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The Line: Where Are the GOP Senate Candidates?

Recruiting is the main task of both parties in the year before an election. It's an arduous process that involves not only trying to find the best candidate and convince him or her to run, but also navigating tricky local political waters to make sure not too many toes are stepped on.

A good recruiting program, it should go without saying, is crucial to making gains (or preventing losses) at the ballot box. Without a competent challenger who can make a strong case for change, even the weakest of incumbents has a fighting chance to be reelected.

At this still-early point in the '08 cycle, it's hard to overlook the dearth of top-tier Republican candidates in potentially competitive Senate races. The best recruit on the board for Republicans at the moment is Bob Schaffer, a former congressman who is running for the Colorado Senate seat being vacated next year by Wayne Allard (R). Schaffer has a base in the state from his time in Congress and also has a statewide race under his belt.

The GOP cupboard is all-but-bare elsewhere. No serious candidate has emerged in Louisiana, South Dakota, Iowa or Montana -- states carried by President Bush in 2004. Extenuating circumstances are to blame in several instances: In Louisiana, the state's 2007 gubernatorial race is dominating the state's political world, while in South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson's (D) recovery from emergency brain surgery has put the contest on hold. The national political environment isn't helping either, as President Bush and the war in Iraq continue to drive down Republican numbers.

Even so, the lack of "A" recruits is worrisome for a party that must defend 22 Senate seats in 2008. In order to avoid a landslide next November, Republicans must play offense in a handful of Democratic-held states. There is still time for Republicans to land major recruits, but the early returns are not promising.

As always, The Line's No. 1 ranked race is the most likely to switch parties in 2008. Offer your own thoughts on the races in the comments section below.

To the Line!

10. Alaska: We never thought we'd write this, but Sen. Ted Stevens (R) appears to be in serious electoral jeopardy. Stevens, a legend in Alaska politics, has drawn considerable scrutiny from a federal investigation into a pay-to-play scandal involving an Alaska energy company. Democrats sense an opportunity and are optimistic that Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, the son of late Alaska Rep. Nick Begich (D), will decide to take on Stevens. A recent independent poll conducted in the state showed the depth of Stevens's potential problems: 44 percent felt favorably toward him while 40 percent felt unfavorably. Stevens, 83, insists he has no plans to retire. If the investigation continues to proceed, however, Stevens may rethink that plan. (Previous ranking: N/A)

9. South Dakota: All eyes will be on Tim Johnson (D) later this month when he makes his first trip to the state since emergency brain surgery late last year. While we believe Johnson wants to run for another term, we don't believe he has made a final decision. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Ensign (Nev.) announced earlier this month that he would begin to put the pieces in place to find a serious candidate to challenge Johnson. The response by Johnson's office -- calling Ensign's announcement "a classless attack by a desperate chairman" -- was WAY over the top; Ensign's job, after all, is to elect more Republicans. Even so, it's hard to see a serious Republican emerging if Johnson decides to run for reelection. Gov. Mike Rounds (R) is the party's strongest candidate but would likely run only if Johnson decides to retire. (Previous ranking: 9)

8. Nebraska: Can anyone claim to know what's going on in the mind of Sen. Chuck Hagel (R)? The Fix expects him to announce his retirement from the Senate some time this fall, but Hagel has proved us wrong before. If Hagel retires, Democrats are expected to make a major push for his seat. The likely candidate is Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey, although former Sen. Bob Kerrey has also expressed some interest and might well have the right of first refusal. Republicans would quickly move to recruit Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, a former Nebraska governor, but it's not clear that Attorney General Jon Bruning, who is already in the race, would back out. The eventual Republican nominee should be helped by the state's strong GOP bent. (Previous ranking: 8)

7. Minnesota: Sen. Norm Coleman must be feeling pretty good about his reelection chances, since he is bringing President Bush into the state on Aug. 21 to raise money for his candidacy. Coleman can expect a bashing from both of his potential Democratic opponents -- comedian Al Franken and 2000 Senate candidate Mike Ciresi -- but he obviously calculated that the money he will raise from the Bush visit is worth it. It's hard to analyze this race until we know whether Franken or Ciresi will emerge from next summer's nominating convention as the party's nominee. Either way, Democrats will seek to make the race a referendum on Coleman and his relationship with President Bush. It's a potent argument in a state Bush lost in 2004 (albeit narrowly), but even Democrats acknowledge Coleman's political savvy and agree that this race is far from a slam dunk (don't forget that the GOP will hold its national convention in the Twin Cities next summer). Still, it is a testament to Democratic opportunities in 2008 that a race likely to be decided by a few percentage points is only ranked No. 7 on The Line. (Previous ranking: 5)

6. Maine: Democrats want the race between Rep. Tom Allen (D) and Sen. Susan Collins (R) to be about one thing -- Iraq. Allen voted against the war in 2002 while Collins supported it. Republicans argue that Iraq is only a part of this race; voters know and like Collins for her moderate positioning on a wide range of issues, they say, and respect the fact that she is trying to find a consensus solution somewhere between President Bush's surge proposal and Democrats' push for withdrawal. Who's right? We don't know. Here's two things we do know: First, Collins is in the fight of her political life; and second, her political skills are regularly underrated. (Previous ranking: 4)

5. Oregon: After a long search, Democrats have settled on state House Speaker Jeff Merkley as their preferred candidate against Sen. Gordon Smith (R). Merkley started the campaign on the right foot by recruiting Gov. Ted Kulongoski and former Gov. Barbara Roberts as his campaign chairs, although he still faces a primary from activist Steve Novick. Merkley is seeking to set the terms of the race early by making clear he opposed the war in Iraq from the start while Smith made an "election night reversal" on the issue. Smith is no slouch and will be very well-funded. But the national political environment could play heavily in this race. A poll conducted for Novick showed that just 21 percent of Oregonians thought Bush was doing an "excellent/good" job while a whopping 79 percent thought he was doing a "fair/poor" job. We known Smith isn't Bush, but that is a tough hill to climb for anyone with an "R" after his name. (Previous ranking: 7)

4. Virginia: This race continues to move up The Line based on two assumptions: Sen. John Warner (R) announces his retirement next month and former Gov. Mark Warner (D) quickly enters the race. If either of those events doesn't come to pass, then this race will drop down the rankings. But John Warner does seem set to leave the Senate after more than three decades in office, and Mark Warner is clearly itching to get back into political life following his sudden departure from the presidential race in the fall of 2006. Mark Warner, who left office as one of the most popular governors in the country, would almost certainly have the Democratic primary to himself. Republicans, meanwhile, would likely face a primary between Rep. Tom Davis and former Gov. Jim Gilmore, a race that could expose serious ideological division within the GOP. Regardless of whom Republicans pick, Mark Warner would be a favorite. (Previous ranking: 6)

3. Louisiana: We're leaving this race in the No. 3 position because we can't figure out where else to put it. On the one hand, even Democrats acknowledge that Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) is endangered due to the changing political nature of the Bayou State -- a process that was accelerated by the outmigration from the Democratic bastion of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. On the other hand, Republicans seem to be putting all of their hopes on state Treasurer John Kennedy, who is currently a Democrat. Party switching isn't the black mark in Louisiana that it is in other states, but Kennedy's flirtation with the state Attorney General's race this year (he eventually decided not to run) raises questions about how dedicated he is to challenging Landrieu. (Previous ranking: 3)

2. New Hampshire: Although Democrats are worried about premature celebration, most state and national party strategists believe former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D) is going to announce next month that she will take on Sen. John Sununu (R). Shaheen's own husband has told supporters that his wife is "70 percent" likely to run, according to columnist Bob Novak. If Shaheen runs, she starts the race as the favorite. Sununu is a savvy senator but faces a very difficult task in running away from President Bush and the Republican label -- both of which are major problems in the Northeast. (Previous ranking: 2)

1. Colorado: The challenge before former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R) became clear late last month when a liberal activist group -- known as ProgressNowAction -- accused him of selling his vote on the state's Board of Education for a campaign contribution. Whether the accusation sticks is beside the point. Colorado has an incredibly well organized and well funded group of progressive groups that will be blasting away at Schaffer every day of the campaign. That means Rep. Mark Udall (D) can keep his hands clean, focusing on courting the political independents who will likely decide the race. (Previous ranking: 1)

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 17, 2007; 5:30 AM ET
Categories:  Senate , The Line  
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Next: Democratic Debate Preview (and Obama's Decision)


Posted by: postopia | September 22, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: utube | September 22, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: utube video | September 22, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: utube video | September 22, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: miniclips | September 22, 2007 7:33 AM | Report abuse


Senator Dick Durbin's deceitful plan to keep Americans in the dark about the "Dream Act" and quickly pass it through
the Senate is failing under withering grassroots pressure!

Lacking the needed 60 votes for passage, a desperate Durbin, who opposes the war, is now attempting to use it for political
gain by pitching the "Dream Act" amendment as a military recruiting tool to aid in the Iraq War!

Note: military recruiting aspects of the amendment were in the bill before the amendment was presented. And laws addressing the military status of immigrants are already on the books.

This is just another scam being perpetrated by our unscrupulous
lawmakers to push through a massive amnesty plan.


Posted by: calumonit | September 21, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Well, I guess Larry Craig puts Idaho in play. Yes, how long have pundits been waiting for Senator Craig to admit: "I da ho"? (or is he the "ho").

Larry, you got to come out of the closet. Sure you hate yourself, and your vile urges. You think you can prove you're not gay by bashing gays and passing laws against them (against yourself, sort of like Rep Foley passing laws against using the internet for underage teen proposals, and then he violates it.).
But, sooner or later, you have a choice between hypocrisy and celibacy. Thus, the conservatives will not back Larry Craig if he is gay and conservative, but perhaps they will just dump him. Another seat for the Democrats in the Senate.

If only Merv Griffin could have come out of the closet a year ago before he died, that would have given some conservatives the insight that there are gays who are Republicans.

Posted by: Pete from NYC | August 28, 2007 1:32 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: vsqzbiy obavs | August 27, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: ljoxtge obhf | August 27, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Could the Democratic presidential nomination be decided before the filing deadline for the North Carolina Senate race?

Posted by: emcee | August 21, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I would put a lot of money on Warner (John that is) retiring, he is 80 years old. He is spending this month in Montana fishing and mulling over the race, but it doesn't seem likely as he has not raised any money to date. This seat is Mark Warner's for the taking.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Yup, that's me. I know it's Janet, not quite sure how that happened (all the Go Janet Go signs and all)...

Clark is the best fit for Clinton because it balances the interests of the party the best. Clark has strong backing in the netroots community, has been a critic of the war from the start, and adds trong foreign policy bonafides of his resume. He would be good for Obama too, for the foreign policy resume, but prefer the notion of Napolitano on the ticket to take the immigration critique off the agenda right away from the conservatives (their main talking point in their defense to this point in discussing party infighting is at least they're talking about it), meanwhile still putting a strong woman on the ticket with a great resume (2 term Gov of AZ, AG before that, strong on crime, the economy, and immigration). 2 senators on the ticket (Obama-Clinton or vice versa) I think would be a huge mistake, and with the new foreign policy ideas Obama is calling for I'm not sure Clark is needed on the ticket, I think it would leave too many scared of another Cheney with the VP calling the foreign policy shots. At the same time, I'd keep him close and on the national stage, probably making him Secretary of State with Biden SecDef.

