Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Friday, July 06, 2007

More Politically Craven Republicans

  • New Mexico: The Carpetbagger Report offers perhaps the best response to Pajamas Pete Domenici's "change of heart" on Iraq, and it really makes you wonder if Domenici has been bothering to pay attention for the last few years. The Albuquerque Tribune's coverage of Domenici's statement prominently includes the phrase "re-election-year conversion" because that's all this is, the disingenuous, empty political posturing in an election cycle of a politician facing an ethics scandal and plunging approval numbers.

  • Maine: All of a sudden, Susan Collins is beginning to recognize that Iraq is the top issue of the day. A week and a half ago, despite Olympia Snowe and Tom Allen saying that Iraq was the top issue for Mainers, Susan Collins disagreed. And the word "Iraq" didn't show up in Collins' June 22 eNewsletter to constituents. But now that Pete Domenici, Dick Lugar, and George Voinovich find that their knees are getting wobbly on Bush's Iraq "strategy," Collins all of a sudden has doubts:

    “When you have senior, well-respected Republican senators like Dick Lugar, John Warner and Pete Domenici all calling upon the administration to pursue a new strategy, it is significant,” said Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican also up for re-election next year.

    She said her talks with voters convinced her that the war remained the top issue. And she joined Mr. Domenici in saying the patience of many Republicans with the Iraqi government was virtually exhausted. “It is very troubling to many of us that the Iraq government appears to be making little or no progress toward political reconciliation,” she said.
    Like Aravosis said, "Collins loves to be second. If there's a trail to blaze, Collins will sit back quietly, quaking in her boots, until other more courageous, "real" moderates like Olympia Snowe stick their necks out first." The phrase "Susan Collins" might be the very opposite of "leadership."

    But I have another question for Collins. She said a week and a half ago that Iraq was not the top priority for Mainers. Then in yesterday's New York Times, she said, "her talks with voters convinced her that the war remained the top issue." OK, so these conversations with voters that convinced her that Iraq was the top issue must have occurred in the last week-and-a-half, between the June 27 Sun Journal article and the July 5 New York Times article. So, Susan, where were these conversations? At what events did you speak with these voters? I'm really curious. When during the week did the conversion all of a sudden occur?

  • South Carolina: Before his cocaine indictment, state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel really was getting e-mails from supporters urging him to run for Senate. Eventually, disenchanted South Carolina conservatives will find someone to run in a primary against Lindsey Graham.

  • Virginia: The New York Observer profiles popular former Governor Mark Warner's upcoming political decisions.


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