one else knows. Cool.


  33. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:16 pm:

    ===That doesn’t mean he was good at any of his jobs.===

    Gee Cheryl, He’s won a lot of elections. In fact, I don’t think he’s lost one. (worry not, I’ll be corrected promptly if he has).

    Someone thinks he’s done OK. Like a majority, at least 6 times that I know of.


  34. - Wordslinger - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:23 pm:

    Guy, I did not say Eisenhower was in Navy intel. A competent reader would discern obvious sarcasm in the context of the discussion of national security credentials.

    You truly believed someone thought Eisenhower was in the Navy? Really?


  35. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:26 pm:

    Guy, it’s spelled “I w-a-s w-r-o-n-g.”


  36. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:31 pm:

    ===One might conclude that the two of you are guilty of your own silly little charges===

    1. You argue like a third grader.
    2. Most of the time when I’m wrong, I’ll admit it.
    3. The next time you acknowledge you were wrong will be the first time.
    4. No, you are.


  37. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:32 pm:

    ===A competent reader would discern ….====

    …a lot of things. Including that I don’t diminish the record of anyone who’s served. No one should. Your pal 47 can’t stop chasing parked cars.


  38. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:35 pm:

    Word, my older brother who was a ring-knocker and career Navy officer, and his buddies used to say “Marine Intelligence” was an oxymoron. Interservice rivalries and elections definitely don’t mix.


  39. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:37 pm:

    ===RNUG, I guess that’s why when Kirk talked about his naval intelligence service, he just made up a bunch of stuff.

    That way, not revealing any real secrets.====

    Is this an example of you speedin’ down the high road and admitting something? Maybe that’s why it’s so tough to notice.

    And…No about Tammy being “bred” for Congress. You are alluding to my saying that members of the Kennedy’s are “bred” for different roles in public service.

    Tammy came by her service in a much, much different way. She was “bred” for greatness. I just don’t think serving in Congress is what it is.


  40. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:38 pm:

    Guy, what were you trying to do, if not diminish her record, when you said this:

    “There is a bit of a difference in being promoted in the Nat’l Guard vs. Active/Reserve Navy.”

    I think reasonable people know you are lying. I am just having a little fun by highlighting it and making you look even more foolish than you manage to do on your own.


  41. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:46 pm:

    47, another gracious post. I think it’s time for you to speak to a Veteran Officer of the Service (any branch). Let them explain it to you.


  42. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 3:55 pm:

    –===RNUG, I guess that’s why when Kirk talked about his naval intelligence service, he just made up a bunch of stuff.

    That way, not revealing any real secrets.==

    Is this an example of you speedin’ down the high road and admitting something? –

    No, it was an example of my pointing out that Kirk made up a lot of stuff about his record.

    The context was, you posited he couldn’t talk about his intelligence service. My point was, he talked plenty, but it was made up.

    –She was “bred” for greatness. I just don’t think serving in Congress is what it is.–

    LOL, a double-down concern trolling, based on nothing.


  43. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 4:36 pm:

    Really Sling, I hear your mom calling. Honest, I do.


  44. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 4:38 pm:

    Back to the actual post. It really is about suburban women for Kirk. And in that area, where I’m walking, he appears to be holding his own. Not conservative enough for some, but they generally like him. That’s what I hear on most of the porches I’ve been to in North Dupage.


  45. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 4:41 pm:

    No Guy, you don’t, as she’s deceased.

    I know at times you’ve posted that you know the minds of the deceased, but I assure you in this instance, you don’t.


  46. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 4:43 pm:

    Yep, just like a third-grader.


  47. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 4:49 pm:

    47, lay off the third-graders.


  48. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 5:03 pm:

    ===It really is about suburban women for Kirk.===

    Exactly, which is why it is important to understand why on earth you appear to believe suburban women don’t mind when people patronize and diminish their accomplishments. “They both attained the same rank in the military, but Kirk out-ranked her because she was only in the National Guard and he was in the Navy Reserve. Big difference.”

    Also, do you actually knock on the doors and speak with people, or do you simply stand on your own porch and “listen?”


  49. - A guy - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 5:04 pm:

    I do admire that you stick up for your classmates.


  50. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 5:10 pm:

    Guy, when you hear more from my mother, you let me know, okay?

    Until then, stay classy.


  51. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jul 18, 16 @ 7:17 pm:

    Word, that Admiral Eisenhower was a heckuva President, though.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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