Cochran Signals He's Ready to Run for 6th Term
The Fix lamented recently Sen. Thad Cochran's (R-Miss.) insistence that he planned to wait until the fall -- possibly as late as Dec. 1 -- to make a decision about whether or not to run for reelection next year.
Cochran must have heard our carping. An astute Fix reader pointed us to a story in yesterday's Jackson Clarion-Ledger in which Cochran seems to all-but-announce that he is running again.
"It's out of a great sense of duty that I am leaning heavily toward seeking another term," Cochran said. The story also noted that Cochran is set to raise $650,000 at two events in Mississippi this week, a sum that could quiet the rumors of a potential retirement. At the end of 2006, Cochran had just $343,000 in the bank.
Asked Wednesday whether these comments suggest Cochran has changed his timeline for deciding on a 2008 run, spokeswoman Margaret Wicker demurred. "It is still Senator Cochran's intention to make his official reelection announcement later this year," she said.
It sure seems like Cochran is, to borrow a phrase, in to win. If that's true, Senate Republicans have dodged a bullet. While Mississippi, even in an open-seat scenario, was never likely to be a top-tier opportunity for Democrats, if Cochran runs it will be a non-race, period.
With the numbers of the 2008 cycle working against Senate Republicans -- 21 GOP seats are up compared with just 12 for Democrats. Of the 21 Republican senators up for reelection, four have regularly been mentioned as potential retirees: Cochran, Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.), Sen. Pete Domenici (N.M.) and Sen. John Warner (Va.).
For Republicans to have any chance at recapturing the majority in 2008 or, more realistically, limiting their losses, they must convince the majority -- if not all -- of these senators to stay on for another term.
Domenici and Warner have already said publicly that they plan to run again, but because of their advanced age (in Warner's case) and on again, off again health problems (Domenici), no one knows for sure what they will ultimately decide.
Hagel continues to mull a presidential bid, and even the most plugged-in Republican strategists admit it is anyone's guess about what the Nebraska senator's future holds.
But Cochran's comments are a step in the right direction for Republicans. This cycle still looks like an uphill struggle for the party, but one seat looks close to coming off the table.
Posted by: tarheel | February 27, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Shaun | February 24, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.