Posted by: Michael | August 18, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

anonymous at 5:39P was me, correcting an error in a previous post of mine.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 18, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Michael [Golden Bear?] -

What does Janet [not Jean] Napolitano add to an Obama ticket? That seems like a ticket that would be comfortable focused on domestic matters and immigration. The point of having Clark, who was not merely a General, but who actually negotiated alongside Holbrooke and Christopher Hill against Milosovic at Dayton, is to provide cover for a candidate who has no foreign policy or defense policy credentials, to speak of.

Janet [not Jean] Napolitano might be a good fit for Biden or Dodd.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Despite the quotes from anonymous poster at
4:39P, McCain has been a harsh critic of the CONDUCT of the occupation. He supports the surge because it is conducted in a way to provide military results that the previous military strategy could not.

This is not to say that I agree or disagree with McCain's current position; it is merely to express that I understand it and think it to be consistent with what he has been for, and what he has been against, regarding Iraq.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 18, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

In a July hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Robert Mueller revealed that he took notes of the infamous White House visit to Attorney General John Ashcroft's hospital room because the events were so "out of the ordinary."

Chairman John Conyers wrote to Mueller after the hearing to request access to his notes. Today, Conyers' office put out a statement explaining that the Judiciary Committee has taken a look at Mueller's notes, which were "heavily-redacted." Yet, even from the amount the Committee was able to read, Conyers reported that it is clear there was a craven effort to take advantage of "a sick and heavily-medicated Ashcroft":

"Director Mueller's notes and recollections concerning the White House visit to the Attorney General's hospital bed confirm an attempt to goad a sick and heavily medicated Ashcroft to approve the warrantless surveillance program," said Conyers. "Particularly disconcerting is the new revelation that the White House sought Mr. Ashcroft's authorization for the surveillance program, yet refused to let him seek the advice he needed on the program.

"Unfortunately, this heavily redacted document raises far more questions than it answers. We intend to fully investigate this incident and the underlying subject matter that evoked such widespread distress within the Department and the FBI. We will be seeking an unredacted copy of Director Mueller's notes covering meetings before and after the hospital visit and expect to receive information from several of the individuals mentioned in the document."

Former Chief of Staff Andrew Card and Alberto Gonzales rushed to Ashcroft's bedside to get his sign-off for the administration's NSA warrantless surveillance program because then-Acting Attorney General James Comey refused to authorize it.

Mueller's notes indicate Ashcroft was "feeble, barely articulate, clearly stressed." Moreover, Mueller's notes indicate Ashcroft "was in no condition" to see visitors, much less decide whether to authorize the program.

Posted by: gonzo is a disease | August 18, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

If passed, the Bush administration's long-sought 'hydrocarbons framework' law would give Big Oil access to Iraq's vast energy reserves on the most advantageous terms and with virtually no regulation. The framework law proposes to hand over effective control of as much as 80 percent of the country's oil wealth.

A recent poll showed that all Iraqi ethnic and sectarian groups across the political spectrum oppose the principles enshrined in the oil law, and 419 Iraqi oil experts, economists and intellectuals recently signed their names to a statement expressing grave concern over the bill. The head of the Iraqi Federation of Union Councils said recently, "If the Iraqi Parliament approves this law, we will resort to mutiny."

Posted by: what's it all about | August 18, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

McCVain now claims he's a 'war critic':

"But I believe, Katie, that the Iraqi people will greet us as liberators." [NBC, 3/20/03]

"It's clear that the end is very much in sight." [ABC, 4/9/03]

"There's not a history of clashes that are violent between Sunnis and Shiahs. So I think they can probably get along." [MSNBC, 4/23/03]

"This is a mission accomplished. They know how much influence Saddam Hussein had on the Iraqi people, how much more difficult it made to get their cooperation." [This Week, ABC, 12/14/03]

"I'm confident we're on the right course." [ABC News, 3/7/04]

"I think the initial phases of it were so spectacularly successful that it took us all by surprise." [CBS, 10/31/04]

"I do think that progress is being made in a lot of Iraq. Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course. If I thought we weren't making progress, I'd be despondent." [The Hill, 12/8/05]

With people like John McCain, Michael O'Hanlon, and Ken Pollack now claiming to be war "critics," that term is fast becoming a description for people who support the war but aren't George Bush.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"VA: Bring Allen back. Let us put an end to Kaine's harebrained, transportation scheme, cf. HB-3202."

Kaine signed a plan passed by whom? A Republican controlled legislature.

The "harebrained" in this belongs to the "No taxes; we never pay for anything!" group. The Brigade lead by Keb Cuccinelli. The ones who should be wearing beanies with propellers on them.

Allen is where he belongs; out of sight/out of mind.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Michael [Golden Bear?] -

What does Jean Napolitano add to an Obama ticket? That seems like a ticket that would be comfortable focused on domestic matters and immigration. The point of having Clark, who was not merely a General, but who actually negotiated alongside Holbrooke and Christopher Hill against Milosovic at Dayton, is to provide cover for a candidate who has no foreign policy or defense policy credentials, to speak of.

Jean Napolitano might be a good fit for Biden or Dodd.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 18, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

""General Hugh Shelton would say of Clark during his 2004 campaign that "the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my vote," though Shelton never elaborated further on what these issues were." from wiki"

Actually, Clark was removed not by Clinton, but by Sec Cohen (who announced his replacement early, thereby forcing Clinton's hand). The reasoning was Cohen opposed intervention in Kosovo, but Clark, using his NATO hat rather than his EUCOM hat, went to Sec Albright to get her to push for it. That's the main reason it happened and frankly he did the right thing. I do think Clark would be the best VP nominee for Clinton, but for Obama, I have to go with Gov Napolitano (D-AZ).

Posted by: Michael | August 18, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Afam212 -
Mississippi's governor is Haley Barbour...

VA: Bring Allen back. Let us put an end to Kaine's harebrained, transportation scheme, cf. HB-3202.

Posted by: Austin | August 18, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I dare you to write this up, CC -- I don't think you have the cojones:

'Twenty-nine hours.

That's the total amount of time Rudy Giuliani actually spent at Ground Zero in three months following the attacks, according to a report in this morning's New York Times.

Rudy, you'll recall, recently caused a huge controversy by saying he'd spent as much or more time at Ground Zero than "most" of the 9/11 recovery workers. These new revelations about his time at the site are almost certain to raise yet more questions about his efforts to run for President partly on his performance after 9/11 -- and to further enrage the firefighters, cops and rescue workers who despise him for those efforts and accuse him of falsely lionizing his own 9/11 performance.

Can we call Rudy's recovery-worker insult a gaffe now? Note to pundits who've largely ignored this, despite it being Rudy's worst political misstep to date -- any interest in this story yet?

The news isf buried in the Times piece, but it's big:

A complete record of Mr. Giuliani's exposure to the site is not available for the first few days after the attack. But an exhaustively detailed account from his mayoral archive, revised after the events to account for last-minute changes on scheduled stops, does exist for the period of Sept. 17 to Dec. 16, 2001. It shows he was there for a total of 29 hours in those three months, for short periods or to visit locations adjacent to the rubble. In that same period, many rescue and recovery workers put in daily 12-hour shifts.

That's roughly an average of 10 hours a month. Ahhh -- the sweet sound of real reporting.

Meanwhile, Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, tells The Times that most of his members averaged more than 400 hours at the site. And John McDonnell, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association in New York, tells the paper that many of his members worked consecutive 12-hour shifts at the site for weeks.

The revelations about Rudy's 29 hours at the site would also appear to be directly at odds with these Rudy quotes from September of 2006:

"I spent as much time here as anyone...I was here five, six times a day for four months. I kind of thought of it as living here."

This is the type of guy Guiliani is -- a complete liar and fabricator, capable of little but lust and greed and self-agradizement.

Posted by: HEY CC! REPORT THIS! | August 18, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

people finally seeing through the rightwing gov't propaganda. look out out for the dem landslide 'proud', zouk/trotsky/hawkins/etc.

'WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A majority of Americans don't trust the upcoming report by the Army's top commander in Iraq on the progress of the war, according to a new poll.

Gen. David Petraeus confers with officers in Iraq in July. His progress report on the war is due next month.

President Bush frequently has asked Congress -- and the American people -- to withhold judgment on his so-called troop surge in Iraq until Gen. David Petraeus, the commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, issue their progress report in September.

But according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Thursday, 55 percent of people polled said they suspect that the military assessment of the situation will try to make it sound better than it actually is. Forty-three percent said they do trust the report.'

Posted by: LOL hypocrites | August 18, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

your criminal administration:

'WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House demanded in 2004 that the Justice Department approve a secret national security program without allowing the ailing attorney general, "feeble, barely articulate, clearly stressed," to discuss the matter with top advisers, according to the FBI director's personal notes.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller testifies last month before the House Judiciary Committee.

The partially censored notes from FBI chief Robert S. Mueller, dated March 12, 2004, describe a distraught and feeble Attorney General John Ashcroft in his hospital room just moments after being visited by then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and Andy Card, the president's chief of staff at the time.

Mueller's account backs up earlier descriptions of the dispute over whether to continue the program despite Justice Department concerns about its legality.'

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Why aren't you in Iraq zouk?

We are all laughing at you, you yellow-livered sh*tbag chickenhawk.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The font size of the writing on the wall is getting bigger and bigger.;_ylt=AmbZkPVme3HFxdXPyeLlHln4R9AF

Too bad, so sad that so many of the crackpot posters here need to update their eyeglass prescriptions. Maybe the entire GOP should just fold up its tent to "spend more time with their families."

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 18, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see the degree to which Giuliani will play the firefighters card.

This could be risky business considering how some firefighters perceive him, although it's clear he's working heavily to gain support in some of the early campaigning focal spots, like South Carolina.

Some were concerned about his level of engagement with the memorials for the firefighters who died recently in SC:

Posted by: Concerned | August 18, 2007 12:59 AM | Report abuse

"Just try. we all know this is accurate."

by "we" i mean me and all of my sock puppets, of course.

Posted by: Trotsky | August 17, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

General Clark was sent into retirement early due to policy disagreements with the Defense Secretary and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. As Supreme Allied Commander, he did not actually work for them but rather worked for the member states of NATO. Clark had good relations with the White House and appealed directly to the White House in a policy dispute. The White House supported him and DOD exacted its revenge in replacing him before his tour reached its end. To say it was incompetence is to materially distort the truth. General Shelton was annoyed because Clark was a professional rival of his and successfully went over his head. The professional jealousies at the four star level can be reminiscent of high school cliques. I know, I was a career military officer and saw some of it first hand - 50-something generals and admirals playing games about who would come to the phone first.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 17, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

"Just try. we all know this is accurate."

yep, you and of your sock puppets. very impressive.

