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Friday Governors Line: Change is the new normal

It's been nearly two months since our last governor's Line and to quote the Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls) things done changed.

Last month, Republicans swept the off-year elections with an expected victory by Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell in Virginia and a less expected win by Gov.-elect Chris Christie in New Jersey.

Those twin victories should give the Republican Governors Association some momentum heading into 2010, particularly on the fundraising front since donors always like to be with a winner.

Even as the RGA was reveling in its 2009 successes, however, Democrats got some good news of their own with the retirement of Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell (R) and Houston Mayor Bill White's (D) decision to leave the Senate race to pursue a gubernatorial bid.

A look at the overall gubernatorial playing field shows that both sides have a few shoe-ins that will likely balance each other out, leaving the battle for electoral success to be fought in some familiar places: Pennsylvania, Colorado, Arizona, Ohio, Nevada and Florida to name a few.

It's a testament to just how many competitive races there are in the country that not even all of the contests listed above make this month's 15-state strong Line.

As always, the top ranked race is considered the most likely to switch parties in 2010. Your thoughts are welcome in the comments section below and, as a special treat, you can rank the race on the Line yourself at the bottom of this post.

To the Line!

Coming off the Line: New Jersey, Virginia, Wisconsin, Nevada
Coming onto the Line: Connecticut, Arizona, Pennsylvania

15. Florida (Republican-controlled): State Attorney General Bill McCollum's (R) less-than-stellar fundraising had the effect of convincing state Sen. Paula Dockery (R) to challenge him in a primary. Now, McCollum, who is still the clear favorite for the GOP nod, will have to spend time and money he doesn't have before moving on to face state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (D). (Previous ranking: 15)

14. Pennsylvania (Democratic-controlled): Historic trends suggest that after eight years of Gov. Ed Rendell (D), Keystone State voters will hands the reins back to Republicans. (For more than five decades, the two parties have traded the governorship every eight years.) The most likely beneficiary is state Attorney General Tom Corbett who Republicans insist is a star in the making. Democrats seem headed to a competitive primary. (Previous ranking: N/A)

13. Minnesota (R): Virtually every politician in Minnesota is running for the seat being vacated by 2012 presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty (R). Given the enormity of the field, handicapping the race is difficult but Minnesota has gone strongly for Democrats in the last two elections, a fact that should give the party's eventual nominee something of a leg up. (Previous ranking: 11)

12. Colorado (D): Republicans solved their primary problem when a series of major donors -- with an assist from former Gov. Bill Owens (R) -- helped push youthful state Sen. Josh Penry out of the race. That leaves Republicans with former Rep. Scott McInnis as their nominee. McInnis has weaknesses -- his voting record in Congress, his work as a lobbyist -- that Gov. Bill Ritter (D) will be able to exploit. But, Ritter has major problems of his own that ensure this race will be quite close. (Previous ranking: 14)

11. Arizona (R): Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has had a rough go of it since taking over for Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano earlier this year. She continues to struggle to balance the state's budget and Republican legislative leaders now seem ready to propose a temporary sales tax increase, which, like all tax increases, is political poison. State Attorney General Terry Goddard (D) doesn't draw rave reviews, even from many Democrats, but he may benefit from simply not being the incumbent. (Previous ranking: N/A)

10. California (R): It's looking more and more likely that state Attorney General Jerry Brown won't have any serious competition for the Democratic nomination. Meanwhile Republicans are headed for an expensive and nasty fight between the checkbooks of former eBay head Meg Whitman and state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. Former Rep. Tom Campbell is hoping to shoot the gap between the warring Warbucks. If -- and it's a big "if" -- Whitman gets through the primary, her massive wealth and unique profile could make for an interesting general election. (Previous ranking: 9)

9. Iowa (D): Despite the Hawkeye's State trend toward Democrats in recent elections, Gov. Chet Culver (D) finds himself in deep political doo-doo. A recent Des Moines Register poll showed him losing to former Gov. Terry Branstad (R) by a whopping 24-point margin. Culver seems likely to make up some of that ground but unless Branstad slips it's hard to see the Democrat making it all the way back. (Previous ranking: 15)

8. Connecticut (R): Rell's retirement hands Democrats a terrific pickup opportunity in a state where President Obama won 61 percent last November. Both sides have real primary fights. Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, 2006 Senate nominee Ned Lamont and Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy are in the Democratic field while Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele and former Ambassador Tom Foley are running on the Republican side. (Previous ranking: N/A)

7. Vermont (R): Republicans insist they like their chances with Lt Gov. Brian Dubie, a popular GOPer in the mold of retiring Gov. Jim Douglas, in the race. But, Vermont is Vermont -- President Obama carried the Green Mountain State with 67 percent in 2008. And, Democrats have a quality field with Secretary of State Deb Markowitz, state Sen. Peter Shumlin and former Lt. Gov. Doug Racine in the running. (Previous ranking: 6)

