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The Friday Line: 10 for 2010

The impact of President-elect Barack Obama's rapid rise through the political ranks -- elected senator in 2004 and president four years later -- is already being felt in the campaign world as scads of would-be senators and governors are emerging in the early days of the 2010 cycle

Friday Line

Call it the Obama effect -- an emboldening of already ambitious men and women who see the former Illinois senator as an example that anything is possible in the unpredictable world of campaign politics.

Given what recruiters -- particularly on the Democratic side -- are describing as too many rather than too few candidates (not everyone who thinks they can be a statewide elected official is right), who should Fixistas keep an eye on in 2010? Who are the real stars-in-waiting out there?

The Fix -- ever cognizant of the needs of his readers -- has compiled a list to do just that. Below you'll find the 10 candidates/politicians to watch in 2010, the people who are likely to emerge as stars (or at least have the potential to do so) in the coming months. (Because we are not ranking them, they are listed in alphabetical order.)

Because the political landscape shifts on a day to day basis, this list, too, is decidedly changeable. So, we'll update our 10 for 2010 intermittently to provide Fixistas with the freshest knowledge out there.

Have candidates of your own to watch in 2010? Offer them in the comments section. If consensus emerges, we will add them to this post.

To the Line!

Michael Bennet: The common reaction -- even among political junkies -- when Gov. Bill Ritter (D) named Bennet as the next senator for Colorado was, "Who?" Bennet, the head of the Denver school system and the brother of Atlantic editor James Bennet, is an unknown in Washington who is likely to be overshadowed by the other two appointed Democratic senators from Illinois and New York for the first months of the 111th Congress. But, of all the appointed senators, it is Bennet who will almost certainly have the toughest challenge in holding his seat in 2010. The reviews out of Denver say Bennet is a star-in-the-making. He'll have a chance to prove it over the next two years.

Robin Carnahan: Anyone who knows anything about Missouri politics knows the name "Carnahan." The first family of Missouri Democratic politics has experienced its share of triumph and tragedy (the death of the late Gov. Mel Carnahan and his son in a plane crash, the election of Rep. Russ Carnahan to Congress) over the last decade but 2010 seems to be shaping up as a banner year thanks to the near-certain Senate candidacy of Robin Carnahan. Carnahan currently serves as the secretary of state in Missouri and is seen by political insiders as the most talented politician the family has ever produced. While she was considering a race against Sen. Kit Bond (R) in 2010, his retirement yesterday makes a Carnahan bid almost certain.

Chris Christie: The former U.S. Attorney for New Jersey entered the race for governor earlier this week -- and is regarded, at least by Washington insiders, as the likeliest candidate to emerge to take on Gov. Jon Corzine (D) this fall. Christie is a popular figure in the state thanks to his crusading reputation and attempts to clean up New Jersey's notoriously dirty politics. Republicans continue to insist New Jersey is a state they can win and believe Christie is the candidate to do it.

John Cornyn/Pete Sessions: The two Texans in charge of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee respectively have a daunting task on their hands. With Democrats in charge of every lever of power in Washington, Cornyn and Sessions must find a way to convince candidates to take a leap of faith that things will get better for their party in the coming years. Recruiting is the first step in the path back to a majority for Republicans and Sessions and Cornyn are on the front lines. How convincing can they be?

Artur Davis: It's hard to see how any prospective 2010 candidate benefited more from Obama's election than this four-term congressman from Alabama. Davis, a friend of the president-elect and fellow Harvard Law School graduate, will use the successful blueprint of Obama (run as a change agent who happens to be black, not the other way around) in what promises to be a terrific race for the open Alabama governor's seat. If he makes it through a VERY tough primary, watch for Davis's general election candidacy to draw considerable national attention.

Paul Hodes: The conversion of New Hampshire from a swing state to a Democratic stronghold is nearly complete. In 2006 Democrats defeated both Republican members of the House; two years later Obama won by nine points at the presidential level and Jeanne Shaheen (D) knocked off Sen. John Sununu (R). The last Republican standing is Sen. Judd Gregg and Democrats are gunning for him in the form of Hodes, who, after two terms in Congress, is likely to make the race. Hodes, who is well regarded among Washington campaign sharps, might have to get past fellow Rep. Carol Shea Porter in the primary but if he does he will be an even-money bet to beat Gregg in 2010.