Posted by: Trotsky = moron | August 17, 2007 10:58 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: hawkins = ignorant coward = zouk = trotsky = a zillion other rightwingnut trolls | August 17, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why CC keeps mentioning Iowa. What about Senator Harkin's career and campaigning skills makes him think that Harkin will be in for any kind of trouble if any Republican runs? Harkin is running for his fifth term and is currently chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. This may not mean much to CC, but in Iowa it means $$$$$$. He has also defeated FIVE sitting members of Congress - first in 1974, when he was elected to the House (defeating a sitting Congressman); and then defeating a sitting Senator in 1984; and finally beating the Republican House members that have run against him in each of his three senatorial re-election campaigns (Tom Tauke, 1990; Jim Ross Lightfoot, 1996; Greg Ganske, 2002).

Posted by: Iowan | August 17, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Just watched your msnbc appearance on "Countdown" concerning Rudy Giuliani. I believe Giuliani is delusional, he will make a good president.

Posted by: Campaign Watch | August 17, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I need to switch to mornings, I always come in too late.

Do *not* respond to trolls like Zouk/Trotsky, no matter how hard they try to bait you. They will go away on their own.

Posted by: Zookeepress | August 17, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - local Austin Rs are not social cons or neocons and are either true small gov Rs, or John Connally big biz Rs, or pro-military Rs.
They are grumbling and mumbling.

But my sense is that the bible belt folks and the self styled super-patriots outside the 7 or 8 largest cities are going to be motivated. I do not think any of the big urban counties are split further than 54-46 either way, but many cities of 100,000 - 200,000 like Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, Tyler, Abilene, and San Angelo, and probably 180 rural counties, will vote 75-95% R, and they will turn out.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

MikeB--"Mark, apparently these terrorists reevied the training and expertise to so this as a result of our guest worker programs. It seems that, amoungst all of those Indian H1-B workers, there are quite a few Ismlamic radicals. Oh well, profits first!"

MikeB, I understand that immigration is a big issue with you but you cannot just go around with such outlandish, unsubstianted claims! I have no idea how this relates to Indian--usually HINDU, some Sikh--visa workers?

Posted by: roo | August 17, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I like Clark for VP. Excellent compliment to either Clinton or Obama.

If folk want to get a sense of Al Franken's campaign here in Minnesota, go to his website and look through his Flickr pictures. What you'll see is a mass of small town parades, county fairs, DFL Bean Feeds and summer picnics and DFL Party fundraisers, where Al has just huge crowds, and this is more than a year before the election. He had so many volunteers he had to open his headquarters early so they could be deployed properly. He has moved up about 14 points in the polls since announcing at the end of last winter, and Coleman has been holding fast at the 45-47 point re-elect range, meaning he is in trouble. Al Franken is the leading Senate Fund Raiser for last quarter in the 2008 Senate Race, and his money is coming from smallish donations, and without major PAC's.

The real deciding event will be in March when we hold precinct Caucuses, and begin the selection leading to the delegations at State Convention in early June. Thus far it looks to my practiced eye (20 years managing campaigns) as if Al has all the experienced organizers on board -- meaning they will know how to prepare for caucus. He has Teamster and Steelworker endorsements, and much more is in the offing. (such endorsements here mean that the members attend and support their endorsements at Precinct Caucus.) Al also has a slew of elected officials who have endorsed. When the DFL pulls it together and isn't divided by an inner party fight, it can be a great election platform. Just ask Amy Klobuchar who won by 20 points last November.

Last state polling I saw on Bush had him in the low 30's in the state and trending downward. If he doesn't deliver the money for a splendid Bridge across the Mississippi, he just might crash into the River himself. In fact, the I-35 was put on the list of troubled bridges during the administration of Arnie Carlson, who was not particularly hot on transit projects, and as Ventura further cut the MN-DOT revenue, the prospects for fixing problems further diminished. Pawlenty seems to be reversing course a bit, but his Lt Gov and also Commissioner of DOT, Molnau, is still very much a minimalist on Transit and Transport. Looks like a special session has been agreed to for September, so there will be a forum for the DFL House and Senate to settle hash with the Republican Governor. They are finally beginning to pull hunks of the bridge out of the river.

National coverage of our bridge disaster leaves much to be desired. Two few descriptions of the location have been provided. For instance, little attention has been paid to the fact that the U is 60% a Commuter University, the University is split between E and W Bank of the Mississippi, and both ends of the I-35 are exit ramps to the University -- a place with 55 thousand students, and about 25 thousand staff. Both ends of the bridge have long been bottlenecks. This then is a chance to redesign and solve problems. Likewise the Mississippi in Downtown Mpls has, for the last 3 decades, has been a focus of quality re-development. Industry has been pulled off the river, an urban park on both sides created, Medium and high end condo's have been constructed up and back from the river -- all to create an attractive urban neighborhood within walking and biking distance from downtown, the University, and things like the Metrodome and the new 4 stage Gutherie Theatre, plus lots of restaurant and cafe development. Why would we want to put a cheap and ugly bridge in the middle of all this? We have to do the politics so as to serve the interstate trucks on 35, the suburban commuters either into the city center or crossing town from one place to another, and we have to serve our institutions and our urban neighborhoods. Thus far it looks like Pawlenty will be good to go with a gas tax, and also a strong bridge that will be ready for a light rail line. (some of us want two parallel bridges, so we can close one to fix the potholes -- and Minnesota will forever have potholes.) Pawlenty seems to be undergoing a profound conversion experience, but then the Bridge is in a Senate District where the Senator wins by about 80% of the vote, and is also Majority Leader of the Senate -- and the district also voted 78% for John Kerry in 2004. I am sure Bush never contemplated giving us a new bridge. But the latest estimate is that no bridge costs business about 400 thousand per day -- so further conversion experiences are to be expected. And yes -- politics comes into play in such a situation. You have lots of competitive interests, and the essence of politics is crafting the right compromise where everyone has a little leverage.

Posted by: Sistersara | August 17, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

This was a good discussion until the "KOOKS' came. Bye for now.

Posted by: lylepink | August 17, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"Reinventing The Huns
by Devilstower
Fri Aug 17, 2007 at 01:50:53 PM PDT
I don't have to tell you that September 11, 2001 was among the most tragic days this nation has ever experienced. It was horrific. It was heartbreaking. It was infuriating.

But there's one thing it was not. It was not the opening salvo in some epic "Clash of Civilizations."

That phrase, borrowed from the works of Samuel Huntington, has become shorthand for the idea that we are in the midst of a towering struggle between the civilized west and a radicalized, expansive Islam. The idea saturates both the airwaves and print media. It rolls from the mouths of both hard right and "mainstream" pundits with the frequency of breathing. It's proclaimed loudly in books like Washington Times writer Tony Blankley's The West's Last Chance, in which aggressive military action on the part of the US as the only means to prevent a Sharia curtain from falling over the world. It's declared more softly every time the media conflates the idea of terrorism with Islam.

Most of all -- from well before September 11 -- this idea is the dark heart of neocon policies. By painting every action as another skirmish in this great struggle of light vs. dark, they both enlist the politics of fear and seek to ennoble an ugly, brutal war.

The right has struggled mightily to keep fear as high as possible. They've resurrected dead academic terms like "islamist" and coined new ones like "Islamic fascists" (along with the laughable "Islamofacist") to instill the proper levels of revulsion. It's no accident that the terms used are reminiscent of those used in World War I and World War II recruiting posters -- the kind where Germans are "Huns," Japanese are "Japs," and both of them have fangs. That we face an enemy as powerful and implacable as those of the "greatest generation" is exactly the image they seek.

Over the last week, two incidents show just how successful they've been in casting this false light over every issue, and how far they'll go to further this idea. First, there is the New York Police report on homegrown terrorism. With slides like "Jihadization: New York City" it sells the idea of American Muslims turning into human time bombs through "radicalization."

The second item in the parade of Islamophobia (Ismalamistophobia? Jihadizaficationophobia? With so many new terms being invented, it's easy to be confused) is the proposed branding of a branch of the Iranian military as a terrorist organization. Referring to a uniformed military as terrorists may seem like a stretch, but the term has been so tugged out of shape by now that it could serve as a tent for a convention of misnomers.

Trying to raise a fact against this onslaught of unreason is about as effective as using a pebble to stem the tide. Robert Pope's Dying to Win: the logic of suicide terrorism has already been on the shelves for two years, but it's worth revisiting an interview that Dr. Pope gave back in 2005 at (of all places) the American Conservative. In a study of terrorism from 1980 to 2004, Pope found that Islam -- even "radical" Islam -- had little relationship to terrorism. In fact, the statistics indicate that the object and instigators of terrorism were not the west and fundamentalist Islam. It was an even older pairing: occupier and the occupied.

The central fact is that overwhelmingly suicide-terrorist attacks are not driven by religion as much as they are by a clear strategic objective: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland. From Lebanon to Sri Lanka to Chechnya to Kashmir to the West Bank, every major suicide-terrorist campaign--over 95 percent of all the incidents--has had as its central objective to compel a democratic state to withdraw.

And if you're wondering what that means for the philosophy at the heart of both the war in Iraq and the warmongering with Iran, Pope has a very simple answer.

TAC: That would seem to run contrary to a view that one heard during the American election campaign, put forth by people who favor Bush's policy. That is, we need to fight the terrorists over there, so we don't have to fight them here.

RP: Since suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation and not Islamic fundamentalism, the use of heavy military force to transform Muslim societies over there, if you would, is only likely to increase the number of suicide terrorists coming at us.

Nothing in this piece is news -- we're talking an old interview in a conservative magazine. The question is why does it seem like news?"

Posted by: The Daily Kos | August 17, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Cape town - you don't seem to know about the differences in corruption. Rs kiss someone or send dirty emails and are immediately drummed out of the party in disgrace. Dems use their office for interns and are championed for it. Dems gather 100K in their freezer in bribes or offer to accept bribes at a later date and are still around. Rs get a free meal and some drinks and go to jail. ds fix tickets, do crooked land deals, kill car passengers, cheat on exams, lie about military service, ........

Of course corruption is spread around the power elite but the distinction is the treatment when discovered and the motivation behind it. I believe lining your own pockets with cash is about the worst you can do. a list of bribes and prices is the utmost in evil. but trading executive priv for cash is pretty bad, almost the same thing. why no jail?

If you are so sure of your claims, lets see the list. And if you are so fair minded, let's see both lists with a reaction by leadership to the crooked action. then we can talk about the differences.

for all the promises of cleaning up corruption, name one thing the Dems have done to substantiate this false offer.

and don't pull a Crater.

Posted by: Trotsky | August 17, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on, Trotsky. Try to be even-handed. Look at the list of R senators and congressmen who are being investigated by the FBI, ot the police, or investigative committees. It's a long list. Corruption and ethical lapses aren't confined to one party, but you write as if this is so.

Posted by: Gary, Cape Town | August 17, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

so "Hawkins," is this what Karl Rove has been reduced to already?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 17, 2007 05:54 PM

I take it the facts are too distasteful for you and you must respond with silliness as usual. If the truth ever landed in your mouth, would you know what it tastes like? do you dispute any of hillary's policies listed above? Just try. we all know this is accurate.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Clinton and Bosnia - you mean the one no one ever voted on, the one that was going to be over in a year (still there), the one where we flew at 10,000 feet so no one would get hurt?

that seems to be a pattern with Libs, run the war so no one gets hurt, especially the enemy.

Posted by: Trotsky | August 17, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

'Sure, there are questions about why he retired when he did. It's a he said, she said. So are most situations when someone is dismissed from their job."

