Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day Weekend Round-Up

I hope you had a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend. It was odd to have the first days go by in a long time in which I didn't post to the blog. For interested parties, you can read about Labor Day's interesting history on the Department of Labor website.

  • WaPo nutshells it:

    A Senate electoral playing field that was already wide open for 2008 has become considerably more perilous for Republicans with the retirement of Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) and the resignation of scandal-scarred Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho).
    Then, WaPo peppers it with:

    "It's always darkest right before you get clobbered over the head with a pipe wrench. But then it actually does get darker," said a GOP pollster who insisted on anonymity in order to speak candidly.
    And, WaPo closes with:

    "About the only safe Republican Senate seats in '08 are the ones that aren't on the ballot," a GOP operative with extensive experience in Senate races said. "I don't see even the rosiest scenario where we don't end up losing more seats."
    Sounds right to me.

  • South Dakota: Every step Senator Tim Johnson takes toward his full recovery is exciting and inspiring.

  • Idaho: As you know, Senator Larry Craig announced over the weekend that he intends to resign his Senate seat on September 30. It is unclear who Idaho Gov. Butch Otter might pick as a successor (or when he might pick), but the favorite remains Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, who deferred to Otter when both were considering gubernatorial bids, and who was chomping at the bit for Larry Craig to announce a retirement earlier in the year so that he could run for Senate.

    The DSCC and Chuck Schumer made it very clear that Democrats will commit the necessary resources toward competing for the Idaho Senate seat in 2008. To that end, considering sending a contribution to Democratic Senate candidate and former Congressman Larry LaRocco. Meanwhile, NRSC Chair John Ensign digs a deeper hole by trying to explain the difference in Republican reactions between David Vitter's scandal and Larry Craig's scandal:

    Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., the Senate Republican campaign chairman, said Craig "admitted guilt. That is a big difference between being accused of something and actually admitting guilt."

    "David Vitter never did that. Larry Craig did," continued Ensign on ABC's "This Week" program.
    Whoa! Chairman Ensign is conceding that David Vitter has never admitted guilt for anything? Really? Either Ensign did not see David Vitter's press conference from almost two months ago, or Ensign will try to contend that Vitter never explicitly admitted to soliciting prostitutes, in which case every member of the media covering Washington DC politics should be on the horn to David Vitter's office to get a clarification.

  • Virginia: WaPo's Cillizza reports:

    Sources familiar with Mark Warner's thinking say not to expect any formal announcement from the former governor about his political plans for a week or more. But from all indications, Warner is set to run for the seat. Warner is itching to get back into the fray following his shocking decision to take himself out of the presidential race in late 2006, and an open Senate seat may be too tempting to pass up.
    Cillizza notes the obvious Veepstakes consideration and '09 VA-Gov race as possibilities that Mark Warner will have to weigh against a Senate bid. Meanwhile, Tom Davis' candidacy really is about nothing. It is worth noting that the DSCC and Chuck Schumer showed considerable class in respecting retiring statesman John Warner's day and not letting politics enter the picture right away. Tom Davis' confidantes didn't want to extend John Warner the same courtesy.

  • Idaho & Virginia: DavidNYC at SSP highlights that, when an open seat comes up, the Club for Growth shows up to pull the GOP as far to the right as they can and as far out of the mainstream as they can.

  • Tennessee: Democrats in the Volunteer State may avoid a Senate primary:

    Jackson, Tenn., business owner Mike McWherter, the son of former Tennessee Gov. Ned McWherter, is at the forefront of the Democratic field, as Nashville attorneys Bob Tuke and Kevin Doherty have said they likely would step aside if he decides to run.

    Mr. McWherter said he plans to announce his plans after Labor Day.
    The article also notes that:

    Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell also has been mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate, but his office has said he is focused on finishing up his mayoral term, which ends Sept. 21. He also recently was named a resident fellow for the fall semester at Harvard University's Institute of Politics.
    If Purcell followed through with his resident fellowship, he wouldn't be able to commence a campaign until after New Year's Day 2008 - not unheard of, by any means, but potentially prohibitive if people and money have already lined up behind a McWherter candidacy.

  • Oklahoma: Jim "In Denial" Inhofe says that he was "kind of excited" by the attacks in Iraq on the airplane carrying himself, Senators Mel Martinez and Richard Shelby, and Congressman Bud Cramer. The guy is an absolute lunatic. Please help Democratic State Senator Andrew Rice unseat Inhofe in 2008.

  • Nebraska: The Lincoln Journal Star notes that "Soon we’ll hear from Chuck Hagel and Bob Kerrey. Mike Johanns sometime later." The LJS also suggests that, if it came down to a battle between former Senator Bob Kerrey and former Governor Mike Johanns, Nebraska would feature "next year’s premier Senate race." (HT: NNN)

  • Texas: Word is that attorney Emil Reichstadt will be dropping out of the 2008 Democratic Senate primary this coming week, understandable in the face of State Representative Rick Noriega's grassroots and netroots support and attorney Mikal Watts' bankroll.


    Blogger Small Tent Democrat said...

    I hate to see Reichstadt drop out.

    Noriega's sponsorship of legislation to divide Texas college students' financial aid with illegal alien college applicants puts him too far outside the Texas mainstream to win a general election in Texas (not to mention that Cornyn will outspend him 10 to 1 unless Noriega can count on Bob "Swift Boat" Perry financing him beyond the primary, which is doubtful).

    Watts has never held a political office before and his less-than-100% support for abortion will hurt his chances in the primary.

