Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Look at the NRSC, Oregon, and... Massachusetts?

A few bits of interest for your Saturday:

  • Kos offers his thoughts on a thorough post-mortem of flubs by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the GOP powers-that-be in 2006 Senate races.

  • Oregon: The Associated Press takes a comprehensive look at which Democrats might take on Gordon Smith. Former Governor John Kitzhaber seems less inclined toward a Senate run, but Rep. Earl Blumenauer seems more dodgy, indicating that he is seriously considering a race. Other Democrats the article notes are Rep. Peter DeFazio, state Treasurer Randall Edwards, and state senator Ben Westlund, somebody Loaded Orygun has focused a lot of speculation on. The article also makes reference to a potential independent candidate:

    There could also be a political wild card in the race, should Independent John Frohnmayer - brother of former Attorney General and current University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer - follow up on his hints that he'll enter the race. Frohnmayer, who chaired the National Endowment for the Arts under the first President Bush, said last summer that he might consider a run at the seat.
    Former AG Dave Frohnmayer is a Republican, and John was a Bush I appointee, so hopefully he'd peel more support from Smith than from the Democratic nominee. You can read a little more about John Frohnmayer's intentions here.

  • Massachusetts: New state AG-elect Martha Coakley gives a non-denial denial about her intentions regarding a 2008 Senate candidacy if John Kerry gives up the seat to commit to another Presidential bid:

    Meanwhile, Coakley refused to commit to serving out her four-year term — or forgoing a potential U.S. Senate race in 2008 — even though she said she thought "long and hard" about running for attorney general and believes the office will be a good fit for her.

    Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, is up for re-election in two years, and he has yet to declare if he will seek another term, stage a second run for the presidency or try to do both simultaneously. Kerry plans to announce a decision early next year.

    "I just don't like to foreclose any options," Coakley said. "I fully intend to serve my term as attorney general, but you never say never about opportunities and what comes up. I have no present intention to run for the U.S. Senate in the next four years, but, you know, things change."
    All of this could be a moot point if Kerry opts to retain his seat. But, if he doesn't, there will be a number of male, Democratic Congressmen looking for a promotion, and Coakley is the top female potential candidate. Her gender and accomplishment as Middlesex County District Attorney could allow her to stand out against the Congressional delegation splitting their vote and giving Coakley a plurality. The ball, though, is still in Kerry's court.


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