Not in the military. you don't lose a major command for nothing.

"General Hugh Shelton would say of Clark during his 2004 campaign that "the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my vote," though Shelton never elaborated further on what these issues were." from wiki

but it is still OK, because he is a Dem and everybody knows you all don't care a whit about character and integrity. Just look at your leaders - a vacuum of integrity if there ever was one. don't make me cite examples, its just too easy. you do have some amusing characters though.

Posted by: Trotsky | August 17, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

so "Hawkins," is this what Karl Rove has been reduced to already?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 17, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Consider the following:

Kyoto: Clinton is a supporter of the Kyoto Protocol, which would cause energy prices to soar and would seriously damage the American economy even though most environmentalists will admit that it won't significantly cut the amount of greenhouse gasses being produced by mankind.

Corruption: Her brother was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to help get pardons from her husband. During Hillary's previous stay in this White House, trips to the Lincoln bedroom were handed out for campaign contributions. She actually drew up legal documents that were used in the Whitewater land scheme and she got away with being bribed through a crooked cattle futures deal. Hillary Clinton would be one of the most corrupt Presidents ever to sit in the White House.

Tax Hikes: Hillary is a diehard socialist and will certainly slow the economy down and take more money out of the American people's pockets with a tax hike. She has even voted against ending the marriage penalty and the child tax credit.

Amnesty and Open Borders: Hillary is a big supporter of comprehensive immigration reform for illegal aliens and with a Democratic Congress to help her, it's entirely possible she'll be able to succeed where George W. Bush failed with amnesty.

Losing Iraq: In 1975, Democrats deliberately delivered South Vietnam into the hands of the Communists by cutting off the aid and air support that we had promised them because the Dems believed it would benefit them politically. The result was a Communist takeover of Vietnam, genocide, an enormous loss of American prestige, and a crisis of confidence in our military that wasn't truly reversed until George Bush won the Gulf War.

If Hillary Clinton becomes President and we are still in Iraq, she will deliberately lose the war early on in her presidency because she will believe that she can blame it on George Bush. That will allow her to avoid taking on a politically unpopular war. The result of her actions would likely be a huge victory for Al-Qaeda, genocide, an enormous loss of American prestige, and a crisis of confidence in our military.

Disaster In The War On Terror: When Bill Clinton was in power, the 2nd Intifada started, Al-Qaeda launched terrorist attacks at America practically with impunity, he turned down an offer of Sudan to hand over Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan and India built nuclear programs right under our noses -- and we believe North Korea built nuclear weapons.

If Hillary were to become President, expect North Korea to become a permanent nuclear power, Iran to start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, and Al-Qaeda to get a breather to rebuild their forces because Hillary will be more concerned with whether Europe likes us or not than stopping another 9/11.

Additionally, she would certainly curtail the wiretapping of terrorists and would treat them as mere criminals instead of unlawful combatants, which would significantly hurt our intelligence gathering and make another 9/11 much more likely.

Socialized Medicine: If Hillary Clinton gets her way and we have socialized medicine in this country, taxes will soar, the quality of medical care will decrease, and the wait times to get surgeries will grow enormously.

Supreme Court: Currently, the Supreme Court is balanced on a knife's edge. There are 4 originalist judges who believe in sticking to the Constitution, 4 liberal judges who view the Court as nothing more than a Super Legislature than can be used to push a left-wing agenda, and one moderate judge.

That means the Supreme Court nominees of the next President of the United States will likely tip the balance of the court dramatically to the left or right and with Hillary, of course, you can be sure that the judges would be extremely liberal.

We don't know who the Republican nominee will be yet, but whoever he is would have to be an enormous improvement over the massive head-on car crash in an earthquake that a Hillary Clinton presidency would be for America.

Posted by: hawkins | August 17, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

lylepink, Most of us Vietnam veterans were not treated awfully. For the most part, nobody made a big deal about it when we came home, and we just fit back into society.

I know many fellow Vietnam vets across the country, and have yet to have one tell me that they were treated poorly personally.

We weren't shy and made sure that our voices were heard as part of the debate. FYI, proudtobeGOP, at that time there was a legitimate debate about the war, which wasn't retricted to party lines; supporters and opponents were in both parties. The debate on Vietnam was high volume and high temperature for years, and there were Left-wingnuts who may have gone to oratorical extremes about G.I.'s, but we recognized them for the fools they were.

For years I've believed that it was the Korean vets who were treated poorly. Their older brothers, the Greatest Generation (?), virtually ignored their service. It was only after the vocal Vietnam vets demanded recognition that it seems anybody gave a damn about the Korean vets.

I'm sure that some Vietnam vets somewhere were treated poorly; but as a whole I think that many of the stories about the poor treatment are myths and the stuff of urban legends.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

When he got the data, McIntyre then compared the raw and adjusted data sets for all 1200 U.S. weather stations. "Probably 75 percent of the stations had jumps of at least a quarter degree in the year 2000," he said.

The Director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies James Hansen responded to the critics on the left-wing blog DailyKos. He said that U.S. temperature data change is inconsequential to overall global climate data.. He wrote a diary on their site on August 11 that said, "The effect on global temperature was of order one-thousandth of a degree, so the corrected and uncorrected curves [on global data] are indistinguishable."

Jeff Kuerter, president of the George C. Marshall Institute, said NASA's mistake cast doubt on all global climate data because the United States was considered the best at taking analyzing temperatures. "If the U.S. doesn't get this right what might be happening in other places and why did this error persist so long?" he said.

Even though the data has been corrected, McIntyre is not satisfied. "They claim that they're adjustment methodology was capable of fixing bad data, I mean, that's the point I want people to take home from this," he said. "What they've done now is inserted a patch into an error that I identified for them but they haven't established that the rest of their adjustment methodology is any good." He recommended that NASA begin archiving the codes they use to make calculations and subject data to public scrutiny or peer-review.

This isn't the first time McIntyre has caused a stir by questioning global warming data. The Toronto-based McIntyre joined forces with Canadian economist Ross McKitrick to refute data put forth by United Nations in 2001 that said use of fossil fuels was causing global warming. Included in the report was a graphic that showed 20th century temperatures sharply rising as time went on in the form of a hockey stick, which later became the name of the graph. McIntyre and McKitrick found an error in the mathematical calculation used to construct the "hockey stick." Their findings led to a congressional investigation led by then-chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Joe Barton (R.-Tex.).

More Lib science - we just make it up as we go along with the goal of high taxes always in mind.

Posted by: Trotsky | August 17, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"You can support the troops but not the president."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."
--Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
--Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
--Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
--Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."
--Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
--Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

Guess what they were talking about? Clinton and Bosnia. You want to talk hypocrisy? Talk to that.

Posted by: JamesCH | August 17, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

All the Red Bushies sins are coming back to haunt them. We're looking forward to AK and OR switching sides, and the 50-state Blue Wave just gets higher and higher as long as you Red Bushies keep being: incompetent, avaricious, doubling bureaucracy, deficit increasing, Iraq War continuing ... morons.

There i said it. Enjoy your 40 years in the wilderness, apostate unpatriotic Red Bushies. You deserve it.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | August 17, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Yes, General Clark was so incompetent that, as Supreme Allied Commander Europe, he oversaw military action that resulted in the end of a genocide in the former Kosovo and removed Slobodan Milosevic from power without losing a single U.S. soldier. Not one.

Sure, there are questions about why he retired when he did. It's a he said, she said. So are most situations when someone is dismissed from their job.

On a side note, I've always found it interesting that you use the handle Trotsky. A Bolshevik Marxist theorist? Why not Goebbels? Or maybe Himmler?

Posted by: JamesCH | August 17, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I hadn't thought of a conservative 3rd party candidate. It would be funny to see a reversal of the 2000 presidential cycle with the GOP as the loser. Bloody US election system. There are better ones, you know. Instant run-offs and such.

Who could run like that unless it's Thompson?

Posted by: JasonL | August 17, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

so Mark in austin - your conclusion is that the current perfidy, cowardice and treasonous libel is just a matter of degree for all Dems, historically speaking, of course. we are just in a particularly pernicious and rancorous time? I think you have something there.

Posted by: Trotsky | August 17, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Snow has looked tired and I hope he is winning his battle with cancer.
Proud, while there is more than a grain of truth in that op-ed, it would have been much more effective if it had not been so overwrought.

"the Vietnam hysteria aside-"

How can we set aside a 12 year war that defined a generation?

"Had George Bush recently called for a land invasion of Pakistan"

Or anyone else, for that matter...

and no one who remembers Truman thought he got a pass from the left - they ran Henry Wallace against him and talked about impeaching him for Korea. The left actually wanted unilateral disarmament while Truman was keeping the draft and trying to rebuild the military.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"Clark is a foreign policy heavyweight "

you mean the one who was forced into retirement due to incompetency? the one who ran for president and was giggled at? you found another Lib war hero? Remember how the last one turned out.

but seriously, you meant to be funny right?

Posted by: Trotsky | August 17, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"Watts believes, logically, that if the stations are not set up according to NOAA specs -- i.e., if they are not on grass, 100 feet from buildings and not sitting on hot asphalt or near air-conditioning exhaust vents -- their readings are likely to be biased toward higher temperatures.

Watts and his volunteers have now surveyed about 227 weather stations. A recent discovery: Many are sited at water sewage treatment plants, which Watts described as "giant heat bubbles."

A responsible scientist, Watts won't draw any conclusions from his research yet. But one top climate scientist -- NASA's James Hansen, the patron saint of the apocalyptic global warming movement -- apparently doesn't think Watts' dogged pursuit of scientific certainty matters much.

I asked Hansen by e-mail last week "How important is the data from these (1,221 ground) weather stations in your climate modeling?"

"It has no effect on modeling," Hansen replied. "Of course we compare modeling results with observed temperatures. But the observational analysis is based mainly on measurements at places remote from human influence. "

Imagine - a model which doesn't care about the data. Must be a Lib model. can someone hop over to Kos and see if Hansen is posting any science on their site today? this has got to be the most ridiculous excuse for a scientist i have ever seen.

Posted by: the sky is falling, isn't it? | August 17, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Voters here say it's tough to distinguish between the platforms of the Democrats running for president.

So the hopefuls are downplaying their differences and instead, each is promising to be the most electable of the bunch.

Obama insists: "I can win Mississippi!"

Richardson, vexingly adds: "I'm pro gun, and you know that hurts me in other states"

Biden counters: "I can beat 'em in KY"

Edwards laments: "I can win Tennessee North Carolina, and I would have won them in 2004 if I had been the presidential nominee and not the vice-presidential candidate."

And the voters in Iowa reply: "Hillary is too polarizing...If only we could put them all together."

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 17, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: You may be a tad off in the prior un-declaired wars, Viet Nam stands out as being the most critized by the media and intellect class. You are probably to young to remember how those returning from V N were treated, one word, AWFUL.

Posted by: lylepink | August 17, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I would agree about the safe play being the Senate seat, but the tealeaves all suggest that the Democratic party will carry the White House in 2008, and Warner isn't going to want to be stuck running against an incumbent VP in 2016.

