Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Monday, April 02, 2007

Monday Morning Rundown

  • Think Progress highlights:

    NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell revealed that Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, met “very recently” with the Senate Republican caucus to discuss their strategy on Iraq legislation. ...

    Stunningly, Mitchell said that “moderate Republican” senators had told her that they didn’t believe the escalation would work but voted for it anyway. “They really are not in favor of the surge. They don’t believe it’s going to work. But they basically said the president has until August, until Labor Day. After that, if it doesn’t work, they’re running.”
    OK, I don't even know where to begin here. The General overseeing Bush's Iraq War, instead of meeting with the leadership of both Parties in the Senate to have a non-partisan update of the status in Iraq, meets with just the Senate Republican caucus to discuss legislative strategy! Are you kidding? Didn't it occur to General Petraeus that this might undermine his credibility just a tad, attending a partisan meeting to discuss legislative strategy?

    And then, there are some unnamed "moderate Republicans" who "didn't believe the escalation would work but voted for it anyway." Who are these so-called "moderate Republicans"? Could it possibly be vulnerable Senators up for re-election in 2008 like Susan Collins, Norm Coleman, John Sununu, and John Warner, perhaps? Should a reporter maybe ask them about it? At any rate, there are at least a couple "moderate Republicans" who lack any discernible conviction whatsoever, if we are to accept Mitchell's comments. I'd love to hear Mitchell offer more details, and I'm sure their constituents might want to know as well.

  • Oregon: Blue Oregon offers reactions in the wake of speculation about a Club for Growth-backed primary challenger to Gordon Smith as well as further speculation on effort for an entry into the race by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio. Elsewhere, rumors abound that politico Steve Novick may be gearing up for a bid. (Thanks, Blue South, for the heads up.) One can read more about Novick in this Willamette Week profile.

  • Kentucky: Local bloggers Ditch Mitch KY and The Bridge are organizing an effort to draft U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler into the race to take down Mitch McConnell, who currently enjoys a sub-50% approval.

  • Louisiana: The Shreveport Times ran a profile of Mary Landrieu yesterday, noting her vulnerability and also her strengths:

    Her fortune may depend on how strong the Republican candidate will be. U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany has opted against running. Secretary of State Jay Dardenne's name has popped up in some circles, however, early polls show Landrieu defeating him. Another scenario has Bobby Jindal running against her if his bid for governor fails.

    In recent years Landrieu has been somewhat of a star among national Democrats. Her name was even mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate in 2004. Her national name recognition actually rose following Hurricane Katrina as she made the rounds on network and cable news shows. She has proven to be telegenic and a forceful spokesperson for the state, but that may not be enough since social conservatives have targeted her due to her pro-life position. To her credit, she has stood up to the Bush administration in seeking needed funds for the recovery of hurricane-damaged areas of the state.

    Committee assignments such as Small Business, Appropriations and Energy and Natural Resources are all quite valuable to the state, especially if Democrats remain in the majority. No longer serving on the Armed Services Committee hasn't seemed to hurt the state's military bases and she has remained a strong proponent of Barksdale Air Force Base. She is a player in the Senate and has co-sponsored legislation such as Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act with conservative New Mexico sen. Pete Domenici.

    Although her 1996 opponent Woody Jenkins referred to her as "Liberal Mary Landrieu," her voting record has proven to be quite moderate. She has staked out the center on most positions, maintaining an appeal to swing voters. She has voted against party leadership on several key votes.
    A vocal and visible leader fighting for post-Katrina reparation funds; a "strong proponent of Barksdale Air Force Base"; and an independent voice who is willing to vote "against party leadership" when she feels it's necessary in order to best represent her constituents. Sounds like a terrific Senator for Louisiana to me. We'll see how much polling agrees as potential challengers opt in or out of the race. (HT: louisianagirl)


    Post a Comment

    << Home