Singer: For all of your fundraising successes, your recruitment successes, the biggest complaint out of the progressive blogosphere relating to your tenure as DCCC chair has been your willingness to jump into internal primary battles, most notably supporting Tammy Duckworth over a grassroots' favorite, Christine Cegelis. How would you respond to this criticism?"I know what my Republican counterpart said when Tammy won, which is this is going to be a very competitive seat now."
Emanuel: I think there are places where primaries are good. Illinois, in the 6th, they had a primary. But my view was, I also have a charge, as you know Jonathan, to make every seat competitive -- or as many seats as I can competitive. And I know what my Republican counterpart said when Tammy won, which is this is going to be a very competitive seat now.
And so sometimes with being a leader at the DCCC comes criticism. That's part of the job. That's fine.
The voters in the end of the day in the 6th district made a decision. They made a decision to have Tammy be the nominee. In my view, it's now a discussion about Tammy's set of ideas about what it takes to move this country forward and the extreme ideas and policies that Senator Roskam has been voting on, like against stem cell research. He's for banning books and movies like "It's a Wonderful Life," like "Romeo and Juliet" from schools. He opposed the assault weapons ban. This is a debate about Tammy Duckworth versus Peter Roskam. This is not about what happened in the past.
Singer: Maybe just on a larger scale, not just in that race, do you have any concern that... There has been a lot of rhetoric coming out of the progressive blogosphere. Do you have any concern that might turn into, say, progressive voters staying at home on election day?
Emanuel: If the progressive blogs saying... Look, let's go back. What happened in 2004, John Kerry got 47 percent. Right?
Singer: In that district.
Emanuel: And Cegelis got what? Do you remember?
Singer: 44 percent.
Emanuel: So she ran below John Kerry in that district. Correct?
Singer: That's correct, I think.
Emanuel: So okay. I'm into a general election against Peter Roskam. And that's a suburban district. It's a district that's going to be won with independents, because there's not enough Democrats to win it. Okay?
I knew he wasn't taking his cues from the Democratic grassroots, but his apparent satisfaction with attaboys from across the aisle surprises even me. I guess you take your affirmation where you can get it.