Tim Kaine: The newly-installed head of the Democratic National Committee will be the lead strategist in the central political battle of 2010: the 38 governors races on the docket. With congressional redistricting coming in 2011, controlling as many governors mansion as possible is critical to the long-term political outlook for both parties. Obama insiders note that Kaine's experience running and winning a governor's race in a swing state like Virginia was one of the major factors that recommended him to the president-elect for the DNC job. He'll be put to the test early and often in the coming two years.

Mark Kirk: If ever there was a time when Illinois Republicans could reverse their long electoral skid in statewide races, the appointment imbroglio surrounding sort-of-senator Roland Burris is it. And, if ever there was a GOP candidate who can win, it is Kirk, a moderate who has held the Democratic-leaning 10th district despite a serious of tough Democratic challenges. Kirk seems ready to make the leap for the Senate in 2010 although he could face a primary challenge in the form of Rep. Pete Roskam. Much of Kirk's chances depend on how the Burris appointment plays out. If Burris winds up being seated and running again, Kirk can make the case that he carries the taint of Blagojevich and run against the Democratic machine that has controlled Chicago politics forever. If Burris bows out in 2010 and the race is an open seat, Kirk's task is more difficult.

Marco Rubio: With former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush out of the race for the seat of retiring Sen. Mel Martinez (R), Rubio is almost certainly in. Rubio, who served as speaker of the Florida state House from 2006 to 2008, is a fascinating potential candidate. He was the first Cuban-American to hold the top job in the state legislature and his political base in traditionally Democratic South Florida makes him someone to be reckoned with in a general election. And, for a party desperately in need of leaders who can appeal to the rapidly growing Hispanic vote across the country, Rubio may be just what Republicans at the national level have been dreaming of.

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin: Herseth Sandlin, who has held South Dakota's at-large congressional seat since 2004, may be the best candidate you've never heard of. That will likely change in 2010 as Herseth Sandlin is expected to run for the open governor's seat in South Dakota and, if she does, is considered the odds-on favorite to win. Should she be elected governor, Herseth Sandlin will immediately be thrown into the mix of candidates who will be mentioned for a possible run for national office in 2016 or beyond.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 9, 2009; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Line  
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Comments

Fantastic pick with Herseth!

Posted by: timo457 | January 14, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Another candidate to look at is L. Brooks Patterson who is running for Governor of Michigan. What is facinating about him is that he is a Republican in a state that, everyone thought was done for REpublicans, and he could win. It will be tough since he is not a smooth politician, and he is far to the left of the GOP base. But if he wins it will be because voters chose competence over politics, it could be re-birth for the Michigan GOP with a new more centrist image.

Posted by: myhojda | January 12, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Whoever touted Mark Sanford is right. I think the Palin/Sanford ticket will give the Wexler/Sibelius ticket a hard fight. Be a toss-up.

Pains me to write it but I think Obama's 4 years are going to be a train wreck.

Posted by: DexterClinkscale | January 11, 2009 6:36 AM | Report abuse

My Big-10

1) 2012 Democratic Presidential nominee Robert Wexler beats Obama as libertarian/progressive fusion Democrat with 4 wars going and national debt at $16 trillion
2) Cory Booker for Lautenberg's seat in NJ; expect retirement soon
3) New House Majority Leader Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
4) Junior Senator Nevada Republican Jon Porter takes care of Reid
5) Jeff Flake moves up to a leadership post among House Republicans, will become #2 when Cantor replaces Boehner
6) Joe Sestak, Jr, upsets Specter in PA
7) Raul Grijalva beats random Minuteman for retired John McCain's seat
8) Xavier Becerra next Governor of California
9) Bill Thompson next Mayor Of New York City
10)Next Speaker Of The House (2010): Melvin Watt

SPECIAL BONUS: New American all-purpose foreign villain, Presidenta Balbina Herrera of Panama (PRD-San Miguelito) May 2009.

Posted by: DexterClinkscale | January 11, 2009 6:23 AM | Report abuse

I can't offer much in the way of races to watch in 2010 in Montana. Neither Senate seat nor the governorship is up for election in 2010 here. The top race will be for the state's single at-large US House seat and no prominent Democratic challenger is on the horizon to challenge Republican representative Denny Rehberg.

