Being in the Minority Isn't Fun, George Voinovich Edition

The Politico expects and CNN has sources saying Ohio Senator George Voinovich will announce he will not run for re-election in 2010.

If Voinovich doesn't run, expect Tim Ryan's phone to be ringing off the hook with people asking him to run. Ryan burst onto the national scene in the fall of 2004 when, as the youngest member of the House, he brought down the house with a speech that was a dorm-room hit.  When Matt Stoller hosted the video on MyDD a MP3 and torrent and transcript quickly showed up in the comments as people got creative in spreading the message in the era before video sharing sites. Even though the video is older than youtube, versions posted have over 1,000,000 views.

Ryan proved that C-SPAN can be a model, so it was expanded for the 2006 midterms under the 30-Something Working Group:

With the Capitol all but deserted last Monday night, the Democratic "30-Something Working Group" seized the House floor and took aim at their Republican adversaries.

As C-SPAN cameras beamed their performance around the country, Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, 32, of Ohio and Rep. Kendrick Meek, 39, of Florida recited a litany of GOP misdeeds -- mismanaging Hurricane Katrina and neglecting education and health care, for example -- and offered the Democrats' alternatives.

Their conversation even veered to religion, a subject many Democrats are afraid to touch. Ryan described the problems of the poor as a moral obligation and asked of Meek: "Where is the Christian Coalition when you are cutting poverty programs? They are fighting over Supreme Court justices."

The two newcomers -- who have served a combined six years in the House -- are part of a new generation of Democrats who are working to try to topple the GOP. Their fresh ideas, modern media skills and aggressive political tactics have inspired a party that has drifted for much of the past decade -- wedded to old notions and seemingly incapable of capitalizing on White House and congressional Republican miscues.

And the effort was cited by Pelosi as she joined them after midnight on election night. But it isn't just TV, Ryan's twitter account feeds into his Facebook account. And come tomorrow, he's likely to be the front-runner for the Ohio Senate seat.

Tags: George Voinovich, OH-17, OH-Sen, Tim Ryan (all tags)

Comments

13 Comments

Re: Being in the Minority Isn't Fun, George

I love seeing Ryan interact with Meek on C-Span.  For a while, every time I passed by C-Span I'd see Meek with his giant rubber stamp prop and Ryan setting him up to slam the thing down on the desk.  Not only are they great on issues, they present their cases to the public in ways that are entertaining and engaging.

by thatpurplestuff 2009-01-11 03:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Being in the Minority Isn't Fun, George

While Al Franken isn't Meek, I could see him as an able replacement if the routine moved to the senate.

by Bob Brigham 2009-01-11 03:27PM | 0 recs
See ya, George!

Voinovich should have gone a long time ago.  I live in central Ohio and there are plenty of hungry Republicans who'd love to take that seat in the Senate.  However, the dirty taint still remains on the Ohio GOP and it would not take much to remind voters of the lousy GOP record in the state.  Tim Ryan would be wonderful because he is not afraid to speak his mind.  Go Ryan!!!!!

by Marie Smith 2009-01-11 04:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Being in the Minority Isn't Fun,

What a fantastic past few days have been for us for the 2010 Senate races!

- Jeb Bush, someone who would have been favored to win Mel Martinez' Florida U.S. Senate seat announces he won't run;

- Kit Bond, a 20 year GOP U.S. Senate veteran without scandal (and thus favored to win) announces his retirement;

- George Voinovich (see Kit Bond).

That's THREE major GOP Senate seats where the odds just shifted in our favor this past week.

19 Republican seats versus 17 Democratic seats in 2010 (34 Class III seats + 2 special elections for Biden and Clinton seats); and 3 of those GOP seats are suddenly looking like great opportunities for Democratic pickups now.

If only Grassley and McCain would retire, that would be two more (as it stands, I don't see either losing right now - the only real hope against McCain is now heading to Obama's Cabinet) potential pickups.

