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Is Jim Bunning Running?



Senate Republican leadership has been less than enthusiastic about Sen. Jim Bunning running for reelection. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The political future of Kentucky Republican Sen. Jim Bunning grows curiouser and curiouser.

Yesterday Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) formed a committee to allow him to raise money for the race -- seemingly with Bunning's blessing.

But, today the incumbent's spokesman asserted he has no plans of stepping aside.

"Senator Bunning has every intention of running," said Mike Reynard. "He is in the race."

A senior Kentucky Republican granted anonymity to speak candidly said that Bunning and Grayson had met in Washington on Wednesday at which time the secretary of state had informed Bunning that he was planning to start collecting cash for the 2010 race.

In a statement announcing his intentions, Grayson said he would not challenge Bunning in a primary but the source made clear on Friday that Grayson is in the race no matter what Bunning does in the future. News reports suggested that Rand Paul, the son of former presidential candidate Ron Paul, would also run if Bunning steps aside.

Bunning, a member of Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame, has been under considerable pressure from Senate Republican leaders to step aside amidst poor fundraising and polling that suggests he cannot win a third term next November.

To date, Bunning had resisted those pressures -- accusing Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) of willfully ignoring his plans to run for a third term.

Democrats are headed for a primary between state Attorney General Jack Conway and Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 1, 2009; 6:14 PM ET
Categories:  Republican Party , Senate  
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Comments

He's a foul, senile tool.

I hope he runs.

Posted by: lithium452 | May 4, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

JohnDoug
"What I resent is the way Republicans prey on that ignorance to get people to vote against their economic interests by focusing on social issues that only serve to create divisions."

This is so true. I argue continuously with my working class buds down here in our own little banana republic that they are voting against their own interests when they support a party that is so keen to reduce taxes on big business and millionaires and so loathe to support higher minimum wages, universal health care and education. Alas, to no avail.

Posted by: rawreid | May 4, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"Dem Senators who should retire:
Robert Byrd
Ted Kennedy
Arlen Specter (not much of a Dem, to be sure)"

The gentlemen from Hawaii should likewise consider retiring to the beach.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 3, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

> Arlen Specter and Jim Bunning are two of the reasons I'm considering changing my view on term limits. The Democrats also have plenty of Senators and House members who should do everyone a favor and retire gracefully.

Dem Senators who should retire:
Robert Byrd
Ted Kennedy
Arlen Specter (not much of a Dem, to be sure)

Worthy senators who are really too old and illness-troubled and ought to make room for new blood. But I dare say it's tough to leave the most exclusive club in the US.

As for GOP senators, I have far more serious concerns with most of them other than health and age matters... Hopeless party.

Posted by: charlesf1 | May 3, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's Rand.. a currency backed up in Gold.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 3, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"I smiled, in a friendly way, to read that Dr. and Mrs. Ron Paul named a son "Rand". "

He's just lucky they didn't name him "Ayn."

Posted by: thrh | May 2, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Never trust a pitcher!

Never trust a pitcher!

Never trust a pitcher!

Posted by: Catcher50 | May 2, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I swear this..
I read.. it as..
'Is Jim Rome Burning?'
I think I have a learning disorder.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 2, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

This is one KY resident who hopes Bunning is running--all the way to a condo in Florida, close to spring training games where he can swap lies with his old baseball buddies about how many times he struck out Mantle, Mays, and Williams. He was a great major league pitcher. He is a washout as a minor league senator.

Posted by: free9604 | May 2, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"It is Kentucky Democrats who should have to beg for forgiveness from all those rural, backward, impoverished, illiterate Kentuckians you presumably pity as you disparage them."

Tru dat! I do feel responsible for the plight of rural Kentuckians and would gladly pay the taxes required to create a world class educational system that would transform their lives as well as the lives of my own kids.

You missed my point however.

What I resent is the way Republicans prey on that ignorance to get people to vote against their economic interests by focusing on social issues that only serve to create divisions.

Gay marriage amendments are not going to improve the lives of Kentuckians.
Posting the Ten Commandments at the courthouse is not going to do it either, nor is the proliferation of assault weapons, or endless war by mistake in Iraq.

