Teaching Democrats how to win

Gary Sosniecki

Gary Sosniecki


Cheri Bustos is the Vicky Hartzler of northwest Illinois.

Hartzler, 56, was elected to Congress in 2010, defeating a male incumbent to become the first woman elected from her 21-county district, which includes Lebanon.

Bustos, 55, was elected to Congress in 2012, defeating a male incumbent to become the first woman elected from her 14-county district, which includes the company where I worked for eight years before retiring to Lebanon.

Both congresswomen are smart, articulate, personable and knowledgeable about their districts.

The difference is that Hartzler is a Republican, the party that controls the White House and both houses of Congress, while Bustos is a Democrat, a party that’s licking its wounds from last year’s election. In fact, according to a recent profile in the Wall Street Journal, Bustos is “the only member of Democratic Party leadership from the Midwest.”

As such, Bustos was named chair last month of “heartland engagement” for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a position that goes hand-in-hand with her role as one of three co-chairs of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.

Simply put, Bustos has been tasked with figuring out why Democrats aren’t winning in middle America.

And even Republicans like me are getting to tell her what the Democrats are doing wrong.


For the complete column, see the Weekend print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.


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