6. Michigan (D): The dismal state of the economy and the dismal state of the Democratic field makes the Wolverine State a near-certain pickup for Republicans. The real fight is in the Republican primary where state Attorney General Mike Cox, Rep. Pete Hoekstra and Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard all rate in double digits in most polling. Wealthy businessman Rick Snyder is the unknown and could impact the race depending on how much he spends from his own pocket. (Previous ranking: 8)

5. Oklahoma (D): Republicans have largely unified behind Rep. Mary Fallin (R) who, because of the Sooner State's strong Republican nature, is the favorite to succeed term limited Gov. Brad Henry (D). Interestingly, Democrats have two statewide elected officials running -- state Attorney General Drew Edmondson and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins -- but it's hard to see either overcoming the demographics of the state. (Previous ranking: 5)

4. Rhode Island (R): Democrats are headed to a spirited primary between state Treasurer Frank Caprio and state Attorney General Patrick Lynch. Republicans seem excited about businessman Rory Smith but it's extremely hard for a GOPer to get elected to anything in Rhode Island. (It will be even harder now as Smith dropped from the race Friday afternoon.) The real x-factor is former Sen. Lincoln Chafee who is running as an independent. Chafee is inconsistent and unpredictable -- to put it mildly -- as a candidate, and he was forced to release an internal poll showing him running strong to combat rumors that he might drop from the race. (Previous ranking: 4)

3. Hawaii (R): Gov. Linda Lingle's (R) eight-year tenure atop the Aloha State's political pecking order is a testament to her unique personal appeal. But, Hawaii is a Democratic bastion and with Rep. Neil Abercrombie and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann in the race, the party has a strong and qualified field. (Previous ranking: 3)

2. Tennessee (D): The only drama in the Volunteer State governor's race is whether Rep. Zach Wamp can upset Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam in the Republican primary. Either way, Republicans are going to take back this seat after eight years of Gov. Phil Bredesen (D).

1. Kansas (D): Democrats finally got a candidate to run against Sen. Sam Brownback (R) and it was promptly revealed a company he led had settled a class action lawsuit for nearly $13 million. Not good. (Previous ranking: 1)

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 11, 2009; 12:17 PM ET
Categories:  The Line  
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Comments

Yes, they are cement experts.

Posted by: JakeD | December 12, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Was only visiting someone there, but Marchand is out of my field. I get nothing on Neff.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 12, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post is not conservative. G. Gordon Libby seems like a honest guy. I think we need a bottom up replacement of those envolved in pork projects and corruption which is a vast majority of them. It should begin by a very exhausting back ground check and ties. The idea of moving states up or down isn't as important
as making the right choices but with as many educated people in this country why do we always end up with the most corrupt? Most of us currently can't even sleep at night due to all the manure coming at us everyday. We get up and need a vacation everyday, it's tiring and it is, endless.
Those inexperienced czars throw all this at us during a depression. You say it's not? You just wait, it won't be long. All the choices has been backwards and continue to be, backwards. Common sense has left the room. Obama has a agenda and all this will not end till 2010 elections when I predict a landslide of republicans to get in just to stop the damage being done currently. Unemployment will be 14 to 15% and wall street will take another dump.
If I am right, doesn't this mean you are wrong?

Posted by: saddlebum1 | December 12, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Fairlington Blade:

You probably work on entirely different matters at NIST, but do you know Jacques Marchand or Michael Neff?

Posted by: JakeD | December 12, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I was up at NIST today and so was off line. I would strongly second Messr. Cillizza's comments on the blog today. It's quite possible to make your points without personally attacking other contributors. I would also note a welcome comment by 37th in the other thread today.

If you think a comment has racist undertones, then explain what these are rather than yell at someone. If you think that silly libs can't comprehend something, then explain what that is. I looked up a few old Zouk posts and was surprised to find a conservative commenter who could explain his point of view. It'd be nice to read that instead of pedophilia taunts

Well, I've had a very long day (poker night after the work at NIST) and should get to bed. The Fairlington Twins will be getting up in a few hours. Warmest regards and season's greetings to all,

The Fairlington Blade

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 12, 2009 2:33 AM | Report abuse

Chris, a few points:

First, Pennsylvania should be MUCH lower on the list, at least in single digits. Corbett is all but certain to be the Republican candidate and will wage a formidable campaign against whichever loser wins the Democratic primary, which right now looks like a race between 2 low-profile bureaucrats trying to convince
"Vermont is Vermont -- President Obama carried the Green Mountain State with 67 percent in 2008." Yes, he did, the same year that DOUGLAS & DUBIE were RE-ELECTED w/ 53 & 55% of the vote respectively. (All the more impressive if you consider that it was a 3-way race for Gov.) I think Iowa & VT should switch places on the list.

