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No party switch for Ben Nelson, his office confirms

Nope: Ben Nelson is not going to switch parties, even if the GOP makes big gains in the Senate this fall.

Joe Klein stirred some chatter this weekend by speculating that Nelson might switch, citing his opposition to Elena Kagan, among other things. "I suspect that, if the Republicans make substantial gains in the midterm elections, Nelson could be up for grabs next fall," Klein wrote, adding that Nelson might "be offered the moon by the Republicans to switch."

But Nelson's spokesman, Jake Thompson, emails that it isn't gonna happen:

Every year, Congressional Quarterly's vote study confirms Ben Nelson's bipartisanship and independence. He's a Democrat who has cast tough votes, is honored to represent all Nebraskans and will never be, as one blogger has suggested, "up for grabs."

Senator Nelson plans to remain a registered Democrat and an independent voice for Nebraska.

I like the description of Klein as "one blogger."

This is pretty clear cut. Some rank and file Dems had taken to grumbling that it would be easier if Nelson did switch parties, so the Dem leadership didn't waste its time chasing him on tough votes. But obviously Dem leaders don't see things this way, and they will no doubt be relieved to hear that he isn't switching.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 2, 2010; 2:08 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The real reason Dems are tying GOP to Bush
Next: The absurdity of the "mosque exclusion zone"

Comments

"This is pretty clear cut. Some rank and file Dems had taken to grumbling that it would be easier if Nelson did switch parties, so the Dem leadership didn't waste its time chasing him on tough votes. "

.....................

Like it would be easier to get his vote, if were in the Republican Caucus. Who are those rank and file morons? They sound just as terminally bewildered as those right wing teabaggers.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Of course he's not going to switch. He enables Republicans better as a Democrat and prevents Dems from doing what they want as a "centrist". Basically he wants power. What better way to do that than as a Democrat from a Red State? If he were a republican, he would be ignored.

Posted by: calchala | August 2, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

commenters, can you let me know if you're experiencing tech difficulties with either the comments section or the site overall?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 2, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The site is coming in with much smaller font than it's used to. It didn't load initially, but now loads okay. Are those the problems you're referring to?

Posted by: calchala | August 2, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Just a few minor delay glitches; but no lost comments. It required me to sign in again; once.

N

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I was having some trouble posting comments and getting the occasional error message when I tried to pull up the site.

But glad to hear it's not a problem others are experiencing.

Re Nelson, I think the thinking was that he'd be offered all kinds of goodies for switching.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 2, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Site is okay to me. Firefox 3.5.10.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 2, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Gotta love good economic news!

*American Manufacturing Expanded for 12th Consecutive Month, Economy Expanded for 15th Consecutive Month!*

@msn money central:

Stocks soar as confidence builds

Stocks started August with a bang, jumping at the open on better-than-expected reports on manufacturing and construction spending.

The move also got a big boost from rallies in Europe that lifted the euro against the dollar.

[...]

Manufacturing's resilience cheers investors
Today's biggest catalyst was the Institute for Supply Management's July report on manufacturing, which suggested that the economic recovery is slowing, but it's not dying.

The index fell back slightly to 55.5 from 56.2 in June, but the consensus estimate was 54.2. A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion. In fact, the ISM said, July marked the 12th month in a row where manufacturing expanded, and it also suggested that the economy grew for a 15th straight month.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Dispatch/market-dispatches.aspx?post=1788582

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 2, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

@calchala : You said it. I think that dems should have a little party discipline and remove a committee assignment from every dem that votes against the leadership on procedural issues. For substantive bills, their votes would incur no sanction. But every time Big Ben, Holy Joe, or Blanched Lincoln vote for a republican filibuster, they should lose something besides their self respect!

Posted by: srw3 | August 2, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Actually enforcing some party discipline might drive ben into mitch mcconnell's arms, but so what? Then when he does vote with dems, we would have bipartisan bills and not just dem only bills with closet republicans supporting them.

Posted by: srw3 | August 2, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

by the way, Liam, re the previous thread, I certainly wasn't suggesting Dems shoudln't point that stuff out. just noting that they're worried that the electorate doesn't believe it yet.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 2, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I told ya that Klein was talking out of his a** on this one.

;-)

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 2, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Phone call for you Senator Nelson, it's Gov. Charlie Crist, something about waiting to pull the "'ol switcheroo"?... Ok Senator, I'll put you right through.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 2, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

This only further proves how stupid some Dems are. Nelson is a disgrace and this Democrat actually hopes he gets beaten by a Republican. See, I suspect that another Dem will pick up a seat somewhere in this country where the unemployment rate is high and cancel out this jerk who is a registered Dem who votes like a Republican. As Blanche Lincoln will soon find out, if states want a Republican they'll vote for a real one!

Posted by: roxsteady | August 2, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I know its too early but both Nevada and Florida are going to be HUGE tea-party failures.

The Appalachians in KY might smart up yet and elect someone sane. Who knows.

But, FL and NV are definitely lining up to be #TEAPARTYFAIL big time.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 2, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

We can not worry about what voters do, or do not believe, at this stage in the election year.

Repetition of the message is always called for. That is why Political Commercials are run over and over.

One always has to keep reminding voters why they should vote for us, because The Republicans will keep telling them, over and over, why they should not vote for us.

Look at how Democrats let the Health Care campaign get away from them, because they did not counter message on a frequent basis, to combat the wild claims that Republicans were making.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

rox, I vote nay on giving Republicans any path to a majority in the Senate.

This country can't afford it.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 2, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if this was covered but many more stories like this, along with what Greenspan said this morning, and this Republican push to extend the Bush tax cuts is gonna bite them in the butt this November.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/opinion/01stockman.html

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 2, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"said this morning"

=

said this weekend.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 2, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Will Nelson support letting the Bush tax cuts expire?

We'll see his true stripes on that issue.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 2, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Why worry about that. Letting them expire does not require any votes to be taken.

Only renewing them, requires a vote, and a Presidential signature. As long as we keep a majority in the Senate; we do not have to even let it come up for a vote.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

All, the latest on the Ground Zero mosque:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/the_absurdity_of_the_mosque_ex.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 2, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Liam, you don't think there's a chance Nelson and a few other Sen Dems will vote to extend the tax cuts?

I assume it would get vetoed if it passed, and I'm guessing it couldn't get through the House, but I wouldn't bet the farm.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 2, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

BG,

It would not make it out of committee. I doubt if Republicans are going to go to the matfor big tax cuts for fat cats, which would add 3,8 trillion more to the national debt. I am using Quitter Palin's own 3.8t trillon figure, against them.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

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