Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday Items

  • The Politico is musing about the prospect of a 60-seat filibuster-proof Senate majority for Democrats in 2010. I see it as very likely.

  • Why is it valuable to have a strong majority for Senate Democrats? To be blunt, they enact good policy. For instance, Senate Democrats just got their ethics reform package signed into law. Senate Democrats are in favor of strong ethical standards. Are Senate Republicans? Ask Ted Stevens or David Vitter what they think. (You'll probably get a "no comment.")

  • Is the NRSC up a creek without a paddle? I happen to think so.

  • New Hampshire: As expected, Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand has withdrawn from the 2008 Senate race and endorsed popular former Governor Jeanne Shaheen. It has the benefit of being simultaneously the classy move and the politically smart move for Marchand. He ran a thoughtful, positive campaign; and, Republican Judd Gregg is up for re-election in 2010. As such, I hope Marchand doesn't surrender Senatorial aspirations. Meanwhile, the Nashua Telegraph almost-comically runs the understatement headline of the cycle so far: "Shaheen's bid could be trouble for Sununu" - y'think!?!

  • Alaska: The clock ticking on Ted Stevens' career is getting louder:

    Ex-Veco Corp. CEO Bill Allen admitted in court Friday that he had company employees work several months on a remodeling project at the Girdwood home of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. ...

    Under cross-examination by defense attorney James Wendt, representing former state Rep. Pete Kott, Allen acknowledged that the more than $400,000 he admitted spending in the bribery charge was for other legislators - and for work done at the Girdwood home of Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. Senate.
    Of course, Stevens has no comment. With this admission, I can't imagine how Stevens makes it to Christmas this year without being indicted for something. (Of course, if we need indictment charges sped up, I know a Senator who's happy to make a phone call.)

  • Virginia: Though some wonder if GOP Rep. Tom Davis will move forward with a Senate bid, having to fight former Gov. Jim Gilmore in a primary, only to then face popular former Governor Mark Warner, Davis assures supporters that "all systems are go" for an upcoming Senate bid.

  • South Dakota: Who thinks they can take down the Tim Johnson powerhouse? I can't wait for a formal re-election campaign kick-off.

  • Nebraska: The Omaha World-Herald is reporting that former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub will enter the 2008 Senate race on Monday morning. The OWH article notes that Daub has been criticized for being "too aggressive and divisive." Then I say, "Welcome to the primary!" (HT: NNN)

  • Louisiana: Cliff Schecter's GottaLaff offers choice quotes from David Vitter's mistress/prostitute. Amongst her revelations:

    Vitter would shower twice per visit, once before, once after, always being careful to use unscented soap to avoid accusations of smelling, well, not like the macho guy he is.

    He divulged to her that, during their 4 or so months together, he and his wife were trying to have children.
    Real class act, that Vitter. He still has yet to be fully honest with his constituents about the whole affair and his chronic patronage of prostitutes. Is it too much to ask that the Louisiana press maybe follow up with Vitter about it?

  • Fun fact: Former Senator Lincoln Chafee is no longer a member of the Republican Party.

  • Former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan bashes George W. Bush as fiscally irresponsible. No duh.


    Blogger Taniel said...

    It is worth noting that many progressives are uncomfortable with Shaheen's candidacy, noting that she was a very pro-war moderate Dem. It's worth keeping these things in mind, if only to hold politicians accountable.

    9:44 PM, September 15, 2007  
    Blogger Ari said...

    Very true, and it was for that reason that I personally hoped that she would not enter the race. Now that she's in, and Marchand is out, I'm all for her candidacy.

    And, yes, we should keep these things in mind . . . BUT, at the same time, we as Democrats should not make a big public fuss about it. We need that senate seat. Once we've achieved, at the very least, a Lieberproof majority, we can start to worry about ideological purity. But right now, we don't have that luxury!

    6:36 AM, September 16, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Taniel, Similar to Biden, she probably based her thoughts on a compentent execution of the war by the Bush Administration... that clearly has not been the case.

    Political conditions, can of course, change in a minute... however, I feel really good about picking up 5-7 seats... Sununu is just the beginning... I think that people look at more than just the Iraq war, anyway, Taniel... New Hampshire residents are also going to look at who has the best position on health care, social security, education, etc... progressives are not one issue voters... so the choice becomes clear... Shaheen for Senate in 2008 (and Sununu ends of working on K Street making 10-15 times his salary... they never leave once they come here).

    10:17 AM, September 16, 2007  

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