Taking a Stand or Just Covering Your Ass?
Happy Monday:It's common knowledge that maverick Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska is working with Senate Democrats on a resolution opposing Bush's plan in Iraq. Now, the Senate's most conservative Democrat, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, is working with some Republicans on what seems to be a watered-down version of the resolution - the weaker resolution would oppose the addition of 21,500 troops, but "it would not set a timetable for U.S. withdrawal nor threaten to withhold money to pay for U.S. military involvement." And who are the Republicans working with Nelson on the resolution-lite?
The Senate resolution was being prepared by Nelson and three Republican: John Warner of Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine and Gordon Smith of Oregon.Hmmm, what do these three have in common? Potentially tough re-election bids in 2008. So Warner, Collins, and Smith sponsor a weak resolution so that they can go back to their constituents claiming to have sought a middle ground, when all they're doing is more meaningless political posturing.
North Carolina: With term-limited Gov. Mike Easley not biting to challenge Elizabeth Dole for the Senate seat in 2008, rumors abound that candidate recruiters will be looking to engage the Tar Heel State's first lady, Mary Easley.
Massachusetts & Nebraska: Political Wire highlights the deliberations of both Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as they ponder their 2008 plans.