Duckworth's comments will be both a psychological and big political blow to Shinseki, President Obama and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Duckworth worked from 2009 to 2011 as an assistant secretary for public affairs and intergovernmental relations -- essentially the public face of the department.
Duckworth made her comments to The Post after inquiries about her position on Shinseki following the release of an initial report by the VA inspector general. She had previously told The Post that she was “pissed off” about the situation but would reserve judgment.
Now, after reading the VA watchdog report this week, she said Shinseki needs to resign.
"The inspector general's office has clearly stated they’re looking at literally dozens of other facilities and we just don’t have the time to waste on political discussions when veterans need care," she said Friday.
Duckworth wavered on whether she would accept the job as VA secretary if Obama ever asked her to take it.
“I’m a sucker for that ‘Your nation needs you to serve’ line. But I would say no," she said initially.
But when asked again, she said: "I’m just getting started serving my constituents here and I guess you could never say no, but I think that the work that I’m doing now is critical."