" ... it's extremely hard for a GOPer to get elected to anything in Rhode Island." THEN HOW COME REPUBLICANS HAVE WON THE LAST 4 GUBERNATORIAL ELECTIONS? In 2006, a terrible year for the GOP, Dems nominated the strongest candidate they could - Lt. Gov. Chas. fogarty - and they STILL lost. Now it's true that Carcieri is the only current Republican statewide office-holder in R.I., but the same was true in Hawaii when Linda Lingle got elected; in Maryland when Bob Ehrlich got elected; and, in New Jersey last year, when Chris Christie crushed an incumbent Democrat in deep blue territory. That being said, unless Ron Machtley gets into the race, it appears Republicans will NOT field a viable candidate next yr., in which case I'd move this race to No. 2.

Finally, Hawaii may be "a Democratic bastion," but I think you underestimate the strong candidacy of Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona (R). Let's not forget, Lingle won a 2-to-1 victory in HI 3 yrs. ago in what was, again, a terrible year for her party, and all indicators point to a good year for the GOP in 2010. Furthermore, with 2 "strong and qualified" candidates duking it out in the Dem primary, the eventual nominee will have his work cut out for him to try & mend fences and catch up to Aiona in fundraising.

As for the rest of you, I'll deal w/ the inanity of your comments later. Right now I've got to shower w/o waking up my wife.

Posted by: right-wing_genius | December 12, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

Thanks for calling them out. Keep your eye on jaked. He's worse that two or three zouks, despite his obsequiousness when he thinks you are watching.

Posted by: nodebris | December 12, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Our gracious host has answered my request for clarification on the other thread:

"In my mind, public officials are fair game. But, I think the people I have mentioned tend to quickly escalate from commenting on a public figure to attacking one another.

Also, and let's not forget this, being ON TOPIC is of value as well. Not every post needs to have a comments section full of Sarah Palin, 'Obamacare' and the like."

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | December 11, 2009 6:15 PM

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

@JRM2: as you probably know as well as I, abortion isn't really a moral issue, it fails the consistency test. As with every humanitarian or moral claim, those making the claim must show a consistent and cohesive moral outlook, not cherry-pick the solitary and isolated issues they want, like abortion.

Pro-lifers are almost to a man tax-cutters and small-government advocates, dead against any government involvement in seeing that children are born healthy, are well-nourished, get good education, have access to medical care .. no, abortion is and always has been a red herring used by the unscrupulous in politics to rile up the rubes.

Nobody on the right will ever criticize Palin for weaving all over the road.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

"I will answer this one question of yours. It doesn't bother me, as even Jesus broke bread with sinners "
---
Did Jesus raise money to perform abortions?, because Sarah is.

and you approve of that????????

Posted by: JRM2 | December 11, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I was not aware that a simple request for clarification equated to such detestible behavior.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, get your nose out of CC's butt for a minute will you?

Posted by: JRM2 | December 11, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza:

Please clarify if your request to "[a]ct civilly" and stop the name-calling is limited to only references re: people who actually post here. If it is not limited in that manner, does "ditz from Alaska" qualify as name-calling?

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I'll be in my tent reading David Griffiths, earphones in, thanks anyway.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Good. Then it's over. Yay Chris. Gold Zouk, Snobama, and anyone I forgot to mention can all hold hands and sing Kum Bay Yah, while we make s'mores around the camp-fire. three cheers for diplomacy! hip hip...

Posted by: elijah24 | December 11, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

If you actually mean what you say then you can count me as on board, but as I said, I'm skeptical.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

G and T,

I'm not interested in legislating who threw the mud first. All the people I named are now covered in it. And, if you read through the previous comments, it's clear the majority of people have had enough of it.

Act civilly. Or leave. If you don't, I'll have to ban you. Same goes for Zouk/Drindl/JakeD/snobama.

Consider this a last warning.

Chris

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | December 11, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Sounds nice and equanimous Chris but you've been overlooking way too much for way too long. Not only have you allowed zouk to call me a pedophile for weeks on end, you turned a blind eye to Jake savaging the memory of my recently-deceased father in these pages.

I'm not your problem and neither is drindl, and for you to name we two in the same list tells me plain as the nose on Jimmy Durante that you're not paying attention. I look forward to being shown wrong but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

G&T,

I will just repeat what I wrote. I -- and many other who enjoy this blog -- are asking you and the others I listed to simply be civil to one another. If you or any of the others I mentioned can't do that, just leave. It's not a tough request.

Chris

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | December 11, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

To our gracious host:

I appreciate that you are paying attention, and I will gladly stop name-calling. Thank you for resolving the problem : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I am in fact paying attention

==

If you were paying attention you wouldn't be playing this "symmetry" game, and moreover you would know that zouk and snowbama are the same person.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Drindl/Zouk/Gold and Tanzanite/JakeD/snobama,

Seems like most people agree....cut out the nasty back and forth or leave. Don't care who "started it" or where each of you want to point the finger.

