In Illinois, It’s Joe Walsh vs. the Other Joe Walsh

The Eagles guitarist has endorsed Tammy Duckworth, the opponent of the Illinois congressman of the same name.

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From left: Cliff Owen / AP; Chris Pizzello / AP

Representative Joe Walsh (R-Ill) is pictured on the left alongside Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh.

“This is not about him,” guitarist Joe Walsh clarified to the Associated Press after he endorsed Tammy Duckworth, the opponent of Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, earlier this week. It may not have been. But it was a fun get for Duckworth, especially since Walsh — the Tea Party-affiliated politician — appears to have once had a penchant for Eagles tunes.

“This is the real Joe Walsh here,” reads a poster featuring the guitarist promoting a Ducksworth fundraising concert on July 1st. “Tammy’s story, her service to our nation and her continued commitment to working families (like the one I come from!) have convinced me that she’s the right choice for Congress.”

The musician arguably brings more star power to the table than Duckworth’s other endorsers, like Obama senior advisor David Axelrod or Sen. Dick Durbin — both of whom are backing the former helicopter pilot and wounded Iraq war veteran. But even though guitarist Walsh said the name-game doesn’t have to do with his nod, the Washington Post‘s Ed O’Keefe pointed out a “bit of schadenfreude” in the years before the endorsement:

Two years ago when Walsh — the lawmaker — first ran for Congress, he borrowed a song by the other Walsh called “Walk Away” and changed the lyrics. The move prompted the musician’s attorney to send a tongue-in-cheek letter to Walsh’s campaign:

“You’re not allowed to take someone’s song and change the lyrics,” the attorney wrote. “This is not to say you’re not allowed to write silly lyrics, you just have to write them to your own music. Now, I know why you used Joe’s music — it’s undoubtedly because it’s a lot better than any music you or your staff could have written. [...]

Tongue-in-cheek, yes, but also stinging. Meanwhile, Tammy Duckworth’s campaign staff have posed a more pressing query to her Twitter followers after the endorsement: “What song should @JoeWalsh dedicate to @RepJoeWalsh on July 1?” There’s already been some pretty decent suggestions made.

(More: Candidate to Newspaper: Take Your Endorsement and Shove It)

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