Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Saturday Tidbits

Oregon: This CQPolitics profile of Speaker Jeff Merkley highlights Merkley's impressive background (emphasis added by me):

Merkley brings in nearly a decade of experience in the state House, and more foreign policy credentials than a typical state legislator, having worked at the Congressional Budget Office on strategic weapons studies and having been president of the World Affairs Council of Oregon. He also has potential to bridge Oregon’s regional divide: Though he lives in the Democratic stronghold of Portland, the state’s biggest city, he spent part of his youth in more rural and Republican-leaning parts of southern Oregon.
Can Gordon Smith even tout that degree of foreign policy experience? Smith's Senate bio doesn't appear to mention anything in the area of foreign policy, and the closest Smith's committee assignments come to touching on foreign policy is a seat on the international trade subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee (which, ironically, is misspelled on Smith's official website as "Subcommitte on International Trade"). Despite over a decade in the U.S. Senate, it appears that Speaker Merkley already trumps Smith in foreign policy experience, bad news for Senator Smith, who keeps going back-and-forth on the #1 foreign policy issue of our day, Iraq.

  • Kentucky: Despite promising that he would spend August campaigning for corrupt Ernie Fletcher, DMKY catches Mitch McConnell trying to duck his way out of that obligation:

    Senator Mitch McConnell (R) is doing everything he can to get out of showing up tomorrow to speak. Word on the street is that he won’t be here because he knows there’s going to be tons of anti-war protesters, even more fired-up Dems, and the good possibility that if he speaks he will have a “Macaca” moment, and Jim “The Hillbilly” Pence will be here to record it. If Mitch doesn’t show tomorrow, you can bet that Larry Forgy (R) won’t be fooled. Much ink has been spilled over how McConnell was going to campaign for Fletcher this August during the congressional recess, but the ONLY scheduled event they were going to be together at was Fancy Farm. It will be a huge blow to Republican spirits if the man doesn’t show, and it will only be exacerbating the wounds between the Fletcher/Forgy/Nunn wing of the party and McConnell.
    Damned if he does; damned if he doesn't. Mitch McConnell seems pretty damned.

  • Nebraska: Is Chuck Hagel the Hamlet of the Republican Party?

  • Oklahoma: Back in February, Tom Coburn "guaranteed" that he would not run for re-election in 2010 if the ethics legislation debated in Congress became law. Well, with the Senate having decisively passed the ethics bill by a veto-proof margin, Coburn is backtracking as fast as he can (emphasis added by me):

    U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn backed off his "guarantee" that he would not run for re-election in 2010 if a landmark ethics bill becomes law.

    "Will I stand by it? I don't know," the Oklahoma Republican said after a Senate vote giving final legislative approval to the ethics bill.

    "I'll make a decision on (whether) I'll run in 2008."

    In February, however, Coburn did not leave himself much wriggle room.

    "If this becomes law, I will guarantee you I won't run again," he said in an interview on C-SPAN television.
    In short, don't trust anything Tom Coburn says; he may just take it back in six months.

  • Georgia: The teaser headline of the day:

    Nunn Won't Rule Out 2008 Bid
    Yes, the headline is referring to former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn; but, no, it is not referring to a possible 2008 Senate challenge to "Shameless"/"Spineless" Saxby Chambliss. Rather, it refers to something in the Presidential or Vice Presidential vein, after conversations with, of all people, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Hmmm, maybe somebody should put the bee in Nunn's bonnet that Chambliss' presence in the U.S. Senate truly degrades the institution, and that Nunn could rectify that.


    Blogger Ari said...

    Nunn wouldn't make sense on a Bloomberg ticket. He'd never carry Georgia.

    I hope Bloomberg doesn't run-- I have a vision of 2008 as being spoiler-free!

    7:40 PM, August 04, 2007  
    Blogger Scott said...

    Actually Gordon Smith used to be a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He must have had to give that seat up to join Finance (members aren't supposed to serve on more than one "A" committee).

    And Sam Nunn? Does anyone outside the permanent DC press corps/cocktail party set even remember who he is?

    11:17 PM, August 04, 2007  

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