I am in fact paying attention and I'd like you all to just stop. And I am not alone.

Make your points. Don't trash each other. Be civil. Not that tough an imperative.

Chris

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | December 11, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

elijah, I really don't want to continue this metadiscussion but the degree to which you have missed the point is too much to bear.

You do recognize that the trolls are doing posts that are solely intended to cause emotional havoc, thank heavens for that much. Advising the targets to ignore them would be good advice if it would lead to their getting discouraged and stopping, but that isn't going to happen. They will go on indefinitely because that's what they live for.

Am I getting wrapped around the axle because zouk and Jake are calling me a child molester? Of course I'm not, I know my own life and their barbs find no purchase in my knowledge of myself. I like men in their late 20s to 40s, I wasn't even interested in adolescents even when I wasn't far from being one myself. So, no, it's not having the intended effect.

But the fact that we get these civility scolds, and the fact that some have actually been banned, means that there is nominally some standard for this place and it is just effing galling that the sick and vicious attacks just goes on and on and on. Nobody wants to read that crap.

In any board I've been on, whether it's mailing lists or message boards or blogs, anyone who did a post calling another poster a pedophile would be summarily banned, no explanation needed, no second chance. And he'd stay banned, no matter how many times he came back under new monikers.

Someone who posted racist swinery day in day out .. well, there would never be a day in day out, there might be one (1) warning but that would be all.

And aside from the offensiveness of so much of what comes from the right-wingers here, and no I do not acknowledge any symmetry, I deny it, there is also, well, the stupidity. And the dishonesty. It's just mind-numbing to see the same screeds day after day, whether or not anyone takes the bait, and it's irritating to see the lies repeated and repeated and repeated.

And repeated and repeated and repeated.

Anyway, enough. If I get bored enough I'll just find somewhere else to surf, I won't do any swan song nor will I hack the place.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mark. We are all very proud of her and are planning a huge celebration for May next year. Her major is Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Jake, congratulations to your granddaughter on her anticipated graduation from the USCGA and her prospective commissioning. When I was considering applying in 1960 there were only three majors, as I recall: marine engineering, oceanography, and civil engineering. I know that "government" has been added since, and perhaps more, but it has been some time since the child of a friend has been a CG Cadet. As I wrote about its sibling academies, this is a prestigious place to have been accepted and a rigorous school to attend. Success there is noteworthy and is a gateway to selfless service in life.
You are proud of her, I am sure.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 11, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

You're really underestimating the unpopularity of Bill Ritter in Colorado. He has no support from Republicans, Independents are looking for other options, and his own base is only marginally supporting him. He has effectively alienated everyone and when you're running in a predominantly conservative state like Colorado, that's bad news for a Democratic governor like Ritter.

Posted by: rawl1234 | December 11, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, this is not funny any more.
So here goes.

In general, lovers, then relatives and oddly, neighbors are the nastiest to one another, then business-gone-bad partners. As haters go, blog flamers are pikers, but they have something wrong with them, obviously.

Gotta go with CC on this one. The first thing is, always, anybody who claims the high ground just has to stop.

Then, as the air becomes breathable, you look for the hurt collectors, the ones who simply can not keep from getting back on the attack. Then you work with those people. They have issues.

There is no book on blog management, but there will be. Almost all of them are intolerable if real time cross talk is allowed. If it isn't, like the NYT, then you just put a message out into space, secure in the knowledge no one cares you took the time. Cross talk is where communication and even learning happens, but keeping it hot but not overheated is something that has not happened yet on the www. So we tend to see mutual admiration societies and well, scuffles and in-fighting. Lets do better.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 11, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

No not equally, but I do discipline them both. The one for being a bully, and the other for not at least trying to handle his own problem. But we aren’t talking about a physical altercation here. We're talking about an argument. And the "kids" metaphor isn’t just for you. I'm a firm believer that grown-ups are just bigger kids. Most of us are just as immature, but about more mature issues (though in this case, I'm not sure the issue is that mature either). The old "sticks and stones" adage still applies; and getting mad at a grown-up child for saying things that are clearly designed to make you mad, still gives the bully what he wants, and hurts you more than him. Nothing you've said is untrue. And he is exactly as you say he is, but to be mad about it and beg Chris (who has probably already stopped reading) to give him the ole' heave-ho, ruins your fun on this blog, and gives those guys the laugh they are looking for. Now tell me how I'm wrong.

Posted by: elijah24 | December 11, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see Pawlenty getting only a passing mention among many others instead of yet another column dedicated to the turbo-charged tedium of his utterly boring and stupefying mediocrity.