2012 really brings in a lot of more interesting scenarios. Governor Brian Schweitzer is term-limited out. First term Senator Jon Tester faces his first re-election race. Will Rehberg take on Tester for the Seante seat? Will Schweitzer seek the at-large US House seat? Those are the questions we'll have to wait nearly four years to answer in Montana. But for 2010, really a ho-hum election here.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | January 10, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Carol Shea-Porter is the one to watch. Paul Hodes has never won a competitive congressional race in New Hampshire; his district is smaller and more liberal than hers.

Posted by: Chase1986 | January 10, 2009 5:52 AM | Report abuse

Portman and Kasich in OH could join the list too. Portman only if Voinovich retires.

Posted by: AnthonyJBrady | January 9, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

"Michael Steele: May become head of RNC and if not may run for Governor or Senator from Maryland. Would be an effective spokesperson for both his state and the GOP."

The big problem here is he can't do both. He kept in the Senate race the last time by running as far away from the Republican party as he could.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | January 9, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse


Here are a few I believe could be stars in 2010. There are more R's than D's because of the Democratic trends a lot of D's have already risen or it's unclear who will make it out of the important primaries.

Beau Biden: The favorite to win the special election for the DE Senate seat. Obviously has good name recognition already.

Tom Corbett (R): A strong bet to be the next Governor of PA, a Democratic-leaning swing state.

Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV): Republicans best bet to take down Harry Reid. Though he is more likely to opt for a Governors run, he will automatically be a star if he takes on Reid.

Terry McCauliffe: The former DNC Chairman should get lots of attention, and raise tons of money in his bid for Virginia Governor.

Bob McDonnell: If the Virginia AG can win the Virginia Governor's race, as I believe he is an at least even bet to do, that will make him significant as the GOP Governor of a large, swing state that has been trending Democratic.

Mark Sanford: The head of the GOP Governors committee has a lot of potential as there are 38 races up and R's have a lot to gain (or lose) there.

Michael Steele: May become head of RNC and if not may run for Governor or Senator from Maryland. Would be an effective spokesperson for both his state and the GOP.

Scott Walker: The Milwaukie county executive has a fair chance of being the next Governor of Wisconsin and is still pretty young.

Bill White: The Mayor of Houston is probably the Democrats best chance of winning in Texas.

Michael Williams: Commissioner Williams has potential as a conservative, minority candidate for the Senate in the largest Republican state.

I would also expect the winners of Democratic CA Governor's primary and the NY Senate seat to be prominent, but it is obviously unclear who those will be.

Posted by: AnthonyJBrady | January 9, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Poor stupid zouk. Apparently the Michigan economy is Granholm's fault, rather than a continuation of a phenomenon we like to call "the nationwide decline of American manufacturing". Did you miss the part where the automakers are on life support?

Posted by: SeanC1 | January 9, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

"Kreuz, I am a Sharp fan of twenty years standing, yet I read that White, who is a popular Mayor of Houston but a dull campaigner, is the early D favorite. Any thoughts from Lake Nastywater?"

Hard to say, our two party system here is republicans and libertarians, and I'm still an Alaska voter so don't follow TX as much as I probably should (helped put Begich over the top, though).

"going to be kind of hard when the new head of the agency is its biggest critic."

really, Panetta is now CIA's biggest critic? I thought he knew nothing about the IC?

"Now there's talk of settling with Hamas. surrender Ho!"

There was always talk of settling with Hamas (and it's the bush state department that is now doing it, refusing to block the UN resolution), because Israel really has no other options short of slaughtering everyone in Gaza. This was all about one last maneuver under the bush administration that both Israel and Hamas are likely using to try to force Obama into being a continuation of Bush, and he called their bluff by staying out of it.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | January 9, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

going to be a short tenure. the Libs who are left and have somehow escaped prosecution so far are being led by a guy who can't keep his mind straight from day to day (Reid has got to be the biggest nimrod in congress), another who is making up positions day to day (Obama, will we surrender to Hamas now?), and a power mad uber Lib from san fran, intent on remaining the worst speaker in history.


Even the other Libs are laughing at you now. feinstein already smacked down Obama, Blogo is pummeling Reid (like hitting a girl) and the Repubs still run the military, thank god.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 9, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

So King,

Given that we libs are now frimly in control of government, don't let the door hit you on the way out!

Buh-bye!