So how does the next Senate look?

I'm thinking 63 Democrats WITHOUT Lieberman (but with Sanders).  And that would be fantabulous.

by Obamaphile 2009-01-11 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Being in the Minority Isn't Fun,

Looking like another great year. The NRSC is going to have to play so much defense for members that open seats are going to be low hanging fruit. Toss in OFA 2.0, an even better DSCC advantage (more members + Obama) and the Republicans who are retiring are looking like the smart ones.

by Bob Brigham 2009-01-11 04:59PM | 0 recs
Vitter

I would like to see a blog created to keep the heat on "Diaper" Dave Vitter.

Build a community of people who want change in Louisiana and use the numbers to influence the media coverage.

It's not like Vitter is a particularly good Senator outside his dalliances with hookers.

by Carl Nyberg 2009-01-11 04:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Vitter

google search for diaper david vitter returns 44,000 results.  He is such a soft target.  Don Cazayoux would be a great candidate, or maybe even former rep. Chris John (only 49 years old, despite being out of politics for 4 years now).  So would Mitch Landrieu normally but the fact that his sister is the other senator might be kind of strange.

by Skaje 2009-01-12 12:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Vitter

Vitter should be an easy target, but I fear the trend in Louisiana - I believe it was one of only a small handful of states (all in the Deep South) that actually got MORE Republican in 2008 than it was in 2004.

Fingers crossed, as it would be a nice pickup, but I'm not holding my breath on the state where Nathaniel Bedford Forrest founded the KKK while we have a black Democratic POTUS.

Get outside of the NOLA area and it gets pretty scary down there.

by Obamaphile 2009-01-12 11:43AM | 0 recs
I Heart Tim Ryan...

and as an Ohioan, am ready for him to be the Junior senator from Ohio.  Can't think of any Ohio Republican who could best him on the stump.
Great energy and passion for Dem beliefs.

What a great team that would be - Sherrod Brown and Tim Ryan.

by susie 2009-01-11 08:42PM | 0 recs
HEY tim ryan,

please forgive us,

for ever thinking you were a genuine person who cared for our wellbeing. You sound as if you cared that America was bamboozled. But instead, we were, and it seems you stood idly by and watched our fleecing. Well, you have a choice. Help us our and stop the crooks. Es el dinero ($10.000) o nada ($0,0).

by Lakrosse 2009-01-11 11:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Being in the Minority Isn't Fun

1. Brownback

  1. Martinez
  2. Bond
  3. Voinovich

Retirement watch:

  1. Hutchison
  2. Gregg
  3. Grassley
  4. Specter
  5. McCain
  6. Bunning
  7. Vitter

6-8 retirements total seems likely.  It's going to be another brutal year for Republicans.

by Skaje 2009-01-12 12:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Being in the Minority Isn't Fun

Once a human gets to be above 70 s/he has a non-trivial chance of dying on any given night.

Richard Shelby DOB 1934
John McCain DOB 1936
Charles Grassley DOB 1933
Jim Bunning DOB 1931
Arlen Specter DOB 1930
Bob Bennett DOB 1933

by Carl Nyberg 2009-01-12 04:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Being in the Minority Isn't Fun

I think McCain is gonna be largely contingent on how his own party treats him.  Since the election, the conservative talking heads have been nothing short of absolutely brutal towards him (they never really liked him and only got on board when the Disasta from Alaska was added to the ticket), and if he returns to being the guy that they despised for so long prior to 2008 and they just constantly abuse him throughout 2009, he may just say "fuck it, it ain't worth my time anymore."

That said, the only way we pick up that seat is IF he retires... Napolitano was the only Democrat who ever really posed a legit threat against him there, and with her out of the picture now as Obama's HS Secretary, the seat is his if he wants to keep it.

Hopefully he decides that he doesn't want to keep it.

by Obamaphile 2009-01-12 11:50AM | 0 recs

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