It was starting to get a little bizarre.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I am not calling anyone a "racist swine". As I told Mr. Cillizza, I am not the one name-calling.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Pedophelia? Please let me know if I am misunderstanding you here, but are you accusing ME of talking about pedophelia? Or are you pointing out to me that the other guys do that? Because I think you and i have generally gotten along I will respond as if it is the latter: You're right. I get it. Problem is you cant change it. Chris can kick them off all day every day and they will get back with a different name and go right back at it. I don't want Chris to spend his day doing that. I kinda hope he doesn't even read all of our comments. A little interaction with the host is cool, but I assume he spends most of his time writing, researching and fixing his hair for his next appearence on "Countdown" or "Hardball", and thats fine with me. I have a wheel on my mouse that allows me to scroll past any post I find offensive. I bet you have one too.

Posted by: elijah24 | December 11, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Except, of course, for those 60+ million "racist swine" who voted for her last time as Vice President / will vote for her next as President ...

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Palin won't be elected as president nor to any public office no matter whose hands she shakes, she's established her unfitness too thoroughly for that to ever happen.

There just aren't enough redneck racist swine in America.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Gold, it doesnt matter. If my kids are fighting, i dont care who threw the first punch. I really dont care who didnt throw any punch, i just want them to all stop fighting, and stop tattling(sp?) on each other. It's the same thing here. I'm probably guilty too, but its time for us all to stop. Do what you told me to do when i first got here: ignore them.

==

I resent your analogy but I'll run with it anyway .. if one of your kids is pummeling the other and the one being pummeled isn't even returning them, do you do the dead skunk thing and punish them both equally, "taking no sides?"

Good way to raise a pair of criminals.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

elijah24:

Language like "rcist swine" of course was just fine for drindl to scroll past.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

JRM2:

I will answer this one question of yours. It doesn't bother me, as even Jesus broke bread with sinners (and, if she could only shake hands with pro-lifers, she would never get elected President; she has to convince pro-abortionists to vote for her too ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Back to the SHOCK POLL (below), keep in mind that is 44% of 1,253 registered voters, including Democrats not just
Republicans, conducted in a NATIONAL survey from Dec. 4-7, 2009 by Public Policy Polling:

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_National_1209.pdf

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I AM going, but I want to point to you, elijah -- it's the language. I don't like to have to even scroll past leering, lurid descriptions and accusations of pedophila and that sort of thing. It's offensive and it doesn't belong on the Washington Post. I was simply pointing that out.

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"JRM2 is forgetting that Governors in New Jersey and Virginia -- as was seen in other States -- can refuse stimulus funding "
-----
Yeah then they can go for a hike on the Appalachian trail, then secretly accept the funds and have a team of photographers follow them around while they hand out checks without giving any credit to its origin

Just like Piyush!

Posted by: JRM2 | December 11, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Gold, it doesnt matter. If my kids are fighting, i dont care who threw the first punch. I really dont care who didnt throw any punch, i just want them to all stop fighting, and stop tattling(sp?) on each other. It's the same thing here. I'm probably guilty too, but its time for us all to stop. Do what you told me to do when i first got here: ignore them.

Posted by: elijah24 | December 11, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Warning, off-topic:
I am just wondering how all the Sarah Palin fans (that means you Jake) feel about her raising money for abortion?

She is scheduled to speak at a (socialist) Canadian Hospital fundraiser, I'm sure for a hefty fee.

The almighty dollar is HER God.

Posted by: JRM2 | December 11, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

My other thought about Gerlach is that in congress he has always run deep within the pack, never sticking his neck out on anything, never establishing a persona. Rendell has always run as a bigger-than-life individual, the guy with so much energy he will pull you along with him. He's Big Daddy. Gerlach is Mr. Invisible.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 11, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza:

I will gladly stop name-calling.

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Show me one place where I have called anyone a name.

But fine, I will leave anyway.

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

i am not name-calling, I am pointing it out.

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Zouk/goldandtanzanite/snobama/drindl,

You guys seem like the only ones who spend most of your time name-calling -- mostly at each other...so, maybe if you stopped we wouldn't have the problem?

==

Find one (1) post by myself or drindl where we refer to other posters' as pedophiles or anything remotely like that and I will leave and not come back.

You're still not paying attention.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Should have added Jaked in there as well. Just. Stop.

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | December 11, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Zouk/goldandtanzanite/snobama/drindl,

You guys seem like the only ones who spend most of your time name-calling -- mostly at each other...so, maybe if you stopped we wouldn't have the problem?

Chris

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | December 11, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Pennsylvania has 8.6 million registered voters, and 3.2 million of them are registered as Republicans and 4.4 million are registered as Democrats, with 1 million undeclared.

Jim Gerlach will, of course, run as a moderate Republican. The truth of the matter is his voting record followed whatever George Bush wanted, so he is going to have a legislative record that is not acceptable to an awful lot of Pennsylvanians. There is also his lack of personal charisma and drive. His congressional career was lacking in anything like the "vision thing."