Posted by: Coloradem1 | January 9, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Michigan saw the nation’s most outbound migration in 2008, with 67.1 percent of interstate moves heading out, according to a migration study released Wednesday. (Snip) Michigan's Governor Granholm, who is one of the architects of an economy so bad that Detroit’s honorary economic sister-city of Bangladesh has disowned them, is on Obama’s Economic Advisory Board?

this shows what happens when Libs rule. get out!

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 9, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

In Tx, MNTENG mentioned White or Sharp. If Florence Shapiro can get by the social cons she might prove to be a formidable R for Kay's vacated seat.

Kreuz, I am a Sharp fan of twenty years standing, yet I read that White, who is a popular Mayor of Houston but a dull campaigner, is the early D favorite. Any thoughts from Lake Nastywater?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 9, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

intelligent simple simon posts: 0
Aww shuks Lib fawning: priceless

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 9, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Nice analysis, bsimon. Zouk is the definition of a troll. Someone who posts on blogs, websites, etc. solely with the aim of inciting outraged responses. I'll admit I did have fun cornering him a few months ago with all the copy-paste Of course, a smart troll knows when to stay under the bridge.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 9, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

on-topic zouk posts: zero
zouk posts: five
responses to zouk: eight

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 9, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Settling with Hamas? Not exactly. Opening up a dialogue with Hamas is what has been proposed.

We've seen just how well ignoring them has worked out....

Posted by: Coloradem1 | January 9, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

CIA needs two things: money, and protection from critics.

Brainz_missing

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

going to be kind of hard when the new head of the agency is its biggest critic.

Now there's talk of settling with Hamas. surrender Ho!

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 9, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"But who cares about the CIA?"

CIA needs two things: money, and protection from critics. Experienced intelligence personnel are good at getting neither (BTW, you really don't think Clinton's chief of staff sat in on just about every single security briefing Clinton got?).

And if all has been a success and we've won, why don't you tell Gen Petreaus that? He'd love to know.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | January 9, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

King,

Moynahan has been out of congress for 9 years and has been dead for 5...care to explain how he's responsible? Why not be consistent blame Carter, Kennedy and Roosevelt while you're at it?

That "virgin pol who knew nothing" kicked your party's posterior with more votes for president than any candidate in history. That's gotta hurt! Too bad we don't have national health care, you could get some anti-depressants to help you cope.

Posted by: Coloradem1 | January 9, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Poor zouk; to suggest that domestic policy is solely the responsibility of Congress is laughable, as is you suggestion that somehow the current economic problems are because of the two-year-old Democratic Congress. If you concerned yourself with facts at all, you would note that the economic practices that resulted in this implosion have been a decade in the making or more.

Regarding the actual topic of this thread, those are mostly sensible people, although I'm confused if the topic is meant to be people who would follow Obama's path; neither Cornyn nor Sessions are on that one.

Beau Biden is a notable omission, I think; dad's built a formidable state and national platform for him to step onto, and he's gotten strong reviews, so I would be surprised to see him on the ticket in one capacity or another in a decade or so.

Also, New Jersey is fool's gold for the Republicans; every cycle there's an alleged opportunity, but it never pans out. Their biggest achievement in the Garden State in the last 20 years was Christie Todd Whitman, and she only scraped in on 1% margins both times.

Posted by: SeanC1 | January 9, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Ignorance is bliss and essential for Dem appointments:

But who cares about the CIA? Why would the next president insist on experience in that job? What counts most in filling that position is his party's prejudices against anyone associated with the current administration, especially anyone who believes in spying on terrorists, squeezing information out of them, treating them as unlawful combatants, ferreting out their bank accounts, tracing their international calls and all the rest. That kind of experience may be a disqualifier when it comes to directing Barack Obama's new-age CIA.

Leon Panetta may know more Democratic pols and less about intelligence operations than anyone else Barack Obama could have chosen for this job. Which ought to make him a shoo-in for confirmation by this Senate. When it comes to intelligence work in this coming Age of Innocence, experience in the field rouses suspicion while ignorance may be prized in a nominee.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 9, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

This is one democrat who would not vote for Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin for anything. She is a political gay basher (voted for the FMA, against ENDA and has not taken a position on ending don't ask, don't tell). That may play in South Dakota, but any candidacy she might be interested in waging nationally would be DOA.

Posted by: Coloradem1 | January 9, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Warning, Libs beware, facts enclosed

FACT1: Obama said the surge was already a failure. right before it wasn't.

