Leading the way in a newspaper that is abjectly and unembarrassed in its partisanshipthe way papers should be, in my estimation, where news and editorial opinions merge in rhetorical unity (this said not in irony but in admiration)Lynn Sweet of the Sun-Times has written a column worthy of the late George Tagge of the old lamented Tribune. In Duckworth Faces Struggle to Unify Dems, Sweet outlines a bold three-point program that allies of Duckworth can use to heal the divisions within their party and elect Duckworth over State Sen. Peter Roskam.
Sage political strategist Sweet knows politics superbly (and didnt waste her time on election day serving as a judge of election in some kind of Civics 101 exercise) as did Carol Marin the misplaced celebrity political columnist. Sweet gives the Duckworth people advice they would have had to pay many thousands foradvice for the cost of 50 cents in yesterdays edition. After consulting with Duckworth spokesman Billy Weinberg who has been less than a first-rate mind in the campaignh, she asked Duckworth how the Christine Cegalis people can be wooed to Duckworth.
Weinbergs answer: By reminding them how high the stakes are frankly cuts no ice. Its sophomoric. Promptly, Aunt Lynn herself gives the answer in four stepsand its more than a unity breakfast which will be held Saturday. : First, Cegalis should be given a top place in the Duckworth campaign; second Cegalis should be groomed for another run, probably for state Rep and given extraordinary help; third, like a tough mother, Sweet orders Rahm Emanuel who is despised among Cegalis people to lavish attention on the defeated candidate along with Dick Durbin and Barack Obama; fourth, journalist-consultant Sweet has called for Howard Dean, a favorite of Cegalis, to lend a hand.
Now thats advice that a first-rate political consultant would produce for the cost of a couple of grand. But Sweet is a passionate lefty believer and wants her party to succeed, which is exemplary. In Sweet Democrats have that wrapped up in a first-rate journalistic analyst. And I daresay Sweet never served a day as an election judge: she didnt have to. Celebrity Marin, incidentally, goofed up the other day by asking Republican 8th district nominee David McSweeney how he planned to distance himself from Vice President Cheney when Cheney raised money for McSweeney in the campaign. Oops. Cheney raised money for Peter Roskam, not McSweeneyand in the 6th district not the 8th. But spending all that time in the TV makeup room does interfere with getting the numbers straight, doesnt it?
Back to Duckworth and expert Sweet: For all the attention she has received from her Iraq war experience, Duckworth who appeared on Chicago Tonight is not a campaign natural. She is not comfortable with issue specifics and may very well never be. That doesnt mean she cant get electedand count on Aunt Lynn to follow up with more advice, on the knack of framing issues. Duckworth needs help in framing. Unless Emanuel gets someone to help Duckworth on that, count on Aunt Lynn to supply it for another 50 cents.