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 11, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Nor would kingofzouk/zouk/snobama.

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

By any reasonable enforcement of the alleged rules, someone who was ALREADY banned as "Chris Fox" would not be allowed to return (and gloat about said return) as "GoldAndTanzanite". Enough said : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

seagraperealty: John Kasich is a candidate who can appeal to a lot of people, but even in these times, it's tough to topple an incumbent, and I imagine that's one of the major reasons why Ohio isn't on the Line. For the ousting of an incumbent to be realistic enough a possibility as to rank in the 15 states most likely to switch parties, you generally have to have an incumbent who's in demonstrably serious trouble -- and there are only three of those on the Line (Colorado, Arizona and Iowa).

The winds of change seem to be shifting in Kasich's favor at the moment, but Gov. Strickland has a lot of fight left in him. Until both candidates really kick their campaigns into high gear -- and thus far, they haven't, as Strickland has done basically no campaigning and Kasich only made a few vague promises that he's since had to back away from -- it's hard to mark the possibility of Strickland being ousted as likely enough to achieve a position on the line.

Without a doubt, though, Kasich will be much more solid competition than was Ken Blackwell in 2006.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | December 11, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

You say you want civility, why do you allow this kind of filth? It is really offensive to other posters.

==

If he reads these comments at all, ever, he has to know about this. Clearly he's sanctioning Jake and zouk, by any reasonable enforcement of the alleged rules those two would be the very first to go.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

JRM2 is forgetting that Governors in New Jersey and Virginia -- as was seen in other States -- can refuse stimulus funding

==

Yeah it worked SO well for Tim "Einstürzenden Brücken" Pawlenty, did nit.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

'Drindle, Whitman is exactly who i was thinking of. And while we're at it, also Kay Bailey Hutchinson, if she manages to take the nomination. I guess I will never understand the math that the right uses to plan for victory.'

"math' and 'planning' require functioning brain cells, so they're not much good at it.

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

"Poor CF8. He is settling in for a long night of watching, waiting, lurking.

Can't you rent a friend as usual?

Posted by: ZOUK | "

You say you want civility, why do you allow this kind of filth? It is really offensive to other posters.

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

SHOCK POLL!!!

Perhaps the greatest measure of Obama's declining support is that just 50% of voters now say they prefer having him as President to George W. Bush, with a shocking 44% saying they'd rather have his predecessor back.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1209/Bush_closes_the_gap.html

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh zouk if you only knew how completely and oppositely wrong you are. I have the exact *opposite* problem.

Why don't you worry a little more about telling the doctors what they want to hear to discharge you, and worry a little less about some gay programmer on a blog. Really.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

drive a person or an animal in a given direction by making noises or gestures

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

What a perfect metaphor for liberals.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 11, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

CC -

I wouldn't be quite so sure about the SC situation. Yes, it is a Republican state, (albeit less so than many other southern states -Obama won 45% there) but the dynamics of next year's gubernatorial election could provide a Democratic opening.

The Republicans seemed destined for a nasty primary -- with Lt Gov Andre Bauer, Congressman Gresham Barrett, AG Henry McMaster, and State Rep and Sanford acolyte Nikki Haley (among others) dividing the vote, there is a chance of a weak nominee emerging.

The Democrats' probable nominee is state Superintendent of Education Jim Rex (although youngish state Senator Vincent Sheheen could potentially end up winning the primary).

Either could be formidable candidates in an environment shaped by the Sanford scandals, the internal Republican divisions, the weakness of some potential GOP nominees (Bauer for example) and a desire for change after so many years of one party rule.

If Republicans are viable gubernatorial winners in states like Vermont, Connecticut, California, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan, etc, and if Democrats can win elections in Arizona, Wyoming, Kentucky, Oklahoma, etc - there is no reason to write off South Carolina as being completely out of reach for Democrats.

Does South Carolina belong in the top 15? Maybe not, but given the special circumstances of the state, it certainly bears watching.

Posted by: terje1 | December 11, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Poor CF8. He is settling in for a long night of watching, waiting, lurking.

Can't you rent a friend as usual?

Posted by: ZOUK | December 11, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

JRM2, I'm pretty sure Chris said the GOP swept the GUBERNATORIAL elections this year. Not all elections.
Drindle, Whitman is exactly who i was thinking of. And while we're at it, also Kay Bailey Hutchinson, if she manages to take the nomination. I guess I will never understand the math that the right uses to plan for victory.

Posted by: elijah24 | December 11, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Except N.Y. 23rd which had been a Republican stronghold since the civil war and the only one that matters when it comes to a yay or nay vote for anything the President proposes.

==

And the real joy of NY23 is that Republicans have apparently learned exactly the wrong lesson .. amazingly enough they're talking like Hoffman won, and completely ignoring the fact that McD and Christie pretended to be moderates.

