Waiting for the Chips to Fall
Easley's term is up in 2008, and he is term limited from seeking another term. Further, a new poll has him beating incumbent Republican Elizabeth Dole in a head-to-head match-up. Meanwhile, Bredesen's term isn't up until 2010, but he is similarly term limited from seeking re-election to the Governor's office. He enjoys significant popularity, as indicated by his 69-30 mammoth re-election victory this past November.
Neither has expressed any explicit interest in a 2008 Senate run. But, could they just be biding their time, awaiting the Veepstakes game? Is it possible that they, particularly Easley, could choose to run for Senate if it looks like they may not be on a VP short list? I hope so. Running mates don't have to be decided on until the lead-up to the Party's convention, though, so it could be a while until we have a clearer sense of who might be on a short list. Still, the optimists among us will continue to hope that these giants of their political universes will ultimately opt for a Senate bid.