Stoking the Speculation in Oregon and Virginia
Oregon: This column in The Oregonian suggests that Rep. Earl Blumenauer will take a good, long look at a Senate challenge to Gordon Smith if Rep. Peter DeFazio ultimately takes a pass:
"If it reaches that point," says Blumenauer, "we would look at it, take a poll and talk to some people." It is indeed nice to know that we have a couple of very strong options. (HT: Blue Oregon)
And, he points out, as someone first elected to the Legislature in 1972, he's been traveling the state longer than anyone else in Oregon politics.
Meanwhile, "Gordon is out of his comfort zone. He's confusing his base, he's repositioning himself. Gordon has some serious problems."
Virginia: Raising Kaine highlights the National Journal's coverage of super-popular former Governor Mark Warner continuing to consider a 2008 Senate bid. Not that every Governor or former Governor would run for Senate, but I do think that the 2008 Veepstakes is keeping a few individuals from more closely considering Senate bids at the moment, like Warner, Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, Mike Easley of North Carolina, Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, and maybe even Bill Richardson of New Mexico if his Presidential bid doesn't have more traction by the end of the year (though he'd be a no-brainer pick for Secretary of State in any Democratic administration). Perhaps as the Presidential picture clarifies (if it clarifies!) and running mate possibilities get hammered out, a few of these Governors might give a Senate bid a closer look.