Labor Day Weekend Round-Up
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.
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."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.
"David Vitter never did that. Larry Craig did," continued Ensign on ABC's "This Week" program.
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.
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.The article also notes that:
Mr. McWherter said he plans to announce his plans after Labor Day.
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.