Duckworth: Working in GOP-controlled Congress will be nothing new
Tammy Duckworth, Illinois' newest U.S. senator, said it's "time to heal the nation" as she sets to work in the Democratic minority in Congress and with a new Republican president.
Duckworth joins senior Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, of Springfield, in the upper chamber, which despite Democrats' efforts will keep its Republican majority.
A wounded Iraq War veteran and two-term House member, she says she's used to working under a Republican-controlled Congress.
"I've served my entire time in the House under Republican control," Duckworth said. "I'm going to approach my work in the Senate in the same way."
The Hoffman Estates Democrat greeted commuters at the Millennium Park train station in Chicago early Wednesday after her overwhelming defeat of incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Highland Park in Tuesday's election. Later, she headed to Springfield and Peoria.
Duckworth, a Hillary Clinton superdelegate at the Democratic National Convention in July, said she was surprised by Republican Donald Trump's stunning upset.
"There will be a lot of folks looking back, trying to figure things out," she said.
She said she's focused on "finding common ground, assuming the other person has good intentions as well, and finding a way to pull together legislation that's going to benefit people of this great state."
Duckworth was joined by Durbin and Democratic U.S. Rep. Danny Davis of Chicago.
Durbin, Illinois' longest-serving popularly elected senator, said he spent Election Night "thinking this was going to turn around any minute" in Clinton's favor. "Finally, around midnight, I went to sleep and thought, 'Maybe I'll wake up to a miracle.' I woke up to something different."
Durbin said he's spent recent hours asking himself what he would have asked of Trump supporters, had the business tycoon lost his bid.
"(I'd say) don't give up your values, but fight for them in a civilized way. I think that's our responsibility."
He described a Republican-controlled Congress paired with a Republican presidency "a situation that's going to be uphill" for Democrats.
On Friday, she said, she plans to have a drink with Kirk, an invitation he made to her during his concession speech.
"It couldn't be any more appropriate for two veterans to get together on Veterans Day and have a drink together," she said.