Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Short Takes: Lowden's Ensign Problem

Nevada Sen. John Ensign is causing problems for Republicans trying to unseat Sen. Harry Reid. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Update 2:55 p.m.: The one and only Jon Ralston -- a member of the Fix's list of best state-based political reporters -- just sent out a bulletin that Lowden did not back off of her support for Ensign and Gibbons in a pre-taped interview for his "Face to Face" show tonight.

Original Post

Former Nevada Republican Party Chairwoman Sue Lowden entered the race against Sen. Harry Reid (D) last week to much fanfare from national operatives who saw her as the strongest candidate in what almost certainly would be a referendum on the Senate Majority Leader.

But, Lowden is already running into trouble for her willingness to stand behind embattled Sen. John Ensign (R) and Gov. Jim Gibbons (R).

"I never called on them to resign," Lowden said in an interview with the Fix last week. "I am supportive of both of them."

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has seized on those words of support in the wake of revelations -- first reported by the New York Times -- that Ensign pulled strings to find his mistress's husband a job without disclosing all of the details of that relationship.

"Sue Lowden's support of John Ensign may have fundraising value to her, but it is a reflection of her own character and fitness for office," said DSCC communications director Eric Schultz. "She has shown more fidelity to him, than he has shown to his own wife."


Lowden is in a tough spot. She faces a crowded primary field for the Republican nomination and doesn't want to begin her campaign by bashing the two senior-most Republican politicians in the state -- each of whom still retains some level of following among conservatives.

Of course, by not distancing herself immediately from Ensign and Gibbons she runs the risk that Reid -- and national Democrats -- will seek to tie the two unpopular politicians around her ankles if she winds up as the Republican nominee.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 5, 2009; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Short Takes  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Most Important Number in Politics Today
Next: Christie's Campaign Jingle


So Sue Lowden supports John Ensign's affair with his wife's girlfriend. And so what if she supports his Millionaire Casino Daddy paying off the Hamptons in a cover-up. She's a Casino Millionaire herself. She knows how that works. Now does it make sense that she is a blond Sarah Palin? You decide, but at least think about it.

Posted by: benighse | October 12, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Margaret, the tanning bed is in the same room as the hot tub, for the convenience of hookers.

Posted by: drindl | October 6, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Ohiocitizen, Jim DeMint is also prematurely orange. I feel like C street must have either a tanning bed or a spray-on tan booth.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 6, 2009 6:29 AM | Report abuse


Am I defending Ensign? No. Simply pointing out that he hasn't lied under oath.

Posted by: JakeD | October 6, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Wait a minute! The party that impeached Bill Clinton can hardly defend Ensign!!!

Posted by: nodebris | October 5, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

What is it about so many Republican politicians that they seem to sport perpetual tans? Ensign has that John Boehner-like excessive sun-exposure look.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | October 5, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Why do you post ugly crap like that, zouk?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 5, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

If I had features as regular as Ensign's I wouldn't have to pay for viet house boys.

Posted by: snowbama | October 5, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris the last pic of Ensign was a lot weirder, how about showing that one again? Where he looks like Hymie the Robot from "Get Smart?"

If I had features as regular as Ensign's I'd be sure to get a nice scar.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 5, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Probably important to remind folks that this particular hypocrite
was a founding member of the "Promise Keepers", a riecht wing Christian political group.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | October 5, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

So Acorn makes the front page three straight days, but the Post can't even manage one straight news story about a sitting GOP Senator breaking the law and another helping him out? Guess if it doesn't make Glen Beck angry it isn't news?

Posted by: rodneythecat | October 5, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

First of all, Lowden needs to make clear this is a race between her and Harry Reid. Neither James Gibbons nor John Ensign is involved, Ensign is up for reelection in 2012, not 2010. By the way, James Gibbons will lose his primary fight. Lowden may not bash Gibbons, but Miss. Gov. & RGA chair Hayley Barbour is not likely to support him and has recruited a top notch opponent against him, Judge Sandoval. The RGA actually got Sandoval to step down from his position as a Federal judge to run against Gibbons in the 2010 governor's primary. Sandoval is leading Gibbons in the Republican primary 47%-33% and is leading any of his Democratic challengers by about the same margins as well. I'd say by the end of the primary season, Governor Gibbons will have lost his primary and will be off the 2010 ticket, great news for Lowden. Also, Ensign won't be on the 2010 ticket. More good news for Ensign. If I were Lowden, I'd publicly endorse Sandoval for governor, as she will likely be sharing a ticket with him in the GE. Democrats will still try to tie Ensign to Lowden, but there will be no Gibbons to tie to her. But Reid will have to answer for pushing Obama's liberal agenda, and in Nevada, that will be a very tough sell. Lowden still has a great shot to win this, especially with Sandoval at the top of the state ticket.

Posted by: reason5 | October 5, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Ensign's mommy and daddy must have sent Lowden a big fat"gift".

Posted by: wilder5121 | October 5, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that the laws were broken as far as lobbying. And who knows what else. The other problem is this C street gang. We do have separation of church and state. It looks like the church has been taking care of these men a little to much!

This is of grave concern.

And they have the nerve to criticize President Obama!
There needs to be a major investigation. I've heard rumors about "The Family". I think there is far more than what meets the eye. This is just the tip of the ice berg. And they are all poiting fingers at Acorn.

Posted by: melodymg | October 5, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Be nice, linda. He also got his mommy and daddy to give them tens of thousands in hush money and then twisted arms to get the mistress and the cuckhold new jobs. He's a Compassionate Conservative!

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 5, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The article about Ensign finding a nice job for the friend he had cuckolded (there's a great phrase)is excellent reporting. The stain from Ensign's behavior just spreads and spreads.

As Clinton did, Ensign has been compounding and compounding his mistake. He's gone from upsetting 2 marriages, to wringing money from his parents, to finding a job to silence the wronged husband. None of it has worked, and he just keeps smearing the people he reaches out to for help, from C Street to Nevada. I can see this story working well for Congressman Reid. Eventually everyone will have to decide what they can overlook and what they cannot overlook.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 5, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I guess the GOP has plenty tolerance for Senator Ensign banging a co-workers wife in the U.S. Senate office then firing them both.

GOP family values.

Posted by: lindalovejones | October 5, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

and Reid gets pummeled for trying to bring about medical reform. You folks can have the repuglicans, I use to work with them so I know them first hand. There are no Christians working at 310 1rst Street, that's for sure.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | October 5, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

If the allegations about hush money and jobs for the Hamptons are true, those are far worse breaches of ethics (and law?) than the Lewinski affair.

If Ensign is indicted, will Lowden still support him?

Posted by: mikeinmidIand | October 5, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

She will have these two creeps tied around her neck like the rotting skunks they are.

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I scooped you on this, CC!

1:58 on the Palin thread.

Now when are you going to talk about Governor Perry's cover-up for executing an innocent man?

Posted by: drindl | October 5, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute, the party that backed BILL CLINTON up through and including impeachment for much worse can hardly complain now about Lowden backing Ensign!!!

Posted by: JakeD | October 5, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company