Are they following the path that led to electoral victory? Nope. They're still working, and more aggressively than ever, to purge their party of sane people. We can look forward to a lot of green teeth next year, and they'll all lose.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Chris, on the etymology of the term 'shoe- in'-- it's cool.

" This one is spelled wrongly so often that it’s likely it will eventually end up that way. The correct form is shoo-in, usually with a hyphen. It has been known in that spelling and with the meaning of a certain winner from the 1930s. It came from horse racing, where a shoo-in was the winner of a rigged race.

In turn that seems to have come from the verb shoo, meaning to drive a person or an animal in a given direction by making noises or gestures, which in turn comes from the noise people often make when they do it."

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

(on the topic of GOVERNORS in general):

JRM2 is forgetting that Governors in New Jersey and Virginia -- as was seen in other States -- can refuse stimulus funding and (maybe?) federal healthcare mandates, if the opt-out provisions are included in any final bill. What about requesting FEMA aid during natural disaters. And, Governors typically appoint vacancies to U.S. Senate (unless your name was Mitt Romney ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 11, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I think Ohio belongs on the line. I think John Kasich is just the sort of candidate Dems should fear. He has a strong record of balancing budgets and doing so with in a bi-partisan way as his work with Tim Penny showed. Polls have shown him leading Strickland lately. I was surprised not to see OH on the line.

Posted by: seagraperealty | December 11, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Elijah, not at all. There are a number of TeaToddler candidates who are challenging incumbent Rs.

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/12/02/beck-primary/

Even NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions is too 'liberal' for them and has a rightwing primary challenger.

The loony Glen Beck appears to be the force behind this.. that and CFG and the astroturf/industry front org FreedomWorks.

It's going to be a big problem for folks like Meg Whitman -- who has been called by TeaToddlers a 'lib in sheep's clothing' -- and much of the R base won't turn out for her.

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"Last month, Republicans swept the off-year elections...."

Except N.Y. 23rd which had been a Republican stronghold since the civil war and the only one that matters when it comes to a yay or nay vote for anything the President proposes.

Posted by: JRM2 | December 11, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't all that long ago that North Carolina was as red as they get, CC.

I know today's GOP is entirely immunized against irony but there are still a few voters out there who can remember before last week and who don't compartmentalize everything into safe little boxes. With Republicans still beating everyone over the head with the "personal responsibility" club, the hypocrisy of backing a guy like Sanford can't be lost on everyone.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I am curious on the Conn. Governor's race. Anyone in the state or someone who follows it closely, who is the frontrunner: Foley vs. Fedele? I would think Foley b/c he is a political outsider who has experience as the Ambassador of Ireland. He knows international politics, trade, ect. Foley's experience helps him tremendously, as does his business experience & personal wealth. I would think that Michael Fedele would be a legitimate candidate. Fedele has been Lt. Gov. of the state for, 8 years coming 2010, and will be formidable. Anyone have perspective on who is the favorite in the R primary? Who is the favorite in the D primary, which features a group of state officeholders against one another. I would think Foley has an advantage being a wealthy outsider. If there was a GE team in Conn. of Foley & McMahon vs. life long Democratic politicians, I would think that's the best way for the Republican party of Conn. to go. Anyone from there have a perspective? I would think they should dump Simmons & Fedele in favor of McMahon & Foley.

Posted by: reason5 | December 11, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"do we know anything about the possibilities of uber-conservatives changing the line in any of these races, like they did in the NY congressional race this year?"

Mixed prognosis. In the TX primary, Gov Perry is drawing support from the uber conservatives, so if he wins the primary, there won't likely be a challenge from the right. Here in MN, GOP nominees are essentially forced to pledge 'no new taxes' to a local group. I doubt there will be a 3rd party candidate from the far right, because the MN GOP is staking out that territory. So... will there be 3-way gov's races similar to NY-23? I suspect not, because I suspect there won't be any GOP nominees for Gov that alienate the uber conservatives as much as Dede Scozzofava did.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 11, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Gold and Tanzanite keeps the on-topic streak alive (barely) with a Sanford comment...obviously SC is a Republican stronghold with or without Sanford and therefore not in the top 15 of races most likely to switch.

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | December 11, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I have to say the most interesting race on the Governor's line has to be the Minnesota race. 2 term Governor Tim Pawlenty will retire to run for President in 2012. The Republican & Democratic nominations are open for the taking. This race really has the potential for some thoughtful solutions to be found in the debate for the next governor of Minn. Hopefully this will happen and they all should really be this way.

