WASHINGTON–Illinois House Democratic hopeful Tammy Duckworth on Tuesday took aim for the first time–in a video release–on freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) who may–or may not–be running for another term in 2012 from the same district Duckworth wants to represent.
Walsh–a leader of the House Tea Party Caucus–has taken on an increasingly high profile in recent weeks, as the negotiations over raising the debt ceiling have evolved into a stalemate. Walsh has been booked on a variety of political shows and has used his platform increasingly to taunt President Barack Obama.
Last week when I interviewed Walsh he told me, getting media attention a major part of his job. “I came here figuratively to scream from the mountaintop.”
The Duckworth video is themed “now is the time for real leadership” and uses clips of Walsh slamming Obama on CNN, FoxChicago and a contentious exchange with Chris Matthews on MSMBC’s “Hardball.” Walsh in these clips says Obama in the deficit/debt/budget talks is acting “like a teenager,” is a “ten-year-old over his head” and is a man who “has no shame.”
The video states “Walsh is leading the fight against practical solutions” and asks “is this any was to move our country forward?”
UPDATE REACTION FROM WALSH
I asked Walsh on Tuesday his reaction to Duckworth’s video and he told me “clearly Tammy is trying to raise money. If she wants to use me to raise money right now, my hat is off to her. I should be flattered.”
Duckworth strategist Pete Giangreco told me the video will be an effort to show over the next days that Walsh is “a symbol of everything that is wrong with Washington. The House Republicans in general and the Tea Party extremists like Joe Walsh would rather scream and dig in their heels…that somehow they will be able to impose their will on the American people who don’t agree with them.”
Duckworth is in a 2012 Democratic primary for the new eighth congressional district, designed by Illinois Democratic map-makers to be more Democratic than the turf of the current eighth District. She is in a contest with Raja Krishnamoorthi, who ran for comptroller last year.
Walsh told me last week he is running for re-election–but has not decided on the district.
CORRECTION IN THE NEXT GRAF.
The Democrats put Walsh’s home in the new 14th district, GOP ground now represented by freshman Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.)
new ninth district–very Democratic territory which Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) has represented for years. Walsh has several options for 2012–including a run from more GOP turf, where he would likely face a primary with a fellow GOP Illinois House incumbent. Since both Duckworth and Krishnamoorthi would be well funded–the new eighth has already become a national target for the Democrats–Walsh could decide to face off with either Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.) or Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) whose fund-raising efforts have been anemic. A face-off with Hultgren is a logical move for Walsh.
The video was produced by Duckworth’s media consultants, Snyder Pickerill Media Group.