FACT2: his solution to a down economy, the result of excessive spending and borrowing, spend twice as much, borrow it all.

FACT3: his appointment at CIA and others indicate a move toward surrender in the GWOT.

FACT4: I forgot to blame everything wrong on bush and forget all about the crooks in congress - Pelosi, Reid, wrangle, dodd, frank, Moynihan, Schumer, clinton, et al

FACT5: the person who ran a stunningly bad campaign and overspent her budget by millions, who claimed to run from sniper fire, who lost to a virgin pol who knew nothing, who got her position from marriage, who sipped tea, is now in charge of our entire foreign policy apparatus. how big a donation to the library for a treaty??? Her management experience - national health care and a presidential campaign - both not too brilliantly successful, to say the least.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 9, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

kreuz asks another
"are you jus tspreading more lies because you're a sore loser whose ideology has been totally debunked by facts?"

He's amused when people react as you have. Facts don't matter; nor does winning an argument. Pushing buttons is what matters.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 9, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse


In CA, Meg Whitman, running for Gov., and Ahnold, if he decides to challenge Boxer.

In TX, Houston mayor Bill White or Comptroller John Sharp.

Posted by: mnteng | January 9, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"The still controversial use of embryonic stem cells to travel backwards in time and influece Bush Administration economic policy."

Just you wait and in a few months they'll be blaming him for the Kennedy assassination.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | January 9, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

JohnInMpls writes
"Let's not forget that, despite the Republican brand issues and the 35W bridge collapse, Pawlenty garnered very high approval ratings in 2008."

Both Ryback & Pawlenty face tough budgets this year. It will be interesting to see how they come out - and whether some dark horse candidates jump into the race.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 9, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Won which war exactly????

The economy wasn't already beginning to trun south before the Dems took over???

Congress controls the purse strings, the President is out of the loop?????

Man, you'll believe anything a right wing hack tells you, won't you?

The housing bubble peaked in early 2005 and began its decline in 2006 (a full year before Pelosi became speaker) (http://static.seekingalpha.com/wp-content/seekingalpha/images/HousingBubble.gif), working class wages have been stagnant for most of the decade, and the WH OMB stil prepares the budget, and the budget process means that the Dems first budget the Pelosi congress produced was for FY08, with FY07's budget being due before Oct 06. You honestly believe the crap you're spewing, or are you jus tspreading more lies because you're a sore loser whose ideology has been totally debunked by facts?

Posted by: kreuz_missile | January 9, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that, despite the Republican brand issues and the 35W bridge collapse, Pawlenty garnered very high approval ratings in 2008.

RT will run, I think, but it'll be a tough race.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 9, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Last I checked, it is congress who initiates legislation. considering that fact (stand by for Lib brain explosion as facts are introduced), one has to place the blame for any policy that results in failure on the congress - aka Reid and Pelosi who took over two years ago, remember, the time before everything went south. the salad days of Frank and dodd filling their pockets while declaring everything is sound, lend more to the unqualified.

now if you want lay any cedit for foreign policy success at the feet of anyone, that would be the executive, you know, the one who won the war and kept us safe, despite the claims that it was already lost, that it was a foregone conclusion and that we should run away and hide before the violence increases. I was almost ready to suspend disbelief based on the mountain of press ignorance.

for the actual thinking bloggers (this excludes most Libs) here is a simple way to see where Libs are going. when confronted with a problem, there are only three options:

A) spend more
B) surrender and hide
C) blame Bush

I challenge you to find any other answer they propose.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 9, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Obamanomics : The still controversial use of embryonic stem cells to travel backwards in time and influece Bush Administration economic policy.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 9, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think Pawlenty is yet taking heat, largely because he hasn't done anything. If he tries to make an interim appointment to the seat, he'd put himself in the line of fire. His record implies that he's too politically savvy to do something that risky."

I agree we're not there yet, which is why I say it depends. But, as this thing draws out longer and MN is without a senator, he's going to be pressed to do something. That's what I'm looking at.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | January 9, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"Obamanomics kicks in. Not the change we were hoping for"

So let me get this straight, Reaganomics took, depending on who you talk to, 5 to 20 years to kick in, meanwhile an economic recession/depression that began over a year ago is the fault of a guy who hasn't even been sworn in yet and whose policies haven't even been fully read by most members of Congress.

