- Below is the ORIGINAL 2006 story text about Tammy
Duckworth running for Congress (an amazing woman - both legs blown off
by an RPG while she was piloting a Black Hawk). The two key sentences
sentences about Obama's birthplace - which the newspaper has now removed
from its own archived version of the story - are highlighted. This
disgusting act goes hand-in-hand with past Hawaii state government efforts
to obfuscate and coverup the truth about Obama's birth place.
- Duckworth Working To Win
- By Will Hoover
- Advertiser Staff Writer
- January 8, 2006
- Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth works the phones
at her campaign headquarters in Lombard, Ill. Since she announced her candidacy
last month, the 1985 McKinley High School graduate has shown herself willing
to work hard and speak her mind.
- Tammy Duckworth, shown at a news conference at the Helen
M. Plum Memorial Library in Lombard, Ill., is focused on her new goal:
winning the 6th District U.S. House seat in Illinois as a Democrat. Democrats
are targeting the seat, long held by Republican Harry Hyde.
- Tammy Duckworth, shown speaking with campaign workers
at her campaign headquarters in Lombard, Ill., brings an intense focus
blended with a keen sense of humor to her latest mission: running for Congress.
- Duckworth, shown in McKinley High School's 1985 yearbook,
was an honor student and athlete.
- Illinois Army National Guard Maj. L. Tammy Duckworth
sat in a wheelchair at the paper-strewn kitchen table in her suburban Chicago
home doing what she seems to do better than most mortals: focusing totally
on the task at hand.
- She worked the phones for hours Wednesday as part of
her effort to get herself elected to Congress - reaching out to dozens
of mayors, union officials and everyday voters.
- Somehow, she's able to stay focused and find humor simultaneously.
She has a knack for instantly putting people at ease with what some call
her disability - the fact that she lost both her legs in Iraq 418 days
- Pausing between calls, Duckworth noted that her high-tech
artificial legs were in the closet "charging up." What she called
her "left stump" was propped up on the table.
- "That's my way of kicking back," she said with
an infectious laugh. "I know, the politically correct term is residual
limb. But that's just way too many syllables, and I figure it's mine. I
can call it what I want."
- Duckworth's Iraq experience already is the stuff of American
- On Nov. 12, 2004, her entire focus was on not losing
consciousness while trying to safely land a Black Hawk helicopter. It had
been blasted by a rocket-propelled grenade that exploded where Duckworth
was seated. The maneuver was an impossible feat with two missing legs,
a shattered right arm, and a multitude of other serious injuries.
- Another pilot landed the helicopter. But Duckworth, not
realizing how seriously she'd been hurt, kept her attention on the mission,
passing out only when the Black Hawk was on the ground. Initially presumed
dead, Duckworth remained unconscious for the next 10 days.
- Her focus for the better part of 2005 included staying
alive, undergoing intense therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in
Washington, D.C., and painstakingly learning to walk again on artificial
- She is on record as saying she's determined to fly helicopters
- Duckworth knows that political pundits are focused on
her. As a Democratic candidate in a historically Republican district trying
to win the House seat being vacated by retiring Republican icon Henry Hyde,
her 6th District race is becoming a Democratic Party priority and a talking
point among political heavyweights.
- "Very rarely have I met a more impressive person
than Tammy Duckworth," said Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in an article
the day before she announced her candidacy Dec. 18. "She just has
the poise and exudes the type of character that I think would make her
an astounding public servant."
- Duckworth is happy to point out that she and Hawai'i-raised
Punahou graduate Obama have "a kama'aina connection."
- Both were born outside the country - Obama in Indonesia,
Duckworth in Thailand - and graduated from high school in Honolulu - Punahou
and McKinley, respectively.
- "The big thing for me is that I'm a McKinley High
grad," said Duckworth. "That gives you a lot of street creds.
I wasn't a rich kid."