It isn't just the guarantee of VA that makes Warner a good choice. He's a social moderate from Virginia, which will play well throughout the South. Wesley Clark is another intriguing choice for the same reasons. Plus, at the bottom of Obama's ticket, Clark is a foreign policy heavyweight that would calm the inexperience fears.

Warner and Clark are the logical choices for Clinton or Obama. I like John Edwards, but he's running for AG or Labor Secretary right now. The only reason he's doing as well as he is in Iowa at this point is that he's been there since the day after the '04 election.

Posted by: JamesCH | August 17, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

How exactly did monica get that overseas job so quickly with no qualifications. Oh yeah, vernon Jordan, the hiring director for? who was it again?

"I don't see you calling out Elisabeth Dole." do you mean the secretary of transportation dole. the secretary of labor dole? two cabinet positions, nope that isn't any experience. how about the president of the Red cross, is that squishy enough for you.

I am still laughing at you Libs.

Posted by: Trotsky | August 17, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I thank MikeB for offering analysis on Oregon, but I don't think it paints a full or fully accurate picture.

#1, to frame the race as Smith v Merkley at this point is a BIG mistake. Both Steve Novick and Merkley are Portlanders but not known elsewhere in the state for the most part. The same poll that Cilizza cited on Bush's favorables showed the two Dems basically equal on name ID, with Novick actually a few points ahead. Polling also shows both Dems running almost exactly the same against Smith (about 25 points down in initial matchups, closer to 5 after an "informed" choice). And while the endorsement of the guvs (noting that they skipped a term; fmr Gov. Kitzhaber has not stated a preference) should turn on the major donor spigot, Novick pulled in 200K during the last 10 weeks of the 2nd quarter of 07, and is #6 in the country for ActBlue donations.

One thing that MikeB was right about was that, as Speaker of the House and the choice of the national Democratic establishment (the state party has offered no preference), Merkley stands to be seen as the traditionalist Dem candidate. However, that may not appeal as much in what shapes up to be a "change election."

Novick is one of those wild card candidates you can't be sure how to evaluate--but one thing everyone in the state media is sure about is that you can't count Novick out at all. As I said, in an election where "full change" may carry the day, Novick is the man. Standing at 4' 6'' with a hook for a left hand, he is the poster boy for facing and overcoming adversity, setting up a frame as "the fighter with a sharp left hook." Forced to attend UOregon at 14 after his high school closed down, he graduated at 18 and went on to Harvard Law, finishing at 22. He was an attorney for DOJ, prosecuting polluters...successfully. He was the lead counsel in the Love Canal judgement, for instance.

After coming back to Oregon, he has been a policy advisor to Gov. Kulongoski, helped run the 2002 Bruggere campaign against Smith, and was Chief of Staff of the state Senate. He now works for a policy consulting firm, from which he has led fights against Bill Sizemore (the anti-tax hero of the 90s who has fallen into severe disfavor) and OR TABOR (the tax cut bill that Colorado had and then suspended after it was shown to be a disaster). In short, he is an outsider's insider--knows the political system all too well, but isn't by any stretch a part of the machine.

As for Smith, I think many pundits are sharply underestimating the trouble he's in. His approval numbers remain in the mid to high 40s, and the re-elect figure from both the DSCC and Novick polls were in the low 30s. Those are both at least 5-10 points below where you'd call an incumbent "safe."

His position "change" on the war won him approval jumps in January and February--but across the board, that bounce has faded. Notably, his approval ratings among independents--as much as 25% of the OR electorate--is the worst of Dem/Rep/Ind...just 41% approval. In a state where non-affiliateds play such a large role, this is a HUGE danger sign for Smith.

With in the last two weeks, he has also created another problem for himself: Klamath. The story is buzzing in the state media, as he was forced to do ed-board interviews with the two biggest papers. Those interviews did not go well; both found inconsistencies (read: fibs) in his answers, and a defiant tone. (For the full story on Gordon Smith and the largest adult fish kill in Western history, check out the coverage at

Posted by: torridjoe | August 17, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Just in, Tony Snow to leave as WH spokes person.

Posted by: lylepink | August 17, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"We are presently fighting two simultaneous wars under a conservative Republican administration. And that too is fairly rare in the last 100 years, and far more challenging. Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Bill Clinton all at times proved bellicose, bypassed Congress if needed be, and (with the exception of LBJ) largely got a pass from the Left.

World War I, Korea, and Vietnam were all controversial in their time. Apparently, the intelligentsia and media felt that no liberal Democrat could possibly have preferred war, and had only fought when forced to -- despite the use of Democratic preemption in a variety of instances.

In contrast, it is hard to recall of any war in our history -- the Vietnam hysteria aside -- that a sitting Senate majority leader declared it lost in the middle of hostilities.

We have not previously witnessed senior opposition senators alleging that their own American servicemen were analogous to Nazis, Stalinists, Cambodian mass murders, Saddam's Baathist killers, or engaging in habitual terrorizing and killing of innocent civilians.

In truth, the United States media and political culture accept different rules of military discourse that are politically governed.

Had George Bush recently called for a land invasion of Pakistan, he would have incurred hysterical wrath. The same would be true had a Sen. Orin Hatch or John Warner once declared U.S. pilots analogous to Luftwaffe criminals or Soviet terror strafers, when their bombs went awry and killed civilians during the Clinton aerial campaign over Serbia.

Our officers may expect that a Republican Congress and administration might given them greater latitude in determining how and how long to wage war in Iraq.

Yet they also must accept that ipso facto they will be subject to far greater criticism from the American intellectual and journalistic establishment."

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | August 17, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Today's WSJ shows more John Edwards hypocrisy ...

As a presidential candidate, Democrat John Edwards has regularly attacked subprime lenders, particularly those that have filed foreclosure suits against victims of Hurricane Katrina. But as an investor, Mr. Edwards has ties to lenders foreclosing on Katrina victims.
Interestingly, Edwards chose New Orleans as the location to launch his presidential campaign

Posted by: and hypocrites too | August 17, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"I don't see you calling out Elisabeth Dole."

You forgot to mention President 'Daddy I need a new job'.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

DCAustinite - Exactly. Hook 'em!
JasonL - I have not considered how a fundamentalist third party candidate could
cloud the race in TX - we can look at that later.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

What do the locals think of the GOP, in general? Are they fed up & thinking of sitting at home, or still ready, willing & able to hit the polls in droves?

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"come to think of it, isn't arranging for your untalanted and homely wife with no political experience to obtain a Senate seat in a state she never occupied and then the subsequent presidential nomination the ultimate in crony politics?" - Anon
Come to think of it isn't posting anonymously in a smart crowd of political junkies the ultimate in cowardice?

But lets look at the facts, Bill Clinton could do nothing but sit and talk to voters and it would have helped HRC win her seat. He was a good president and has an excellent demeanor. People like talking to him. It's not really any different from anyone else with a famous relative gain political office. I don't see you calling out Elisabeth Dole.

As for no political experience, she helped maneuver Bill into political office in AK. She had a trained (albeit small) staff of political professionals when she was the First Lady. She went to a number of countries as a goodwill ambassador.

No political experience? I think not.

And regardless of what you might think about her, last time I checked her job approval in NY was good and a poll a few months ago found that New Yorkers tended to think that she was one of the hardest working Senators in DC, if I remember correctly.

Posted by: JasonL | August 17, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

JasonL - I think the hypothetical Cheney-Wolfowitz would probably carry Texas, albeit by a much smaller margin than if, say, Giuliani-McCain are the R ticket.

All Ds can realistically hope for are down-ticket results, and reducing the gap to high single digit percentage points in the Prez race if they do well.

I am guessing that Fred Thompson could come near 60% in TX, by the way.

Travis County [Austin] will give the D nearly a 100,000 vote cushion, but that will not matter. Drop in the ocean.

If the TX Prez race gets to 46%D - 54%R that will be a moral victory for the Ds.

Can I say it more emphatically?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"Now, however, at 4001 Speedway." is that H-S? I went to KHS on 29th, actually.

Posted by: DCAustinite | August 17, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

come to think of it, isn't arranging for your untalanted and homely wife with no political experience to obtain a Senate seat in a state she never occupied and then the subsequent presidential nomination the ultimate in crony politics?

you Libs make me laugh! whooppeee - two for the price of one.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"Of all the outcry over the Clinton Administration, I will always be pleased to remember that this blatant cronyism was not one of them. "

So you admit there was a lot of corruption. and you found a single category you are happy with? OK, if that's all it takes. I guess you discount the pardons for cash by the family as not cronyism. Must be that old Dem logic at work again.

Maybe if all the clinton people weren't dead or in jail, he could promote some of his homies, I mean cronies.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Suzanne, how elegantly put.

Posted by: Gary, Cape Town | August 17, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

JamesCH, it's interesting that you think that Warner is positioning himself for selection for VP. A friend of mine that has been heavily involved in local and statewide elections here in Maryland mentioned the same thing to me recently. It's certainly a possibility but Warner is pretty shrewd. Warner being on Obama's ticket would certainly deliver those 13 EV's but he'd have to count on Obama being the nominee and Obama would have to be pretty sure that he even needed Warner to get VA, considering how blue it's becoming. He might choose the safer course of a Senate seat for now to prepare for a run in 2016 or thereabouts. He's young enough to plan that far out.

Mark, you really don't think Richardson as the VP nominee could manage a surprise win in TX? What do you think it would take?

Posted by: JasonL | August 17, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

All of these races look interesting now, but W. is pretty much the best arbiter of what's going to happen come 2008. He's an idiot, and those who follow him into the abyss look to be the same.

I would hope that there could be a rational re-grouping of the National Republican Party that looks somewhat like what we used to know. There's nothing wrong in being against taxes and explaining why. But there's everything wrong with taking every governmental appointment there is and stacking the deck based on political affiliation, which this administration has done. And people know it and are sick of it.

Of all the outcry over the Clinton Administration, I will always be pleased to remember that this blatant cronyism was not one of them.

I used to cross parties to vote. I will never do that again, until I see that this terrorist element of the Republican party loses its stranglehold and is shrunk back to a benign tumor, rather than the malignancy it has become.

Posted by: Suzanne | August 17, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"I thought the Lib religion didn't allow private schools"

What does the religion of the Grand Oblong Pair (that means 'testes', son) say on the issue?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Now, however, at 4001 Speedway.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Probably the one my son went to in '87 -
on 34th st.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Mark corrects
"Actually there are a great many Muslims in India; maybe 100m+."

I stand corrected. Its easy to forget that a religious minority in a hugely populous country can amount to a lot of people. Wiki says India has 3rd largest muslim population after Indonesia & Pakistan, but they're only 13% of India's population - or 147 million people. Wow.

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The "Radical Muslims" can be found all around the world, although in small numbers, but the extreme groups with high numbers can be found in about only six or eight. The invasion of Iraq has been the best thing for them in terms of recruting. Now talk of hitting Iran only increases this tool. I think this latest news of the WH writing the report is not playing well around the world.

Posted by: lylepink | August 17, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I went to a private school located right off UT campus

I thought the Lib religion didn't allow private schools, unless you're a candidate and have some flimsy excuse. your children should be the subject of a sociological experiment according to your book.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Mark, I went to a private school located right off UT campus. If you know it, you know which one. If not, nop biggie, it was small.

Posted by: DCAustinite | August 17, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - Actually there are a great many Muslims in India; maybe 100m+.

