November 21, 2010 By Kristen McQueary
As he asked voters for their support outside Mount Greenwood School in Chicago on Election Day, U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd), of Western Springs, noticed a burly man in his 30s wearing a “Throw The Bums Out” button. The three-term congressman hesitated before approaching him.
“I wondered, ‘Should I even bother going up to him?’ ” Lipinski said Thursday from Washington, D.C. “I told him I was Dan Lipinski and I would appreciate it if he would vote for me. He said I was the only incumbent he would be voting for. That’s what I’m going to remember most about Election Day.”
As the only Illinois Democrat who voted against President Barack Obama’s health care bill in November 2009, and as a survivor of a Republican surge that ousted dozens of Blue Dogs and conservative Democrats on Nov. 2, Lipinski continues to raise his profile in the U.S. House as independent-minded.
His vote against Nancy Pelosi last week for minority leader may diminish his effectiveness in pushing policy – loyalty, not dissent, earns reward in politics – but he continues to forge a contrarian path nonetheless. He joined a handful of caucus insurgents in an effort to decentralize Pelosi’s power in appointment-making, too.