Endorsement: Schneider our choice in key Congress primary
Last year, former U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider of Deerfield offended some members of his own party by questioning the nuclear arms agreement President Barack Obama's administration negotiated with Iran.
In fact, Schneider's position on the agreement is the reason most cite for Sen. Dick Durbin of Springfield endorsing Schneider's opponent in the March 15 Democratic primary in the 10th Congressional District.
Whether that's the real reason for Durbin's surprising snub or whether something else is at play is hard to know with certainty.
But whatever the case, Schneider's willingness to take on one of the most powerful Democrats in Illinois is a bit refreshing.
You don't have to agree with him on the Iran deal to see it that way, although the recent nuclear provocations by North Korea certainly serve as a reminder about the high stakes in these delicate matters if mistakes are made.
In a dangerous world, allegiance to country is more important than allegiance to party. Fact is, that's always been the case, even in less dangerous times.
We endorse Schneider in his bid for the nomination over Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering.
The Congressional race in the 10th District of Illinois is one of national interest. Now occupied by Republican Bob Dold of Kenilworth, the congressional seat represents a district that stretches up the North Shore from Winnetka to Winthrop Harbor, through much of central and north central Lake County as far inland as Fox Lake and Lakemoor and out into northwest Cook County, taking in parts of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights and Wheeling.
It's a swing district that has prized independence and moderate political philosophy for decades, a little more left leaning today than it was before Democrats changed the maps after the 2010 Census but still a district that can't be taken for granted by either party.
Six years ago, Dold was elected. Four years ago, Schneider. And two years ago, Dold again.
We've had a few reservations about Schneider in the past, but if anything, his time out of office seems to have expanded his insights, not weakened them.
The Durbin snub aside, it's not like Schneider lacks Democratic backing. He's got it from former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Secretary of State Jesse White to name just a few.
His grasp of the issues is deep and nuanced.
"The Democratic Party is the party of government," he told us, "but if we're going to be the party of government, we've got to make sure that the government works for the people."
Rotering, who passed a landmark ban on assault weapons in Highland Park, is not without credentials. But she has struggled to create any substantive disagreements with Schneider outside of the Iran agreement while lacking his mastery of the issues. When we asked how she would improve the Affordable Care Act, she responded by saying she would add provisions that already are in it.
It's difficult to predict what will happen in the general election this fall, but for the primary, we're convinced that by virtue of temperament, experience and perspective, Schneider is the best choice for Democratic voters.