Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Oh, Right, That "Iraq" Thing

  • Today's New York Times ran a powerful editorial calling for an immediate end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq and policing of its civil war:

    It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit. ...

    It is frighteningly clear that Mr. Bush’s plan is to stay the course as long as he is president and dump the mess on his successor. Whatever his cause was, it is lost. ...

    Continuing to sacrifice the lives and limbs of American soldiers is wrong. The war is sapping the strength of the nation’s alliances and its military forces. It is a dangerous diversion from the life-and-death struggle against terrorists. It is an increasing burden on American taxpayers, and it is a betrayal of a world that needs the wise application of American power and principles.
    MissLaura is correct when she points out that a renewed Senate push on Iraq is coming.

  • Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, a coalition of several organizations looking to end Bush's Iraq War, is targeting several states, including those of Senators up for re-election in 2008: Susan Collins, Norm Coleman, John Sununu, John Warner, Mitch McConnell, and Pete Domenici. Ditch Mitch KY has photos of their demonstration against McConnell in Lexington, Kentucky, yesterday. And the Star Tribune is covering their efforts against Coleman in Minnesota. Regardless of what Susan Collins may think at any given moment, Iraq will remain the top issue on the minds of voters.

  • Maine: Speaking of Susan Collins, she has an op-ed in the Lewiston Sun Journal on Iraq where she continues her track record of abdicating any sense of leadership. Instead of presenting her own original thoughts on what we should do, she immediately invokes Senator Dick Lugar's earlier statements on Iraq for political cover. She then rehashes ideas that have been discussed for years (and labeled "cutting and running" by Republicans in the past) while having the audacity (or just a sense of irony) to decry political posturing. She closes the op-ed with the line: "the time for partisan politics to determine the direction of our policy in Iraq is long over." My immediate response for Collins is: "When was the time for partisan politics to determine the direction of our policy in Iraq appropriate?" Read the whole piece if you want to throw up in your mouth a little.

    Also, Collins has her new campaign website up and running. Right now, it's just an (awkward and uncomfortable feeling) introductory video and, of course, a contribution link and e-mail sign-up. If you watch and listen to the video, three words you will not hear are "Republican," "Bush," and "Iraq." One word you will hear is "bi-partisan." Expect Collins to continue running from her record as the website gets further developed. And keep track of how often either "Republican" or "Bush" show up on her site. I'm guessing it will be pretty close to zero (save for "Republicans and Democrats" references).

  • Nebraska: Chuck Hagel appeared on Meet the Press this morning and offered some superficially declarative, but subtextually cryptic clues as to his 2008 plans:

    Asked in a broadcast interview if he were ruling out an independent bid for the White House, the two-term senator said, "For right now I am. And what the world looks like next year, I don't know. But I have no plans to change parties or run for president as an independent." ...

    "I also have said and said this when I first ran for the Senate after I got elected in 1996 that 12 years, two terms may be enough and that's another option," Hagel said.

    "And then if there might be a place for me along the presidential road somewhere to try to have some influence and change the course of this country, then I'll look at that. But the decision needs to be made soon and I'll make it soon," he added.
    He is ruling out changing Parties and running for President as an independent. But, for those conspiracy theorists out there, that doesn't necessarily rule out running for Vice President (without changing his Party registration) on an independent ticket with unenrolled voter NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He also acknowledges his previous term-limit pledge and suggests that retirement from the Senate remains an option. Another instance of the more he speaks, the less he says.

  • Be sure to check out MyDD later today for the Guru's second weekly column on the state of the Senate races across the country. Here is a link to last week's debut column.


    Blogger Bobby Duncan said...

    How does Collins not have a primary challenge? It may be Maine, but there are infuriated wingnuts everywhere!

    A feisty primary may be our only chance to weaken her and win.

    3:02 PM, July 08, 2007  

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