In 2 races, we may as well just go ahead & king 2 new governor's without even wasting time. In Kansas Sam Brownback is the next governor of Kansas. He is way up in polling and now his Republican primary opponent has smartly dropped the race. He was no light weight, as he was the Kansas Sec. of State. Without a primary, Brownback will likely beat the democrat with at least 60% of the vote or more in the GE. Crown Brownback governor. In Oklahoma, there is no doubt that Frmr. Lt. Governor & US Rep. Mary Fallin will be the next governor of Oklahoma. She has the race wrapped up and will cruise to victory in 2010. Crown Mary Fallin the next Governor of Oklahoma. Those 2 should have a special place on the line as givens, then all of these other races.

Posted by: reason5 | December 11, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris, do we know anything about the possibilities of uber-conservatives changing the line in any of these races, like they did in the NY congressional race this year? Or did the GOP learn their lesson in the Empire State?

Posted by: elijah24 | December 11, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

A column on governors without a word about Sanford? OK he doesn't get impeached but his wife is leaving him.

Gotta hand it to her for refusing to play Tammy Wynette an' stan' by her man at the podium.

Gotta hand it to Republicans for consistency in their principles in calling for Sanford to resign .. oh, wait, they didn't.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 11, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Minnesota is a strange animal. Historically, we are ticket splitters. So with a DFL State House of Representatives, a DFL State Senate, and two DFL Senators, don't be so surprised if we elect a Republican governor. On top of that, we haven't had a DFL governor in nearly twenty years.

We may be a left-leaning state, but this race will be closer than you would expect.

Posted by: SpeharFan | December 11, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

HOW ABOUT DEM REGISTRATION LEAD IN PA?

Your "read" on PA fails to factor in dramatic Democratic gains in party registration over the past cycle. Please don't risk sacrificing your substantial credibility to GOP propaganda army.

***

GOV'T TORTURES ME WITH SILENT MICROWAVE WEAPONS, SAYS OUSTED HONDURAS PREZ

• Deposed Honduras President Manuel Zelaya confirms the essence what unjustly targeted citizens worldwide -- including this journalist -- have been reporting for years...

...MILITARY, SECRET SERVICES, AND INTEL AGENCIES of many nations, including the U.S., silently assault and torture "targeted individuals," including those regarded as "dissenters" or slandered as undesirables, with debilitating, health-degrading, "slow-kill" electromagnetic microwave and laser radiation weapons systems -- reported to include a nationwide installation camouflaged as cell towers, along with satellites and portable weaponry.

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-tortures-me-silent-microwave-weapons-ousted-s-prez
http://nowpublic.com/world/obama-wrong-west-point-u-s-does-torture-its-own-citizens
nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR (if links are corrupted / disabled): http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 11, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Some brand new gubernatorial news out of Idaho: Keith Allred, head of a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizens group The Common Interest, stunned the state yesterday with the announcement he will run as a Democrat. TCI has been a major player in the Idaho Legislature in recent years, notably winning the effort to index the homeowners' tax exemption to inflation. Of course, Allred - a fifth- generation Idahoan and former Harvard Kennedy school prof - must run against a sitting Republican governor, but Butch Otter has been stymied in achieving anything in the Legislature in his three years in office, mostly due to the split between the Tea Party wing of the Idaho GOP and the party's moderates. Betsy Russell of the Spokesman Review has a good story on the Allred candidacy at http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/dec/10/keith-allred-run-against-idaho-gov-otter/
(Disclosure: I am communications director for the Idaho Democratic Party.)

Posted by: JulieinBoise | December 11, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Meg Whitman is a truly awful candidate. Awful. Money can't buy you charisma -- ask Steven Forbes. She can't possibly beat Governor Moonbeam.

Posted by: drindl | December 11, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Ed Rendell has been an excellent Mayor of Philadelphia and a good Governor for Pennsylvania.

I cannot understand why the man never thinks to bring anyone along in the ranks to replace him when he leaves a position. He didn't do it when he was DA. He didn't prepare anyone when he was Mayor -- and we wasted 8 years with John Street and lost a lot of momentum. Now, instead of solidifying a Democrat to follow him we have a weak field in the primary.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 11, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, bsimon1.

We are batting 1000! 1 comment, 1 on-topic comment.

Let's keep it going :)

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | December 11, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

MN update:
MN Post lightly digs into Minneapolis Mayor RT Ryback's record, in light of his entry into the Gov race:
http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2009/12/11/14201/dissecting_rybak_what_has_he_accomplished_as_mayor

MN Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher is in the news today for a minor controversy about campaign spending; that will blow over and be irrelevant to the race.

The challenge for Dems (the DFL) is whether they will nominate somebody favored by party insiders, or someone who appeals to swing voters. They've been losing (approaching 20 years of no DFL governor) because they keep nominating candidates that please the base.

On the Repub side, all signs point to a slew of candidates toeing the line of our state's version of the club for growth & a pledge to magically balance the budget without raising taxes or cutting services. With enormous projected budget shortfalls, it is doubtful this strategy will be a winner with voters.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 11, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

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