Who is Tammy Duckworth, the U.S. senator from Illinois who is expected to be on the shortlist in the Democratic presidential runoff?
Born in Bangkok and wounded in the Iraq war, Tammy Duckworth has a Purple Heart and the instincts of a street fighter.
His name has often come up during high-level debates over the vice-presidential fringe of alleged Democratic candidate Joe Biden. It has also become a target for Tucker Carlson and other Fox News conservatives.
When he recently told CNN that he had an open mind about the prospect of removing American monuments to American founders and slave owners, Carlson questioned his patriotism.
He stepped back, saying Mr. Carlson should “walk a mile on my legs and then tell me whether or not I love America.”;
His challenge to Mr. Carlson drew national attention and drew the attention of the people to both his political aging and his military training. She was shot down in a helicopter during the Iraq war and lost her legs.
Many Democrats believe that his military history and tenacity during the struggles with the Conservatives, as well as his Asian-American trajectory, would strengthen Mr. Biden’s candidacy. If he had chosen her as a running mate, his supporters would say, he would help garner votes from veterans, minorities and women.
Still, many believe Mr. Biden should choose a black-run mate instead; Senator Kamala Harris is often mentioned as a possibility. On top of that, Ms. Duckworth’s home state is certainly Democratic. Other candidates for the Democratic ticket, a group that includes New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, could help Mr. Biden in states where he could use his impetus.
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The election of a candidate to candidate has added importance to Democrats because of Mr. Biden’s age and his own assessment of his role.
He is 77 years old and, if elected, would be 82 at the end of his term. He sees himself as a “candidate for transition,” and even his delinquent supporters assume that if elected, he would not seek a second term.
This means that someday he will hold the position of vice president could become president.
Duckworth, 52, is best known for her work on veterans issues. In addition, he has worked in welfare policy and has often spoken on national security. He fought during the Iraq war, but believes it was a mistake.
“It’s a hard lesson,” he says. “And I hope this nation is much more skeptical about the reasons for going to war.”
He also has a compelling personal history. She and her husband, Bryan Bowlsbey, have two daughters, Abigail and Maile Pearl, and she was the first to have a son while serving as a U.S. senator.
His father, Frank, a U.S. citizen, worked at the United Nations, and his mother, Lamai, is originally from Thailand.
Thai-speaking Duckworth lived with his parents in Singapore, Indonesia and Cambodia because of his father’s UN job.
The family was in Cambodia, living in Phnom Penh during a period of violence shortly before the Khmer Rouge took power in the mid-1970s.
He remembers going to his market with his mother when suddenly the bombs started falling. Duckworth said his mother pushed him to the ground, so he wouldn’t see the crudeness.
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Duckworth then enlisted in the military, following in the footsteps of his father, a Vietnam veteran. She once told me that she was never seen as a presidential candidate.
“I don’t have that fire in my stomach,” he says. But she is a fierce advocate of Mr. Biden, and has given him brilliance.
During an online fundraiser, he praised his bravery in battle and in politics. “I can’t think of anyone who has shown more courage,” he said. Addressing her directly, he said, “I am grateful for you here with me in this struggle.”
Ideologically, Ms. Duckworth is a good match for Biden, a centrist Democrat. Among U.S. Senate Democrats, she also appears in the middle of the ideological spectrum.
In recent weeks, she has sunk into President Donald Trump and his “failure to lead our nation,” showing his willingness to act as Mr. Biden’s attack dog during the campaign.
Mr Biden’s aides recently interviewed her through the vice-presidential slot, she said during a live chat with the Washington Post on Thursday. She described the job interview as “positive.”
Who could be Joe Biden’s running mate?
Presidential candidate Joe Biden has pledged to choose a woman as a running mate. The rumored include:
- Senator Kamala Harris of California
- Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice
- Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan
- Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth
- Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
- Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin
- Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema
Read more about Mr Biden’s potential companion here
After retiring from the army, Ms. Duckworth worked on state and national veterans issues and was elected to Congress in 2012. She won a Senate seat in 2016, becoming the state’s senior senator and following in the footsteps of President Barack Obama . Its rise from state politics to national relevance has been rapid.
Dick Simpson, head of the political science department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says she has advanced faster than anyone in the politics she has seen in half a century. Obama, who also got his start in Illinois politics, rose more than Mrs. Duckworth. But as Simpson points out, “It took a little longer.”
Peter Levin, the founder of a software company in Washington, worked with her in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and says she has an innate talent for politics.
“She naturally brings out the best in people even when there is tension in the room,” she says, explaining that she is able to adjust “her language, her emphasis, to the person she is talking to” by such as to create consensus.
His history in politics is far from perfect.
He has struggled to pass legislation in Congress and has been criticized for his work on veterans issues. He said all the right things, according to his detractors in Illinois, but many of the veteran programs he talked about never came off the ground.
Criticism has hardly stopped her and, throughout her career, she has shown an unusual resolution. Although she was recovering from her war wounds at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland in 2004, she was given “heavy pain problems,” she said, but they barely suffered the agony of losing her legs.
However, during the recovery and in the years that followed, he has not shown much pity for himself: “For me, it just comes back to the fact that I am so grateful to be alive. I know this sounds so funny to me.” , he says. “But I think about what my teammates did to get me out and the driver who took me to safety. I can’t cope.”
His supporters hope that Mr. Biden chooses him as a career partner to bring his enthusiasm to the campaign. He is scheduled to announce his decision this week.