Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

Keeping a close eye on developments in the 2008 U.S. Senate races

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Choosing the Right Issues to Run on in Red States

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. Here's some news from the last few days:

  • The Washington Post's Shailagh Murray offers this piece on party leaders urging older members to run again rather than retire, preferring incumbents to open seats. Toward the end, GOP U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado joins the list of potential Senate candidates still urging Wayne Allard to run again.

  • Alabama: Republican Jeff Sessions pulls the typical GOP maneuver of telling Democrats that a "bipartisan solution" is any solution where the Democrats just agree with whatever the Republicans want. Maybe he doesn't realize that Election Day 2006 took the agenda-setting power away from his party and awarded it to the Democrats. Anyway, here he is in the Washington Post making the laughably outdated case to privatize social security. I hope Artur Davis spends the next couple months travelling Alabama explaining to its residents how Sessions wants to destablize a bedrock socio-economic policy in America and make retirement much more difficult and uncertain for the throngs of baby boomers retiring in the coming years.

  • South Carolina: Lindsay Graham comes out supporting Bush's plan for increasing troop levels in Iraq, calling a troop surge "very necessary." Even in the reddest of red states, that can't be a popular position. Hopefully, some SC Democrats will take some issue in the press with that position, and maybe even use it as a springboard to a Senate candidacy.

  • North Carolina: In the other Carolina, we're looking for challengers to possible-retiree and NRSC Super-Chair Elizabeth Dole. While Gov. Mike Easley has not expressed much interest, there are two top Democrats looking to succeed Easley, in Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and state Treasurer Richard Moore. Hopefully one will opt to run for the Senate seat.

  • Oklahoma: The Associated Press offers a solid piece on the status of speculation regarding Jim Inhofe's re-election intent and potential Democratic challengers, noting:

    ``I see no reason why I wouldn't run,'' he [Inhofe] said. ...

    One by one, the biggest Democratic names in the state have said they either are not considering running against Inhofe or their prospects of running are not strong.

    The most formidable Democratic figure in the state, Gov. Brad Henry, reiterated in an AP interview his previous stand that he will not challenge Inhofe. He also said he does not see himself going to Washington at any future date. ...

    Dan Boren, who won re-election to a second term in the 2nd Congressional District, is another Democratic Senate prospect who has publicly said he will not oppose Inhofe in 2008.

    A third prominent Democrat, Attorney General Drew Edmondson, also was re-elected to a four-year term in November.

    Edmondson did not completely shut the door to considering a Senate race, but left doubt when he said he would not weigh any future political options until after his lawsuit with the poultry industry is settled. ...

    Lisa Pryor, state Democratic chairwoman, said many Democrats are reportedly considering a U.S. Senate run, pointing to blogs that speculate on possible candidacies by state Sens. Jay Paul Gumm of Durant and Kenneth Corn of Poteau, Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor and others.
    Let's hope the speculation turns into action and people start holding Inhofe's feet to the fire. Montana gave us a blueprint for how to win in red states on environmental, energy, and agricultural issues. Let's make it work in Oklahoma.

  • Delaware: With Joe Biden preparing his 2008 Presidential bid, the only question is whether he will simultaneously run for re-election to the Senate in case his Prez bid doesn't gain traction. The last graph of this AP piece seems to suggest that Biden might be done with the Senate despite entering January as the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

    "I'm proud of my record," Biden said, "but all the things I care about I'm not likely to make an impact on as a sitting senator."
    I hope he's not getting tired of the Senate after three-and-a-half decades. There's still more work to do!


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