Saturday Afternoon Rundown
Tonight is Live Earth! Like Aravosis says, "Watch it, and tick off Senator Inhofe."
Following (thus-far-empty) rhetoric from Senators Lugar, Voinovich, and Domenici finally beginning to take issue with Bush's Iraq "strategy" after only several years, several thousand dead American soldiers, and several hundred billion dollars spent, the Associated Press wonders what Republican Senators might be next to publicly find fault with Bush's Iraq War. The article focuses on GOP Senators up for re-election in 2008:
Potential wildcards include members up for re-election who have broken with the president on other issues such as immigration or who face growing anti-war sentiment in their home states. Those include Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Ted Stevens of Alaska, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Michael Enzi of Wyoming, James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.In response from Georgia, Tondee's Tavern says that, despite earlier rhetorical dancing on the issue, there is no chance that "Spineless" Saxby Chambliss would remove his lips from the Bush teat. Responding from Idaho, MountainGoat highlights that Democrat Larry LaRocco is twisting the screws on Bush rubber-stamp Larry Craig.
Michigan: Could Senator Carl Levin finally be getting a - yawn - opponent? Lansing State Journal's Capitol Journal is noting that rumors are circulating that Levin's 2002 opponent, Rocky Raczkowski, might want a rematch. (HT: Michigan Liberal) In 2002, Levin crushed Raczkowski 61-38. As such, I look forward to Raczkowski '08!
Oregon: Oregon state House Speaker Jeff Merkley says that he will decide by the end of this month whether or not to run for Senate in 2008 against Gordon Smith. Meanwhile, the Ashland Daily Tidings caught a few interesting quotes from Smith. First, on announcing 2008 political plans, "I don't think I'll comment until I know who my opponent will be." Ummm, Gordo, the Oregon state primary isn't, I believe, until May 20, 2008. You sure you want to wait that long? Then, on Iraq, the Tidings quoted Gordo saying, "If people think I would change my vote because I need this job they should not vote for me." Gotcha, don't vote for Gordon Smith.
Separately, Smith gives an unsurprisingly muddled and confusing but no-less-enabling quote on acquiescing to George W. Bush's commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence following his conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice. Blue Oregon and Loaded Orygun both offer details and insights. It really is incredible that, even with an overwhelming majority of voters opposed to Bush's erosion of the rule of law, Smith can't find the nerve to condemn Bush's decision. Gordon Smith is a Bush enabler, plain and simple.
Minnesota: It's beginning to leak that Al Franken outraised Norm Coleman in Q2. Stay tuned.
South Carolina: Lindsey Graham believes that Bush's surge is "working beyond my expectations." How dirty do you think these guys feel after making comments like that? Meanwhile, South Carolina's conservative netroots are cheering on GOP Rep. Gresham Barrett to run in a primary against Graham.
Oklahoma: Southern Political Report profiles State Senators Andrew Rice and Ken Corn considering challenges to Jim "In Denial" Inhofe. SPR notes Inhofe's weak approval rating and Democratic Governor Brad Henry's easy re-election as signs of optimism, as well as Rice's and Corn's low statewide profile as a challenge to overcome.
New Jersey: Quinnipiac should be releasing new poll numbers on Senator Frank Lautenberg on Monday. Since New Jersey has gotten very comfortable with voting for Democrats with low approvals, maybe we should hope for such in order to tease a few million dollars in wasted spending from the NRSC.
Fox News hates Mr. Rogers.