But from my own experience, Indian Muslims with secular educations want to come to the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK to get rich, not to throw bombs. You cannot go from a Madrassa to an engineering school. The madrassa kids are the scary ones.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"Remember, there wasn't any real progress on the 18 benchmarks, but the interim report made it sound as though there was progress on 8 of them. "

Your name is fitting, you don't even know thw truth when it smacks you in the face. no wonder you're a gullible Lib.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Mark's request for backing sources is a good one. Generally speaking, there aren't a lot of Islamic Radicals in India, because there generally aren't a lot of Muslims in India. That's not to say its not possible, but it certainly is counter-intuitive.

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

It's in the Danish language version of this and, I have to admit, it is only *suspected* that they received their training here. But, to even voice that suspicion in a newspaper means there is more to this than meets the eye.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | August 17, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

lyle , it was '91, summer, early in the Clinton campaign. Ann was Governor of TX.
MikeB - I read the Danish story and it is chilling. But you said:

"Mark, apparently these terrorists reevied the training and expertise to so this as a result of our guest worker programs. It seems that, amoungst all of those Indian H1-B workers, there are quite a few Ismlamic radicals."

What is your source for that? You know that ALL my MANY EE and CS friends and acquaintances agree with you that we do not need numerous H1-B engineers, and I therefore tend to lean your way on this singular issue, but when you make an allegation as damaging as the one above you should source it, or it undermines your argument, even to an uncritical listener.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

it will never happen, because Rudy won't be the GOP nominee. book it.

Posted by: funny thing about the coming landslide | August 17, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: I have nothing to do with her campaign, only a supporter. That does seem a little odd though, even though it came from Texas, her staff should have answered. I have never understood how so many staffers can do so little and still be paid the big bucks. I could understand this if it were sent in 1991, but after Bubba was in office from 1993 on, I would think an answer should/would have been provided. Let me know the time.

Posted by: lylepink | August 17, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

DCAustinite, and 'Horn, I am home with a summer flu or something. Please, if it does not threaten your anonymity, tell me which HS granted your diploma in '91. Two of my daughters are Austin HS grads and the youngest went to the Sci Acad at LBJ.

We do miss Ann Richards.
|, I have kept up with the "bench conference" since you posted it: I thanked you for the reference at that time, and I do again.
LV - thanks for the take on John Warner.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

There's an interesting (and frightening) story in the Copenhagen Post today about "insurgents" taping into cell phone and email accounts for soldier's and using that information to frighten and harrass their families back in Denmark. Mark, apparently these terrorists reevied the training and expertise to so this as a result of our guest worker programs. It seems that, amoungst all of those Indian H1-B workers, there are quite a few Ismlamic radicals. Oh well, profits first!

Posted by: MikeB | August 17, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"KingOfZouk and Rufus are the same person."

I couldn't be that stupid if I had half my brain removed and became a Dem. (the order of this procedure is key.)

Still obsessed with zouk I see. don't you have any friends? If you insist on another spanking, perhaps your mom can do it this time around.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 17, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Besides the frequently mentioned (and valid) corruption, Iraq war, etc, etc, don't you think a factor in voter disenchantment with Republicans (the adminstation and its senatorial and congressional apologists) will be the extent to which this administration has tarnished the standing of the US outside the US? Almost universally here in South Africa and in Europe, judging by frequent comments, Bill is fondly remembered and George jnr seen as a joke, albeit a dangerous one. Sentiment ranges from amusement to (mainly) anger.

Posted by: Gary, Cape Town. | August 17, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

KOZ, You would love Lieberman for Dem VP candidate again wouldn't you... since he's a Repub at heart. Not a chance.

James CH, I think VA's ex-gov Warner IS a good candidate for VP, whether it's Hillary, Obama, Biden or Dodd in the top spot.

Still puzzling about why Hagel didn't announce his candidacy in the sping, and has been so quiet since. Remember when he was rattling the administration cage over Iraq almost daily?

Just like the "axis of evil" phrase conjured up by the speechwriters, the General's report will be for the greatest effect... the thrust will be... we need more time, we're making progress.

Remember, there wasn't any real progress on the 18 benchmarks, but the interim report made it sound as though there was progress on 8 of them. September will be more speechwriter pap.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 17, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

What hillary is not telling you about her listening tours is that she already knows everything and especially what's good for you. Imagine the great hillary clinton accepting, taking or even acknowledging advice from someone else. wouldn't that be a sign of weakness?

she must calculate everything. she is a robot. she stinks and everyone is beginning to find out.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 17, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Mark, I graduated in 1991 in Austin. Small world. Also met Ann Richards. God bless that woman.

Posted by: DCAustinite | August 17, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

lyle, I am going to tell a negative HRC story.

My eldest daughter was graduated from HS in 1991 - bright, a National Merit Scholar, in fact. She labored on an honors paper about how to improve public education without increasing out-of-pocket costs. She worked hard and wrote a coherent paper that included comparisons to Canadian schools, Head Start models, Peter Drucker management analyses, and a statistical analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank. She interviewed folks as far away as Vancouver, BC.
She concluded with six specific recommendations, all modest, but seemingly cost-neutral and practical.
She sent a copy to HRC after hearing Mrs. Clinton opine about the public schools on tv.

No reply.

She had sent copies to other elected officials, education appointees, and candidates in both parties, and got at least an acknowledgement from everyone else. Anne Richards wrote a handwritten note.

She sent it a second time to HRC. No reply.

Never have understood that. I have wondered if her staff thought the suggestions were so antithetical to HRC's ties to NEA that
not even a polite brush-off reply could be given, to a 17 yr. old.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

KingOfZouk and Rufus are the same person. They are posting from the same IP address. It is not our business to block users from posting, we would just ask and remind people to remain civil.

Please review our rules at

Posted by: | August 17, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

DC Austinite says
"Bsimon, thanks for the updates."

My pleasure. As Mark in Austin astutely notes, they are merely one man's opinion.

As others have pointed out - this has been a largely productive discussion today. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: I mentioned this to you a couple of weeks ago; then it went into a funk.

It looks as if it has picked up again. You may want to check it out.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

God, there was real bipartisan discussion going on here until KOZ and his sockpuppet showed up. Oh well.

Bsimon, thanks for the updates.

Posted by: DCAustinite | August 17, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

For reference, you can check CC's ratings with Rothenberg's:

Posted by: M.Tejada | August 17, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

JamesCH - there is that little matter of Hillary beating Rudy which doesn't look to good right now. I meant the real VP. how about Liebermann?

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 17, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Chris is making a mistake in VA here. Not that it will flip in '08 (I certainly think it will), but that former Gov. Mark Warner will seek the seat. Chris is ignoring the reality that Warner has quietly positioned himself as the perfect running mate for either Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton, whomever becomes the Democratic nominee.

He's a relatively conservative Democrat from Virginia. He's popular, he provides regional balance, and he's a Democrat with southern and red state appeal.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the next Vice President of the United States.

Posted by: JamesCH | August 17, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Lylepink, Dominici is indeed up for re-election in 2008. The democrat's have a slew of statewide officials to choose from, but I'm not sure how many would willingly risk their political life vs. St. Pete, as Dominci is referred to in NM. Even with the scandal, his popularity in NM hasn't dropped below 54%, as I know of. He's still well liked and well financed. But if Richardson ran against him it would be a very competitive race. This isn't likely, so I think Dominici is safe for another 6 year term.

Posted by: reason | August 17, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

How easy will it be for you moonbats to change your chants and rants to say President Guilianni and delete the bush references? you probably will have to abandon the 'selected not elected' one since the tallies look to be in the 10% difference range. you can probably just reuse all the others to save yourselves creating anything new. I know how much you like reusing your stuff from the 60s.

At this point the only question remaining is who will be the VP and will the Senate change back along with the house?

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 17, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I will write my own report for congress. Bashir is helping with the text.

Posted by: generalissima Pelosi | August 17, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are questioning the truthfulness of an upcoming report from Gen. David Petraeus on the progress of President Bush's troop-surge strategy in Iraq.

"For a long time the Administration has hidden behind the name of General David Petraeus, saying the September report will be his. We all knew this would be the President's report," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a news release on Thursday.

Posted by: should have been | August 17, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon - Interesting race. Smith is desparately trying to portray himslef as a moderate and is even trying to get close to our popular Senator Wyden. And, very few Oregonian's know anything at all about Merkley outside of the Portland area. Oregon is split, with Easern Oregon generally being moderately conservative and most of Wesrern Oregon being moderately liberal. The "enclaves", or as we refer to them -"the hermetically sealed 1960's" - of Eugene and Portland are public employee insane assylams. I would say "liberal" but trhey are not, really. When an income tax recently impossed by the Lane County Commissioners (a huge county including Eugene), it caused an uproar and people used the referendum process to force it onto the ballot where it was defeated by an 80% NO vote. Now, every dime of that money went towards pay increases for public employees and the local non-public citizenry just rebelled. The Commissioners have tried several other times to RAM various taxes for these increases down peoples throats and they have been defeated every time. I bring this up becasue Merkley is very much tied to these public employee groups and, if Senator Smith can make that fact stick, Merkley wont have a chance. Smith, on the other hand, is known as the Senator From Intel and Microsoft becasue of his work to ease restrictions on H1-B visas (and dodge little things like age descrimination).

Basicly, you have two representatives for special interest groups, neither one actually representing ordinary people. Would you like them? Most Oregonian's would be delighted to outsource them both.

Posted by: MikeB | August 17, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

After being virtually tied with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for several months, Republican contender Rudy Giuliani now leads Clinton up 47% to 40% in the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. /snip/ Last month, Giuliani and Clinton were separated by just a single point.

Translation - we thought this report was going to be bad when we signed on. If it is going to be good, we need to find a way to discredit it beforehand. We only like our own facts, you see, We're Dems. and it is urgent that we lose this war for political gain.

Posted by: can we flip on the report, we're Dems | August 17, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

After being virtually tied with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for several months, Republican contender Rudy Giuliani now leads Clinton up 47% to 40% in the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. /snip/ Last month, Giuliani and Clinton were separated by just a single point.

Poor Dems, just can't seem to win an election or lose a war. Keep talking Hillary, your numbers go down with every word.

Posted by: landslide coming | August 17, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Thank you all very much. This was the most intelligent and informative run of comments I've read in ages.

Except, of course, for the creepy references to Rove. It took me forever to figure out that Ken Starr and Karl Rove weren't separated at birth. The though of there being more Turdblossoms out there gives me the willies.

Posted by: Commeca | August 17, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Dominici[spelling], was involved in the atty firings and I was wondering if he is up for re-election in 08. Haven't heard anything lately.

Posted by: lylepink | August 17, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

afam212, the statues of Thad Cochran is unknown in terms of if he's running again or not. Miss., however, doesn't have a dem. governor. The governor of Miss. is Hayley Barbour, former ntl. chair of Republican party and tobacco lobbyist. I heard that Charles Pickering, 3rd district congressman from Miss., is not running for re-election in 08. This may be a hint that Cochran is retiring and will endorse Pickering for the race. My bet is that Cochran retires and Charles Pickering picks that senate seat up.

