Big Wednesday Morning Rundown
More coverage of the DSCC rolling into red terrority and expanding the competitive map.
As much as Senate Republicans would prefer it not be an issue in 2008, the Iraq morass is not going anywhere for quite a long while.
Maine: Speaking of Iraq, Congressman Tom Allen makes no secret that it will be a major issue against Susan Collins, calling Bush's Iraq War (which Allen opposed from the start) "the worst foreign policy mistake in our nation's history." WMTW also remarks of the Allen-Collins race that it is "shaping up to be the most expensive political campaign in Maine history" so help Congressman Allen out and contribute a few bucks.
Virginia: More mixed messages from John Warner on his 2008 electoral plans. He says he's "very interested in staying" but won't make a final decision until late summer. Also, he announced the departure of his Chief of Staff, "a close aide for more than 20 years." I still expect a retirement announcement come September. The most telling signal between now and then will be his Q2 (April-June) fundraising numbers, which will come out in July. If he's actually considering a re-election bid, he ought to have a minimum of $1-2 million dollars raised in Q2, given both his stature as a longtime incumbent and his notorious $500 Q1 take. If his Q2 take is at all underwhelming, it's a very safe bet that he'll be making a retirement announcement.
Alaska: Ted Stevens throws his son under the bus. When asked about recent developments in the VECO corruption scandal that has ensnared his son, state senator Ben Stevens, Ted effectively offers a 'No comment.' No "my son is a terrific man and an ethical legislator." Just "I will make no further comment." One heckuva dad, that Ted Stevens is.
Nebraska: Is Chuck Hagel losing NE-GOP institutional support to Jon Bruning? The Lincoln Journal Star notes that GOP Rep. Adrian Smith's name is "conspicuously absent" from a long list of fundraiser hosts for Hagel, a list which includes the names of Nebraska's other two GOP Congressmen. Commented Smith of Hagel and Bruning, "Both gentlemen are friends of mine." With Bruning running to the right of Hagel in a NE-GOP primary, Hagel will have to rely heavily on his friends. It's a perilous signal for Hagel when some of those friends plan on remaining neutral.
West Virginia: The Herald-Mail reports that GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is expected to formally announce for re-election to the House, forgoing a Senate challenge to popular Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller. Not a surprise, but just another failed recruitment effort by the NRSC.
Kentucky: Maybe Mitch McConnell is just opposed to any plan to fund the troops that might actually hold the Bush Administration accountable for producing any results or meeting any benchmarks.
Louisiana: Remember GOP Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne who was losing to the "highly vulnerable" Senator Mary Landrieu by a margin of 53-38 in polling. Well, Daily Kingfish catches Dardenne using what Kingfish suggests is a racially-charged code word.
Oregon: Blue Oregon's John Doty profiles State Senator Alan Bates as a possible challenger to Gordon Smith, suggesting Bates has bipartisan appeal and an attractive resume.