Karl Rove's Take on the 2008 Senate Races (and Thad Cochran)
Hearings were held on allegations of General Services Administration (GSA) misconduct, specifically using GSA staff, time, and resources for Republican partisan political purposes. Think Progress has more and YouTube has clips from the hearing.
Included in the hearing was a PowerPoint presentation from the White House Office of Political Affairs (i.e. Karl Rove's desk), and one of the slides was titled "Battle for the Senate 2008." States were broken down as "Republican Offense," which includes six states, "Republican Defense," which includes 8 states, and "Not Competitive," which includes 19 states (though the math wizards in Rove's office listed it on the slide as "21 states").
The six states listed under "Republican Offense" are Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota. No huge shocks.
The eight states listed under "Republican Defense" are Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, and Virginia. Mississippi?!?! Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Oregon are the obvious top five Republican vulnerabilities. And Virginia and New Mexico are both purple states with possible retirees (even before the Domenici phone call scandal).
But Mississippi?!?! The only Democrat to make Mississippi competitive, at least in a top-tier (i.e. more competitive than, say, North Carolina or Kentucky, which are both listed under "Not Competitive") sense, is former state Attorney General Mike Moore. And it is believed that Moore will only step up if incumbent Republican Thad Cochran retires.
So, does Rove have inside info that Thad Cochran is planning on retiring, after all? Certainly provokes curiosity. The Guru will keep an ear toward these developments as they unfold.