CHICAGO – An Iraq war veteran from Illinois hoping to limit tea party-backed Republican Rep. Joe Walsh to a single term in Congress was endorsed Tuesday by none other than ... Joe Walsh.
Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, that is.
The six-time Grammy-winning rocker said he’s “the real Joe Walsh” and that he’s proud to back Democrat Tammy Duckworth in her bid for the 8th Congressional District seat. The musician, who lived in Evanston for a few years as a child, will hold a fundraising concert for her in July, with tickets priced at $100 to $2,500.
The endorsement in one of the most closely watched U.S. House races nationwide is a first for the Democratic musician. He held a concert for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, but said he hasn’t endorsed anyone else.
“I sincerely believe that she is the real thing,” Walsh said. “I’m frustrated with Congress in that they’re not getting very much done, and I’m frustrated to the point where I think people should start paying attention to who’s in Congress.”
Duckworth, who was an Army helicopter pilot, lost her legs in a 2004 rocket-propelled grenade attack in Iraq. She later served in the Obama administration.
Walsh the musician said his endorsement has nothing to do with sharing the congressman’s name. He said Duckworth’s service record and sacrifices to the country show she’s the best candidate for the job.
The first-term congressman, a McHenry resident whose acerbic criticism of President Barack Obama has made him a frequent guest on cable news talk shows, dismissed the endorsement as a stunt.
“Is anyone really surprised when Tammy gets support from the liberal entertainment industry?” the congressman’s campaign said in a statement. “Tammy can have the support of the ‘Hotel California’ liberal elite, Congressman Walsh is more concerned with getting the support of hardworking families from the 8th district.”
It’s not the first time the Joe Walshes have crossed paths.
When the congressman ran for office in 2010 and used a version of an Eagles’ song on his website, the guitarist threatened to sue for copyright infringement and the video was taken down.
The musician didn’t have too much to say about that incident or their shared moniker.
“It’s kind of awkward that the incumbent has my name,” he said. “This is not about him.”
Walsh joined The Eagles in the mid-1970s. His first solo album in two decades, “Analog Man,” was released this year.