- Born in Bangkok on March 12, 1968, when her father was
there working with a United Nations refugee program, Duckworth spent much
of her childhood in Southeast Asian countries. Along with her parents,
Franklin and Lamia Duckworth, and her younger brother, Tommy Duckworth,
she arrived in Hawai'i at age 16. An honors student, she skipped ninth
grade and graduated in 1985.
- Richard Sakamoto, Duckworth's high school principal,
remembers her as the sort of student any educator would hope to find in
the classroom - multitalented, determined and bound for success.
- "She was one of the best students, because of her
determination," said Sakamoto, who had breakfast with Duckworth when
she returned to Hawai'i in September to attend a wedding and to speak at
a women's leadership conference.
- "She was something else, very intelligent, very
goal-oriented. She was an athlete. She participated in basketball, volleyball
- And according to Duckworth, she was and still is a girly
girl. A photo of her looking stylish and feminine in a short satin dress
appears in the 1985 McKinley High yearbook, for which Duckworth wrote the
- Another yearbook picture of her throwing a discus offers
a different perspective. The accompanying caption reads: "Tammy Duckworth
proves that females are more than equal to the task."
- Duckworth, who holds a master's degree in international
affairs from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., received
a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Hawai'i
- UH political science professor Ira Rohter said she was
a noticeable presence even then.
- "Here was somebody who stood out and was asking
questions," said Rohter, who recalls having Duckworth in one of his
- "She was inquisitive. There was a critical analysis.
She was one of those people who read the material and then would talk and
argue with you about it."
- Rohter said he's not surprised now to find Duckworth
on the national stage.
- "I think she has a sophisticated understanding of
what's going on," he said. "I'm intrigued with what it is that
she wants to accomplish."
- On the local level in Illinois, Duckworth wants to accomplish
the sorts of things that matter to the people in the 6th District - better
education, higher-paying jobs for young graduates, and affordable healthcare.
- And she isn't shy about speaking her mind on controversial
subjects. Duckworth talks about what she sees as a lack of leadership in
Washington, D.C., record federal debt and bad fiscal policies that benefit
- "Invading Iraq was a mistake," she says on
her Tammy Duckworth for Congress Web site. "We should have focused
our military resources instead on pursuing the terrorists who attacked
our country and on capturing Osama Bin Laden."
- Once she was discharged from active duty in late December,
Duckworth was no longer restricted from making political statements. She
remains in the Illinois National Guard on a Continuation On Active Reserve
status - one of two severely injured soldiers given that special status,
- Out of uniform, she'll say what's on her mind, taking
her cues largely from those who know firsthand what she's been through.
- "I have a lot of respect for that World War II generation
who came back from the war and changed this country," said Duckworth,
whose husband, Bryan Bowlsbey, is a captain in the Army National Guard.
- "Sen. Daniel Inouye was in that generation. Bob
Dole and John F. Kennedy were in that generation."
- Duckworth's dad, a Marine who received a Purple Heart
for wounds received in Okinawa and the driving influence of her life, was
of that generation. He died of heart failure on Jan. 28, 2005.
- His daughter has nothing but praise for her fellow soldiers
in the Middle East who she says risk their lives daily, watch their buddies
get killed, and then keep going the next day.
- "What's happened is they've done their duty, but
the politicians have failed them," she said.
- Too many legislators don't have a personal stake in the
decision process - their sons aren't serving, Duckworth said. And that's
why she remains in the military.
- "Because if I get into Congress, the next time they
decide whether or not to send troops into battle, I want to be there to
make that decision.
- "At least my butt will be on the line. I'm not just
going to send somebody else. I'm going to be sending myself."
- As for those who might criticize her views as somehow
unpatriotic, Duckworth said bring it on.
- "I've already had an RPG blow up in my lap,"
she said. "After that, take your best shot. I'm going to get up and
fight for what I think is right."
- Reach Will Hoover at email@example.com.
- Here is the three year old story as it NOW appears in
the paper's archives...the reference to Obama's birth place has vanished...