Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Sunday, December 10, 2006

GOP Senators Scared or With a Reason to Be Scared

Some weekend news for y'all:

  • New Hampshire: GOP Senator Judd Gregg, not up for re-election until 2010, chides his own GOP for its "hypocrisy as a party on the issue of fiscal responsibility." He sees the trends, trends that work against Senator John Sununu, up in 2008.

  • Alaska: Senator Ted Stevens' son, Ben, is president of the Alaska state senate and now involved in a federal grand jury investigation on public corruption. The investigation touches Senator Stevens in substantive fashion:

    The grand jury subpoena, issued last month, also seeks records on the Alaska Fisheries Marketing Board, a nonprofit federal-grant distribution corporation set up by Ben Stevens' father, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.
    We'll see what details come out and how it will impact Stevens' re-election bid and how it plays into the larger narrative on GOP corruption.

  • Virginia: Even if John Warner retires in 2008, this Daily Progress article gives the impression that George Macaca Allen has no intention of running for anything in 2008, and would not consider another campaign until the 2009 gubernatorial race at the earliest.

  • Mississippi: Thad Cochran gives a VERY long window for himself before deciding on a re-election bid:

    Sen. Thad Cochran, who has experienced a number of setbacks recently as a GOP leader, said he will decide by Nov. 1 next year whether to run for a sixth term in the Senate.
    The Clarion-Ledger article offers the following thoughts on who might run if Cochran retired:

    Possible candidates include 3rd District Rep. Chip Pickering and 1st District Rep. Roger Wicker, both Republicans, as well as former Democratic Attorney General Mike Moore and former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.

    "I'm not going to speculate about the future of (Cochran's) seat unless he decides not to run for re-election, because we all hope he continues his work representing Mississippi for many years to come," Pickering said.

    Moore has acknowledged before he'd like to serve one day as senator but, in an interview with The Clarion-Ledger last month, he deflected talk of pursuing political office. He added, however, "Never say never."

    Fourth District Rep. Gene Taylor, a Democrat whose hands-on response to Hurricane Katrina has boosted his profile in Washington and Mississippi, also could run for the seat. Taylor, however, says he wants to stay in the House.
    Moore is the dream candidate for the Dems, often considered the second most popular public figure in the state after Cochran. Pickering would be the GOP front-runner to stand in for Cochran if he retired.

  • Michigan: While Jane Abraham, wife of former Senator Spencer Abraham, has been talked about as a possible GOP Senate candidate to challenge popular veteran incumbent Carl Levin, Michelle Engler, wife of former Governor John Engler, has also entered the fray as a possible candidate.

  • Colorado: The Denver Post has soon-to-be-former GOP Governor Bill Owens getting in on the hoping-Wayne-Allard-runs-for-re-election action, and notes the dynamic that has many Colorado conservatives unhappy with Owens' second term, which could impede a Senate run for Owens.

  • Oregon: Republican Gordon Smith must be scared to high hell that he is too far to the right, too lacking in leadership, and too rubber-stamping of an unpopular president for his constituents in Oregon, as much is being made of his very recent strong rhetoric against the Iraq War: here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. He is using terms like "criminal" and "absurd." Gordo, Bush's War didn't just become "criminal" and "absurd" all of a sudden after Election Day last month. So, again, where have you been???


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