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Author Topic: U.S. Senate Races of 2008  (Read 1929 times)
Power User
Posts: 9471

« on: January 29, 2008, 10:33:29 AM »

Here is a thread to start watching the Senate. The Presidential thread has been a great place to both read and post during this already bizarre and frustrating year.  The Senate and House races are more local in focus, but national and global in importance.  I hope others will join in here and help keep a watch across the country.

The outcome of the senate has already been written.  Republicans have too many difficult seats to defend, too many incumbents retiring, a minority status already and all political momentum against them.  Democrats will gain seats, keep the majority, but not get close to the magic number of 60.  Time will tell if that is true.

Two senators I hope they keep are Clinton in New York and Obama in Illinois.
One of the contested seats is Republican Norm Coleman in my (blue-purple) state of MN.  To me he is a RINO.  To the Democrats he is a George Bush clone (in the extreme, negative sense) and he is sitting in Paul Wellstone's seat which is more sacred to liberals than the manger or the cross is to Christians.

Two characters want his seat: satirist Al Franken and trial lawyer Mike Ciresi and they have been hitting the airwaves hard for the last several weeks.  Obviously Franken has backing from Hollywood, New York etc. and other liberals nationwide and Ciresi has personal fortune and fame as he charged the state a half billion dollars for suing the tobacco companies.

Franken says he will "fight for you", presumably the middle class as he walks down a middle class sidewalk near where he grew up, and Mike Ciresi says will 'fight for you' the way he "fought the big special interests like the big tobacco and pharmaceutical companies and that's what [he] will keep doing for you in Washington". 

With all the talk about 'fighting for you' I thought this thread would fit just as well in the martial arts forum.

Al Franken commercial: or linked at  Mike Ciresi commercials are posted at:

Unfortunately Sen. Norm Coleman, as a Democrat-lite (with an R) centrist and former Democratic mayor of St. Paul, he doesn't have much of a conservative core to "fight back' with.
Power User
Posts: 42482

« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2008, 01:29:25 PM »

Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican Senator from Rhode Island, has left the GOP and endorsed Barack Obama for president.

The move can only be considered a slap in the face to John McCain, who came to Rhode Island to assist Mr. Chafee in a hard-fought 2006 GOP primary against conservative Steve Laffey. Mr. Chafee won the primary narrowly, and then went on to lose the general election to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse.

Asked about how his sudden shift in loyalties will be perceived, Mr. Chafee told reporters: "I'm sure Sen. McCain will understand."

That's up to Mr. McCain, but somehow I doubt that all the donors to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which pumped over $2 million into Rhode Island to save Mr. Chafee in his primary, will understand.

Nachama Soloveichik, who served as press secretary for Mr. Laffey and now works at the Club for Growth, has published an open letter to Senator Elizabeth Dole, who ran the NRCC in 2006. She points out that Mr. Chafee's pending apostasy was already well in evidence in 2006: He had refused to vote for President Bush in the 2004 presidential election, voted against both Bush tax cuts, and cast the only Republican vote against the confirmation of Sam Alito to the Supreme Court. To be sure, the NRSC's job was to save Senate seats for Republicans in 2006, but it proved abysmal at the task. Rather than invest in Senate races that wound up being lost to Democrats by a handful of votes -- Montana and Virginia come to mind -- Mrs. Dole wasted precious resources trying to save the unreliable Mr. Chafee from a Republican challenger.

"It's not about liberal or conservative. It's about protecting incumbents no matter what their views," is how Mrs. Dole defended her decision back in 2006. But this is precisely the attitude that has led Republican donors increasingly to sit on their wallets this election cycle.

Will John McCain pull a Bob Dole? Will he resign his Senate seat to devote full time to the presidential race, as Kansas Senator Bob Dole did in 1996 after he tied up the GOP nomination? The Washington rumor mill is abuzz with the possibility now that the Arizona media has raised speculation of a McCain Senate departure as early as this spring.

Mr. McCain's Senate office and campaign are remaining mute, saying only there are "no such plans." That's what Mr. Dole said up to the day of his surprise announcement.

If Senator McCain decides to step down, conservatives would have a number of prime choices to succeed him. Free market and anti-big spending champions John Shadegg and Jeff Flake in the House would be high on the list. A Flake spokesman says Mr. Flake would "certainly take a close look." Mr. Shadegg has already announced he's leaving the House, but a Senate race would be mighty attractive to him as well. Still another supply-sider who could get in the race would be former Governor Fyfe Symington.

Mr. McCain was already seen as likely to leave the Senate when his seat rotates up for reelection in 2010, but there are party advantages to leaving now. A big one is that Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano is eyeing the seat for 2010, but she would be hard-pressed to run in 2008. Ms. Napolitano would pick an interim senator to serve until November and must appoint someone of the same party as the person vacating the office. An election would then be held in November to fill the seat through 2010. Whomever Ms. Napolitano appoints, especially if it's an apolitical weakling or moderate, wouldn't necessarily be a front-runner for the November election.

Says veteran conservative Senate watcher Dave Hoppe: "This would be a great opportunity to put a strong conservative in this seat." Messrs. Flake and Shadegg are both beloved by conservatives and seen as future stars of the party.

WSJ Political Diary
« Last Edit: February 15, 2008, 01:45:23 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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