March 31 was U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock's last day in office after resigning from Congress following questions about possibly improper spending. But while the resignation and fall from public favor have been a disappointment for Illinoisans and the national Republican Party, Capitol Fax's Rich Miller says Schock could still have better days ahead of him.
Just eight weeks ago, Schock was widely believed to be next in line to chair the National Republican Congressional Committee. But his rapid fall from grace ruined his career and deprived the NRCC of a chance to project a far more youthful public image.
Needless to say, the Illinois House Republicans are heartbroken by this loss. Schock is a former state House member and he retained quite a bit of personal affection and even admiration by his onetime colleagues and staffers. But it's the loss of his assistance which will be felt the most. Schock has been very helpful to the point of being almost indispensable to the House Republicans. He's helped recruit candidates, raised money for them and helped them campaign. And he was quite successful.
Ever since he defeated a sitting Democratic Representative in a solidly Democratic district at the age of 23, Schock has been the HGOP's wonder boy. And they've used his help and his model to win other districts, including state Reps. Adam Brown and Michael Unes, who both won Democratic-controlled districts with Schock's assistance in 2010.
(Read the rest of Miller's thoughts on Schock at Reboot Illinois.)
Another member of Congress from Illinois is in the news. U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth announced March 30 that she plans to run for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Sen. Mark Kirk from Illinois in 2016. Duckworth is an Iraq War veteran who lost both her legs when her helicopter was shot down in 2004.
(Watch Duckworth's campaign announcement and learn more about how the race could gain national attention at Reboot Illinois.)