Ernie Fletcher was a joke, so was Patton, so is Gov. Beshear. We have a huge leadership deficit here from both parties. Although the majority of Kentuckians are registered Democrats, on the national level Ky has been so reliably red that neither party campaigns here at all. Ever since the Reagan years, Democrats in Ky have behaved like Republicans to get elected with the exception being the urban centers. Let's not pretend that simply because Democrats hold many state offices progressive policies have actually been attempted.

Posted by: JohnDoug | May 2, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

For a party that was ONCE known for discipline, these people are falling apart before your eyes. They don't even pretend to care about the country--they think of themselves as "insurgents' apparently..

“What transpired . . . and will give us a shot in the arm going forward is that we are standing up on principle and just saying no,” said current House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA). NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) told House Republicans during a retreat that they needed “to get over the idea that they’re participating in legislation and ought to start thinking of themselves as ‘an insurgency’ instead.”

Seems to me like these folks ought to be tried for treason, eh? An insurgency means they are trying to bring down the government, doesn't it?

AAnd Rand Paul may run--he's goldwater reincarnated.

"Barry Goldwater wrote, "I have little interest in streamlining government or making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom.... And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents "interest," I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can."

In other words he doesn't care about his constituents welfare or interests, only in destroyng government. Funny, that's exactly what the republicans did for the LAST eight years. Who would want more of that?

Posted by: drindl | May 2, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I smiled, in a friendly way, to read that Dr. and Mrs. Ron Paul named a son "Rand".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 2, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JohnDoug | May 2, 2009 9:30 AM:

"unfortunately our state is still largely a rural, backward, poorly educated province.... easily manipulated by the Republican hate machine....Please forgive us."
_________________________

It is Kentucky Democrats who should have to beg for forgiveness from all those rural, backward, impoverished, illiterate Kentuckians you presumably pity as you disparage them.

With rare exception, Democrats have dominated Kentucky government for 150 years.

There have been 26 Kentucky governors in the past 102 years, 20 of them Democrats who led the state for 90 of those years. The Kentucky General Assembly has been even more Democrat-dominated.

In 1984, Mitch McConnell became the first Republican elected statewide in two decades. Governor Ernie Fletcher (2003-07) was the first Republican Governor since Louis Nunn (1967-71) and he was the first after Simeon Willis (1943-47).

Many state and local politicians -- the vast majority Democrats --have failed Kentucky's downtrodden.

Posted by: DagnyT | May 2, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Arlen Specter and Jim Bunning are two of the reasons I'm considering changing my view on term limits. The Democrats also have plenty of Senators and House members who should do everyone a favor and retire gracefully.

Any Kentuckian apologizing for Mitch McConnell is either blindly partisan or has no memory of Wendell Ford and Dee Huddleston.

And, by the way, Mitch McConnell was twice elected Jefferson County's Judge-Executive (at that time equivalent to mayor) -- the land of Louisville and Kentucky's sophisticates, according to one of those posting here.

Posted by: DagnyT | May 2, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

On behalf of all Kentuckians I would like to apologize for the behavior of our Senators. That Jim Bunning was ever elected in the first place is a complete embarrassment and the fact that Mitch McConnell is the leader of Washington's opposition party is equally worthy of shame. I am truly sorry for the ignorance and banality inflicted on our nation by these two baffoons and I promise to try harder in the future to correct this pathetic situation regarding our state. Jefferson County (where I live) is quite a progressive place, as is Fayette County, but unfortunately our state is still largely a rural, backward, poorly educated province full of people easily manipulated by the Republican hate machine and its garbage message focused on God, Guns, and Gays.
Please forgive us.

Posted by: JohnDoug | May 2, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Bunnings almost lost in 2004 and will most certainly lose in 2010. The guy is weird and time has passed him by. Senility is rearing it's ugly head. Let's hope he runs!!!!

Posted by: Opa2 | May 2, 2009 2:06 AM | Report abuse

If someone's so crackers that even the Republican leadership wants to deny him, you know he's one sick puppy.

Which means he's probably a big hit with the base.

Posted by: nodebris | May 2, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Bunning's such a nut head, he probably told Greyson he wouldn't run, then forgot and just decided he was going to run anyway. Remember the odd circumstances around the debate in the 2004 election- he insisted on responding to questions on video from his office. This guy has clearly lost his marbles.

Posted by: sfcpoll | May 1, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Give 'em (the repub party) HELL Jim!

Posted by: PeixeGato1 | May 1, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Bunning knows he's toast.

BB (1st!)

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 1, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

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