You people that think Liddy is in trouble really makes me laugh. She is well financed and well liked here in the Tar Heel state. She will win against whoever the Dems. put up. Now the governor's race here in my state is open, but leans a little Dem. as it looks like Graham and st. senator Smith are locking horns for the nomination, and both have personal wealth to spend to win! Perdue and Moore are in for a tough democratic nomination process as well. This race for gov. is truly open right now!

Posted by: reason | August 17, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Alaska with Ted Stevens on the line, who'd have thunk it? I personally am very happy to see it! I hope strong GOP challengers arise in Alaska to take on Stevens and Young for the congress, as the Club for Growth will likely find challengers and heavily fund both races. The Club has put alot of money into races before and lost, such as Laffey vs. Chaffee in RI in 2006. Laffey was their man but lost to Chaffee on the argument of "electability", then Chafee lost the general. In Alaska, however, the Club's nominee can run in the GOP primary on both issues and electability. In RI in 06, Laffey was winning on the issues and principle but Chafee ran on perceived electibility. In this race, the GOP challenger will have the electibility advantage, an advantage on the issues and will get plenty of money. Alaska could be the big state to play in for the Club, they could really win big and so can the country if good conservatives defeat Young and Stevens and win those seats!

I think New Hampshire will be a very tough battle. Sununu isn't dead in the water even if Sheeheen runs, but it will be very tough for him if she does. He will really need Sen. Gregg to help pull him through. What is the likelyhood of that happening? Anyone familiar with NH politics? In Colorodo, Schaffer will beat Udall. Udall is a boulder liberal and Schaffer is a true conservative, and his messege will resonate better than will Udall's. Schaffer, it looks like, will have no primary and he is my pick in Colorodo. Former gov. Owens only also likely rally behind Schaffer, and that will help him alot.

Va. and New Mexico are unique in that they depend on whether John Warner and St. Pete will run for re-election or retire. If they run, those states are safe Republican and if they retire, they are both very competitive. Both Warner and Domienice have moderate protege's, which I'm not sure would have the GOP nominating field to themselves. Whether these seats are safe or not depends on whether the 2 senator's retire.

Oregon, Maine and Minn. should all stay Republican. Gordon Smith will be the Republican nominee and he should be able to beat out about anyone the Democrats throw at him. Atmiddingly, he's propably the only Republican that could win a general election race in 2008. But, he will likely do it. Norm Coleman in Minn. is savvy, well financed and independent enough to win against Franken or Cesiri. Maine loves Collins and Snowe, and while it won't be another walk in the snowbanks for Susan as it was Olympia, she should pull out a hefty win against Allen.

South Dakota will also depend on whether Johnson runs or not. If so, he should be able to weather a tough race and keep the seat. If he retires, gov. Rounds should run and beat any dem. that may run.

In my view, the top 2 senate seats in real jeapordy right now of switching hands: Liendrieu in La. and Sununu in NH.

Posted by: reason | August 17, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"Bobby Cervantes-Wightman" is the poster I meant to designate when I wrote "Bobby C-V".

bsimon, your comments about Franken, Obama, the bridge; all of them have been far more enlightening than any national news out of Minn. Of course, you could be completely wrong, but so could they.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Judge C. Crater:

Regarding Bush, Cheney, and Rove showing up in Minnesota -- that would be the Moe, Larry and Curly of the Republican party! I think Al Franken would know how to take advantage of that!

Posted by: rb | August 17, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

JimD - It's hard to get a fix on that here. South TX is locally controlled by Hispanics whose schools and hospitals are simply crushed by undocs. They want State and Fed funds to bail them out - but they are not "soft" on illegal immigration, either. They seem of two minds about the subject, I think b/c the Tancredos are seen as racist.

They tended to support our R Governor's plan to put more state forces on border duty. Bobby C-V lives in the Valley and would be able to explain this phenomenon better than I.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I agree with jcdavis about Sen. Dole. I think she is toast.

Posted by: lylepink | August 17, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Any Fix fans that are registered in DC's Wards 1 or 2 please write-in Jason Crawford for DC State Board of Education!

For more info, check out

Posted by: Crawford for School Board | August 17, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse


I would expect the Hispanic vote to trend strongly Democratic (except for Cubans in South Florida) this year. The Republican candidates are trying to outdo each other at being tough on immigration. Some of the rhetoric is offending Hispanics - even Puerto Ricans who, of course, are American citizens from birth.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 17, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

bokonen asks
"was there ANY idea at all in recent years that the bridge needed work? and by "any idea," I mean "in the public at large.""

Not about that bridge specifically. There was a pretty contentious debate this past session about trans funding in general. Adjusted for inflation our gas tax is lower than its ever been, which is the primary source for road & bridge maintenance funding. The Gov & Repubs wanted to fund MNDOT with bonding bills, the DFL wanted to raise the gas tax - and got bipartisan votes to do it. The Gov vetoed the tax hike. It didn't take long after the bridge went down for him to talk about changing his position on a gas tax.

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

boko: He's in his 80s. He's had a very good career -- especially for someone who was an "accidental" senator -- and is widely respected on both sides of the aisle. He doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would want to spend his last term in the Senate drooling on himself.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 17, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

A few months ago, I was quite sure John Warner was going to run again. However, he has had two CoS leave in one year, and his savvy press sec just left. Granted, his new CoS is politically savvy, but I would say it really is 50-50 if John Warner runs again. He enjoys his work and representing Virginia very much. September we shall know.

Posted by: Political Junkie | August 17, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

bsimon -- that's fascinating that Franken is doing ok outstate, although not totally surprising. If Wellstone (and Bernie Sanders, for that matter) have taught progressives anything, it's that democrats can absolutely appeal to more rural regions if they (1) show up and (2) show a genuine interest in the issues important to those areas and (3) are authentic. If Al can just compete outstate, I suspect he would end up winning a general election by a substantial margin -- b/c he'll sweep the metro areas pretty handidly.

Posted by: Colin | August 17, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

"My guess is that MN voters would pick HRC over Giuliani, but she'd have a harder time against Romney; but that depends on how Pawlenty interacts with the DFL-controlled state houses this season. If Pawlenty sticks with his 'no new taxes' philosophy Romney's message won't sell. I suspect Obama would handily beat any Repub candidate here."

Thx, bsimon. That's quite illuminating.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 17, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Loudoun Voter, do you think that John Warner will run? or no? How old is he, anyway?

Posted by: Bokonon | August 17, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, do you think any comparison in re: the levees in New Orleans, and the federal government being unwilling to fund their repair? was there ANY idea at all in recent years that the bridge needed work? and by "any idea," I mean "in the public at large."

Posted by: Bokonon | August 17, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Amazing that Virginia is all the way up to #4 on this list. Mark Warner might have made the right call in opting out of the '08 prez race.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 17, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

JEP yells

I asked that question before the event. Do you have turnout numbers? How did this year compare to prior events? Is it reflective of low support for the GOP or people getting fed up with an artificial measure of popularity that doesn't include all the major candidates (even though one was undeclared)?

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"what are people saying now about the bridge collapsing?"

Its getting a little rancorous. This AM's paper has an article about the Dept of Transportation (MNDOT) lowering the target ratio of 'good' bridges, due to tight budgets. Some in the DFL are (stupidly) trying to gain political advantage in blaming the Pawlenty administration, the Lt Gov / head of MNDOT Molnau in particular. The Pawlenty admin is fairly arguing that they can't be blamed for the faulty bridge - if more money had been available, it still wasn't a top priority for repair/replacement. This will certainly be an interesting season for the Legislature...

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"I picture a cross between Mayor McCheese and the ghostly twins from the Shining."

I dunno, I can't get past a mental picture of Karl as the corpse in the bathtub. Would that be type casting?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 17, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

judge C asks
"any comment on whether Obama will provide coat-tails for D MN candidates to ride upon? Or would HRC be better? You are located, after all, right next to IL in the frozen tundra of the Upper Midwest. Which combination would have better chemistry, Obama-Franken or Obama-Ciresi?"

That's harder to call. In my gut I think HRC will have a hard time with the swing voters - but a lot depends on who the Rs run. My guess is that MN voters would pick HRC over Giuliani, but she'd have a harder time against Romney; but that depends on how Pawlenty interacts with the DFL-controlled state houses this season. If Pawlenty sticks with his 'no new taxes' philosophy Romney's message won't sell. I suspect Obama would handily beat any Repub candidate here. As far as Senate goes, I'm hearing that Franken (somewhat surprisingly) sells well in outstate MN. Who knows? Perhaps a sarcastic comedian with an occasionally foul mouth would do better than an urban lawyer.

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

How's about John Edwards running in North Carolina?

Assuming Hillary runs over the opposition in the early primaries, Edwards could be out of the race by February/March, maybe even with a $3 million or more in hand. Since he is unlikely to get many opportunities to serve in Hillary's administration, going back to the Senate may not be a bad option for him.

Since NC doesn't seem to have a quality candidate to challenge Sleepin' Liddy Dole, maybe they can put a party regular up, who would step aside if Edwards wanted to get in the Senate race late...

Posted by: windserf | August 17, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

bsimon, and what are people saying now about the bridge collapsing? Last I checked, it seemed as if it was getting fairly partisan, with the Democrats blaming the Pawlenty government and the GOP blaming the Democratic legislator (Senator? or representative?) - is that accurate? How is it playing out now?

Posted by: Bokonon | August 17, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"an army of mini-Karls"

I picture a cross between Mayor McCheese and the ghostly twins from the Shining.

"Won't you vote for us?
For ever
and ever
and ever..."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

And so it begins. Heck hath no fury like R candidates trying to one-up each other in catering to the 'base.'

"The two leading Republican presidential candidates have turned the GOP primary campaign into a nasty, week-long debate about illegal immigration, accusing each other of supporting efforts to give undocumented residents sanctuary from federal immigration laws. At campaign stops, in radio ads and with increasingly hostile statements by supporters, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani are talking about little else as they position themselves on an issue critical to conservatives in their party."

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 17, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

bokonon asks
"are Minnesota conservatives economic or "social"? Maybe that's simplistic - not an either/or... but think of New Hampshire vs. Mississippi"

There are pockets of both. If you look at the career of Michele Bachmann in MN-6, she has succeeded largely through mobilizing the social conservatives. Gov Pawlenty is mostly fiscal, though has a touch of the social aspect too. The rest are mostly fiscal/small gov't types - at least the ones that go to Washington. So Bachmann is more the exception than the rule.

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"But Judge, apparently Rove and Cheney get all hissy when they are together. I would say that Gonzales would be the 3rd member of the Legion of Doom.
Posted by: Bokonon | August 17, 2007 10:42 AM"

Bokonon: Maybe Rove can bring his 'family' along instead; was I the only who, when I read that Rove wanted to "spend more time with his family," imagined Karl surrounded by clones of himself? An army of mini-Karls?

"The point being that there won't be any coat-tails for Coleman to ride; he'll have to do all the heavy lifting himself."

bsimon: any comment on whether Obama will provide coat-tails for D MN candidates to ride upon? Or would HRC be better? You are located, after all, right next to IL in the frozen tundra of the Upper Midwest. Which combination would have better chemistry, Obama-Franken or Obama-Ciresi?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 17, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Mississippi is Cochran's if he runs again.

