Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tongue Tied

Happy Humpday:

  • Iowa: Conservative Republican Steve Rathje is offering up more whoppers. Regarding whether to stay in or leave the Middle East, Rathje offered:

    "I'm not saying I'm OK with staying there. What I'm saying is I'm not OK with leaving."
    Very clear indeed. Not OK with staying, not OK with leaving. Gotcha. Well, surely there are other major topics he would like to discuss, seeing as he is running for Senate? Well, according to the Sioux City Journal, maybe not:

    In response to a question on the key issues he'd be discussing in his campaign, Rathje said, "I really don't want to get into the major topics at this point."
    Mr. Rathje, you don't want to get into the major topics? So why are you running for Senate? Well, will anyone else, say an Iowa GOP Congressman, get in the race, too? One Iowa conservative doesn't think so:

    The news media likes to speculate that maybe someone else like Steve King or Tom Latham will be getting into the race. I'm nearly certain that Latham will not and for most of the past few months, I was sure that King would get in. Now, I'm not sure he will. Yes, he's in the minority now, but he is moving up the ranks of leadership in the House and might be looking to stick around for a few more terms there instead.
    So the Iowa GOP may have to hang its hopes on a candidate that neither wants to stay nor leave the Middle East and doesn't want to discuss any other major topics. Good luck!

  • Maine: Two-Faced Susan Collins betrays her lack of leadership and effectiveness as a Senator when she questions the Walter Reed fiasco, as she serves on the Armed Services Committee and offered no oversight or leadership when in the majority party. Senator Collins, you did nothing to prevent this debacle, so what good can you do now?

  • South Dakota: Political Wire highlights a Roll Call article about the political situation the SD-GOP finds itself in:

    Sen. Tim Johnson’s (D-SD) "slow but steady recovery from a stroke has done no apparent political damage to his 2008 re-election hopes," reports Roll Call. "But it has hamstrung Republican efforts to recruit a top-tier challenger and put a severe damper on GOP fundraising for what was expected to be one of the marquee races of the 2008 cycle."

    "Republicans have been leery of launching even the mildest rhetorical attack against Johnson since he was hospitalized Dec. 13, and they acknowledge that his illness temporarily has frozen any effort to oust him. Meanwhile, Johnson -- with the help of fellow Senate Democrats -- has continued to build his war chest, and in light of a healthy prognosis by doctors, recently reignited his campaign operation."
    Neither the SD-GOP, SD-Dems, or anyone should jump the gun here. Let's let Senator Johnson continue his recovery, as we remind ourselves that health really is more important than politics. The pace of Senator Johnson's recovery has so far been astoundingly positive, but we should wait and see how much work he is able to resume and then let him decide if he wants to run for re-election. There will be plenty of time to campaign when the time comes.


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