And you wonder why no one here takes you seriously??

Posted by: kreuz_missile | January 9, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh Zouky:

You know you just post drivel like that so everyone else will respond with posts about how Obama hasn't even been sworn in yet.

Then you'll post a comment saying that the market has already factored in Obama's plans and that the whole economic collapse is due to Reid and Pelosi anyway (somehow, the name "Bush" can no longer be found in any of your posts).

Aren't you just acting out because you know, deep in your heart, that you won't live to see another Speaker of the House or Senate Majority Leader with an (R) next to their name?

You MIGHT live to see another Republican president.

If you live until 2024 or 2028 that is.

Posted by: Bondosan | January 9, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Obamanomics kicks in. Not the change we were hoping for:

7.2% Jobless Rate At 16-Year High The unemployment rate surged to its highest level in nearly 16 years in December as a deepening economic slump forced companies to slash payrolls by more than half a million jobs.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | January 9, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I think there will be a bit of a blowback from electing relative newcomers to the mainstream public eye. While Obama's presidency has yet to be written, people have a history of taking a step back from such a historic moment like this before revisiting it again a few cycles later.

I am holding out hope that the shift in political parties and ideology may be the big news in the next cycle. For example, the Modern Whig Party was founded by Iraq/Afghanistan vets and has generated significant buzz among moderate Dems and Republicans. Should be fun to watch!

http://www.modernwhig.org

Posted by: WhigParty | January 9, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I agree with bsimon1 when he says

"I don't think Pawlenty is yet taking heat, largely because he hasn't done anything. If he tries to make an interim appointment to the seat, he'd put himself in the line of fire. His record implies that he's too politically savvy to do something that risky."

T-Paw is very savvy and not likely to make that mistake. It just wouldn't fly here in MN.

But how about Sec of State Mark Ritchie -- he could take a shot at governor. He's received a lot of press over the recount, all of it good. Only the most die-hard Coleman supporters can find something to complain about in his conduct. And he'll have the next few months to travel the state, advocating for "election reform" -- almost much of which should be largely non-controversial and inside baseball. But he'll be seen to be doing his job ably.


Posted by: kjff | January 9, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed that Obama didn't tap Artur Davis for Attorney General.

Even though he's extremely sharp and quite talented, it's going to be extremely tough for him to get elected governor.

We are talking about Alabama here.

Posted by: Bondosan | January 9, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

A Note on New Hampshire,

It is now Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Former Senator John Sununu (R-NH).

And for future reference it will be Former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH).

Posted by: sdoyle24 | January 9, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

kreuz writes
"How big a blowback will there be for Pawlenty if he begins to be seen as stonewalling on Coleman's behalf in the name of partisanship vice standing up for the electoral process? "

I don't think Pawlenty is yet taking heat, largely because he hasn't done anything. If he tries to make an interim appointment to the seat, he'd put himself in the line of fire. His record implies that he's too politically savvy to do something that risky.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 9, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

What about Beau Biden? He is poised to operate on a national level in 2010 and after, and even after the 2008 DNCC speech this year, make a run for president in 2016. Just saying - look who his father is, look at his ability to speak, and look at his record and service.

I think he is even odds to be on this list.

Posted by: peebles2 | January 9, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Another vote for Alex Sink!

Posted by: optimyst | January 9, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

What about Alex Sink of Florida, the popular comptroller? She is seen by many as someone who can clear the field on the democratic side and be in a very strong postion to win the Martinez seat over Rubio or anyone else.

Posted by: stpaulsage | January 9, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"It is still unclear whether Pawlenty will run for a 3rd term"

I think that'll be an interesting question to watch in the context of the ongoing recount. How big a blowback will there be for Pawlenty if he begins to be seen as stonewalling on Coleman's behalf in the name of partisanship vice standing up for the electoral process?

Posted by: kreuz_missile | January 9, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"Republicans continue to insist New Jersey is a state they can win and believe ____________ is the candidate to do it."

Deja vu

Posted by: kreuz_missile | January 9, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

RT Ryback, mayor of Minneapolis. Probably a 60-40 chance he goes for the Governorship. It is still unclear whether Pawlenty will run for a 3rd term. Ryback's challenge, if he runs, will be in building a statewide support base; he's very much a metro-centric guy.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 9, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

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