But if he doesn't the GOP also has a decent candidate in Pickering. The Dems would probably run Mike Moore the former Attorney General. Even if Cochran does retire it would be a tough pick-up for the Democrats.

Posted by: Andy R | August 17, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"We never thought we'd write this..."

Better keep that little sentence handy, Chris, you have some big surprises in store.


Because it is the first major proof that the Republican Party has lost it's more moral members, they just won't show up to vote for a fake like Romney and wingnuts like Brownback and Huckabee. While I don't think many of them will actually cross over and vote for a Dem, many Republicans will choose to NOT VOTE, rather than continue to enable the liars who have deceived them.

The Iowa straw poll is just the first evidence. More, coming soon...

Posted by: JEP | August 17, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

What is the status of Sen. That Cochran of Mississippi? I have heard rumors that he is retiring as well. Mississippi currently has a Democratic governor and the GOP are on the defensive.

Posted by: afam212 | August 17, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Boko - I think that would help any D.

Now if there is to be serious talk of getting Texas' 34 electoral votes in the D column, Richardson cannot make that happen. There would have to be some other indicators of competitiveness to make a full court press worthwhile.

Because the Senate race might become competitive, Richardson campaigning for the D Senate candidate in west Texas and also on Galavision and Univision makes sense.

I apologize for posting as "Mark in Texas" at 10:43A.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"The point being that there won't be any coat-tails for Coleman to ride; he'll have to do all the heavy lifting himself."

Bsimon, you do a mean revue, that few paragraphs was enlightening, and I wuld guess will prove prescient.

Actually, I would guess that any Minnesota R will have a hard time this season, for unfortunate and obvious reasons.

Minnesota Democrats have been run down, lied to, cheated on, and treated like dirt by the Republican micro-managers.

With the surge in young Democrats joining the ranks of party activists, as young Republicans join the ranks of the corrupt, time will turn this worm around, and the Dems will take a firm control again in Minnesota.

And they may not be very polite in doing it, if Wellstone's memorial is any indicator of the bitterness and betrayal Minnesota Democrats feel towards their Republican counterparts, the vitriol that generates from the I-35 bridge disaster will be merciless.

And rightly so. There is no one more culpable than the Republicans who traded their tax-cuts for our national security and infrastructure.

Minnesotans figured that out a long time ago, but just couldn't muster the political deviousness that would have been necessary (I can say quite exclusively, Minnesota and Iowa Democrats are some of the most honorable, sincere and committed activists I have ever worked with, while their Republican counterparts are some of the least constrained by any moral parameters, the chasm is wide and deep) to counter the Rovish R's and their manipulative machinations.

Maybe now they will be able to get back on a progressive track and leave the 20th Century Republican monopolism behind.

Posted by: JEP | August 17, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Mark, what would the effect be of Richardson - nominee or not - campaigning for Democratic candidates in West Texas? any idea?

Posted by: Bokonon | August 17, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

bsimon, are Minnesota conservatives economic or "social"? Maybe that's simplistic - not an either/or... but think of New Hampshire vs. Mississippi.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 17, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

And the Cornyn race should provide some indicator. Both the Ds running have some strengths. One has a constitutency and the other has cash and sources for more.

Cornyn is not disliked, but is thought of as ineffectual, by many.

Posted by: Mark in Texas | August 17, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

But Judge, apparently Rove and Cheney get all hissy when they are together. I would say that Gonzales would be the 3rd member of the Legion of Doom.

Posted by: Bokonon | August 17, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

JimD, I have seen the signs that johnTX pointed to at 10:30A, but The Ds have been so demoralized, and so broke, at the state level, for so long that there is unlikely to be a statewide turnaround soon, only a dawning reemergence of local competitiveness, for now.

The Hispanic vote was trending 50-50 in this state after 1994 - it remains to be seen if it will move toward the Ds again. If Richardson had shown better in debate it would have helped. He is popular in west Texas.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"Coleman can expect a bashing from both of his potential Democratic opponents... but he obviously calculated that the money he will raise from the Bush visit is worth it."

He likely thinks that voters won't remember this visit next November, which isn't illogical. While the DFL nominee will obviously bring it up, it won't hurt him any more than prior fundraisers.

This race is bizarre enough to make handicapping difficult. Coleman lost a 3 way race for Gov, when Ventura won, then beat Mondale as the stand-in for former Senator Wellstone. Of course, that was in a good year for the GOP. Last year the only Republican to win statewide was the incumbent governor who's opponent erupted in the final days of the campaign.

I don't see the 2008 GOP convention inspiring a lot of MN voters. The electorate here isn't likely to gravitate towards a Giuliani candidacy; though perhaps will go for Romney. The point being that there won't be any coat-tails for Coleman to ride; he'll have to do all the heavy lifting himself.

Coleman's chances are highest if Sen Clinton wins the Dem nomination for Pres & Franken wins the DFL nomination for the Senate.

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The Democratic sweep in Dallas might indicate the direction of Texas politics. Gov. Perry won with a minority of votes in a four-way race. Tom Delay's vacated seat went to a Democrat as well.

Posted by: johnTX | August 17, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Love this comment: "Norm Coleman must be feeling pretty good about his reelection chances, since he is bringing President Bush into the state on Aug. 21 to raise money for his candidacy." That IS a brave thing to do, bringing Public Enemy #1 for the D's to help bring in a few bucks. Does a WONDERFUL job of galvanizing the competition as well. Which brings up the eternal question: when does brave = stupid?

Hey, will Karl Rove be there? Why not go for the trifecta and have Darth Cheney on stage breathing heavily as well?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 17, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Dear Chris,

I enjoy your column, but I am troubled by your silence on recent newsworthy claims by Mitt Romney that his sons' work for his campaign was equivalent to military service in Iraq and Rudy Guliani's blatant lying about his involvement in post-9/11 recovery operations at Ground Zero.

The absence of posts on these items raises the issue of balancing reporting on Democrats' gaffes and personal mis-steps with those made by Republicans.

In July you devoted an enitre column to "Looks and Politics" ( There you justified the media interest in John Edwards' haircut and Hillary Clinton's cleavage as necessary given the importance of appearance in politics. In "debunking" of aspersions cast on reporters who paid too much attention to Edwards' hair, you asked if "... the boyish good looks and down-home charm of Edwards -- occasionally referred to as the "Breck girl" during the 2004 campaign -- had absolutely nothing to do with his rapid political ascent?" You followed by stating that "Presidential elections are in many ways the most personal and intimate of all because a president -- unlike a state legislator, Congressman or Senator -- is almost certain to be a regular presence in American homes for at least four years."

If the latter claim is true then why not give equal time to seeming contradictions in Republican personal behavior? If it matters that Edwards pays too much for his haircuts and that Clinton wore a lowcut top, then should it not be an issue that Romney, who backs the war and who recently claimed that Barack Obama did not support our troops, thinks that service in a family member's political campaign equals service in Iraq? Even more damning is Guliani's false claim that he spent more time at Ground Zero than anyone else. He spent only 29 hours there!

Liberal critics say that the mainstream media gives Republicans a free pass on transgressions that, if committed by Democrats, get thorough scrutiny. For more on these claims see

Please say it ain't so.

Posted by: undisclosed angler | August 17, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse


With the growing Hispanic population in Texas and with the increasing tendency of 20-somethings to trend Democratic, do you think that Republican dominance in Texas could start to crack?

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 17, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

MikeB, curious as to your take on a Jeff Merkley/Gordon Smith race?

Posted by: Bokonon | August 17, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I know that nobody has officially declared yet but someone will and in the current environment any republican who isn't really well established could go down. If the Dems could get someone in the mold of Jim Webb then Dole would be in for a serious race. Also I read that Mike Easley's Wife might run against her.

Posted by: Andy R | August 17, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the last poster. As much as I would like to see the change, NC and NM are not going D. No strong candidates to take on Dole or Domenici.

Posted by: Political Junkie | August 17, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Except that Dole doesn't have an opponent, and anyone that gets in would be at most third-tier opposition, facing a well-funded Elizabeth Dole in North Carolina in a Presidential year.

As for New Mexico, Domenici doesn't even have a third-tier opponent. The best time to get in against Domenici was when his approval ratings were slipping and the U.S. Attorneys scandal was in the news. Those have both passed, and now Domenici remains a six-term Senator that Tom Udall, Martin Chavez, Patricia Madrid, and Bill Richardson have ruled out a bid against. No way do you put him in the top ten.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Coleman's Bush connections will certainly hurt him a bit but I've heard nothing from the DFL regarding this race (other than getting a bumper sticker in the mail).

Posted by: Kristian in MN | August 17, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Where is Elizabeth Dole and North Carolina in all this? We're talking about a weak, aging Senator with not-so-strong local roots, and a state with 1) a Democratic governer 2) Democratic legislature 3)a Democratic majority in its Congressional delegation.

***This race at least should be number 10***

Posted by: jcdavis | August 17, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I think it was a good line this week.
My take is that Alaska is a long-shot but with such cheap media market the DCSC and DNC can use their fundraising advantage to flood the airwaves with attack ads against Stevens. If this flips then the GOP will be in serious risk of losing the magic 40 votes needed to block filibusters.

South Dakota will stay blue if Johnson runs which I think he will.

I think Maine and Minnesota should be switched. Collins is decently well liked in Maine and eventually the Mainiacs will get beyond the war and find out she is pretty middle of the road on most issues.

Coleman on the other hand is GOP croney through and through. Any money he raises with President Bush will be countered by the money that Franken and Ceresi will raise sending out emails to their supporters about the event. Not to mention that they will use it in the election to paint him as Bush's Boy.

I am still not sold on Lousiana switching hands, but who knows when it comes to the Bayou state.

Two more that could easily be put on the line IMO are New Mexico, and North Carolina.

I just don't buy the Texas argument, yet. Show me some polling and I will change my tune. And Kentucky is a stretch but when Fletcher goes down this fall it might provide the spark that the Dems need to take down McConnel.

Posted by: Andy R | August 17, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

GOP recruiting for challengers to Democratic Senate incumbents has definitely been lackluster-to-nonexistent. I discussed that at length on MyDD as well earlier this week - . With the DSCC trouncing the NRSC in fundraising and the NRSC obviously not hustling to recruit candidates, you have to wonder what John Ensign does all day.

It's great to see appearance-of-impropriety maven Uncle Ted Stevens (R-VECO) making his first appearance on the Line.

(Fans of the monthly Senate Line may also enjoy my blog Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races at .)

Looking forward to an expanded Senate Line where Alaska, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas, and even Tennessee (with political scion Michael Ray McWherter and former TN-Dems Chair Bob Tuke considering a challenge to Lamar Alexander) won't have to fight over the tenth spot!

Senate 2008 Guru

Posted by: Senate 2008 Guru | August 17, 2007 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps because my state is growing so fast it seems often to have a collective short memory. The R "brand" has been enough to win in statewide elections. The Cornyn race will test that hypothesis.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 17, 2007 7:30 AM | Report abuse

The GOP's toxic combination of incompetence and intolerance is finally coming back to haunt it. Who'd want to carry their banner anyplace but the deepest South where intolerance trumps everything.

Posted by: Mike234 | August 17, 2007 7:10 AM | Report abuse

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