    I was looking forward to see Reichstadt develop as a candidate.

    10:26 PM, September 03, 2007  
    Blogger Anthony_Distler said...

    Larry Craig was made an example of from the GOP. They wanted someone to scapegoat, so by getting him to resign, they could say that they are cleaning up their party. Problem is that Craig was actually the last guy they should have gone after. While I personally don't like the guy, I think his resignation was forced and, frankly, was wrong.

    12:02 AM, September 04, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Tom Davis did the same thing that Mark Warner et al. did. He put out an official statement praising John Warner, and said his announcement for the future would come later. There is a massive difference between someone close to his camp leaking his plans and the Congressman making an official announcement.

    Given that Davis is Warner's hand-picked successor, and Warner wants to see Davis take his place, I doubt that John Warner cares that a staffer told the Examiner something which everyone already knew.

    This is exactly the kind of thing I've been talking about since January. You post meaningful articles that have an impact on the race, and then you post pure crap that is a stretch of the imagination and makes you look extremely desperate to post anything bad about a Republican. But you post both of them at the same time, intermixed with each other, and the crap you write pulls down any good things with it.

    Believe it or not, you don't have to find a way to turn every single piece of news against the Republicans. Believe it or not, if an argument you're making forces you to stretch the truth or make an absurd conclusion, you don't have to follow through with it. There is a way to do this and not look ridiculous, and you constantly choose otherwise.

    Then there's the matter of honesty. Do you honestly believe that Tom Davis's actions were not courteous to John Warner (especially since Tom Davis didn't actually do anything)? Of course not. There's no possible way you could be dumb enough to believe that. But you just throw crap against a wall and see what sticks. So why would you post something that you know, and that I know, is intellectually dishonest?

    8:55 AM, September 04, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    "Then there's the matter of honesty. Do you honestly believe that Tom Davis's actions were not courteous to John Warner (especially since Tom Davis didn't actually do anything)?"

    va blogger - do you even read what I post, or are you just desperate to attack anything I write?

    Point to where in the post I say anything about "Tom Davis's actions". Do it. Where do I label Tom Davis's actions as "not courteous" or anything else? I don't. I make reference to the comments of Davis's anonymous confidante. And I correctly label it as such. Why do you consistently and blatantly lie and twist what I write?

    10:31 AM, September 04, 2007  
    Blogger jak said...

    va blogger sure knows spin when he sees it. His blogging efforts have been vital to the unchallenged dominance of the VA-GOP over the past six years. Keep on blogging to victory, va blogger.

    And if the Guru's posts are "pure crap," why do you keep coming back for more? Where's your outrage for right-wing blogs that routinely launch scurrilous and groundless attacks against ALL Democrats?

    8:40 PM, September 04, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    The hope here is that former Governor, James "Fiscal Train Wreck" Gilmore (and VA Blogger, this nickname is well-deserveed because Gilmore's fiscal incompetence is extensively documented) and Reprensentative Tom "Bush Lapdog" or "No Oversight" Davis (and VA Blogger, again, the lack of oversight performed under the leadership of former committee chair, Davis, is documented extensively) have a bloody, expensive primary... and deplete any resources that they have during the primary... and that the FAR, FAR, FAR RIGHT GILMORE wins.

    I don't think the Virginia Republican candidate can expect substantial support from the RNC because they are going to have to divert resources to states that they did not figure would be in play, like Idaho, where Senator Larry Craig is reconsidering his decision to resign... and Craig has to deal with a strong candidate in Larry LaRocco.

    11:10 PM, September 04, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    S2G-- I continually comment and challenge what you write for the reason I posted in my thread. You have legitimate complaints about the Republican Party, and post legitimate news pieces, but you post it indiscriminantly alongside pure crap like that. Every news story is waiting to be spun. Every bit of information is waiting to be made into good news for Democrats and bad news for Republicans. Its dishonest.

    matthew-- you're right. Jim Gilmore is a disgrace, who embarassed himself on the national level with his absurd run for the Presidency, and now is prepared to mess everything up in Virginia. You'll never hear me say anything good about Jim Gilmore, including if he's the nominee in 2008. I'll vote for him, but I don't like him, and I think his time was up six years ago.

    As for Davis, good luck with your claims of making a moderate NoVa Congressman into a "lap dog". Tom Davis is a John Warner Republican, and since we (as a state and a country) have the misfortune of losing a statesman like John Warner, the least we can have is someone in his mold.

    Davis has a lot of money and great fundraising skills he can invest in such a race, but beyond that, the national party certainly will invest in Virginia. If you honestly think that Larry LaRocco has a chance of winning.... well, you go on thinking that, then.

    11:19 PM, September 04, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    VA Blogger,

    Tom Davis did no oversight of the Bush Administration during his tenure as Government Reform Committee Chairperson... NADA... NONE... ZERO... Henry Waxman is performing the traditional oversight which should have been done for the last 6 years and did not happen on the watch of Davis... Tom Davis abdicated his oversight responsibiliites... I live in Northern Virginia and must of us up here know a lapdog when we see one... Tom Davis is in bed with the Christian Coaltion 70% of the time... Tom Davis will turn the court farther right than it has gone with Alito/Roberts... Northern Virginians are againist the Iraq War and Davis supports the status quo... Northern Virginians (who will rule this election) will vote for Mark Warner should he decide to run... the choice is pretty clear... we haven't had two Democrats in the Senate in Virginia since 1971 whien I was born... and it's going to happen in 2008.

    11:40 PM, September 04, 2007  

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