Is Ensign Already Calling Uncle at the NRSC?

The 2006 election cycle was difficult enough for the Republicans that they didn't need the gross incompetence of the chair of their senatorial campaign committee, Liddy Dole, to help them lose control of the upper chamber of Congress. Are Senate Republicans heading towards the same fate in 2008? An Alexander Bolton article from the front page of The Hill doesn't seem to indicate much optimism out of the National Republican Senatorial Commitee.

National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman John Ensign (R-Nev.) is pressing Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) to break tradition and steer Republican National Committee (RNC) funds to Senate races for the 2008 cycle.

Historically, the RNC has done little to help individual Senate candidates in presidential election years, although candidates in battleground states have reaped the collateral benefits of the RNC's get-out-the-vote program.

But under Martinez's stewardship, the RNC may come to NRSC's aid in 2008.

The prospect of the RNC needing to invest on the defensive in Senate campaigns during a presidential year should have Republicans extremely worried. It is difficult enough for a party to control the White House in three straight elections, and the task is made significantly more tough in this instance as a result of George W. Bush's historically high disapproval numbers, which show no sign of decreasing any time soon. As a result, the RNC already has its work cut out for it in trying to boost the eventual Republican presidential nominee during the general election campaign that it does not need to have to dump money trying to get a John Sununu or Norm Coleman reelected in a Democratic-leaning state.

When Ensign accepted the position at the NRSC after others like John Thune had already turned it down, it seemed like the Republicans still at least could do no worse than they did in 2006 and perhaps would come closer to be evenly matched against Chuck Schumer's strong machine at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Yet the fact that it is March 2007, more than a year and a half before voters go to the polls to determine the makeup of the Senate in the 111th Congress, and Ensign is already indicating that he does not believe he has the capacity to, on his own, raise the type of money necessary for his party to retake the Senate is extremely telling. Make no mistake, this is a sign of weakness and despair from within the Republican establishment -- a sign that is not going to instill much confidence in the donor base of the GOP.

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John Ensign Rather Golfs Than Debate The War

Every cynical blogger in Nevada guessed that John Ensign was probably out golfing when he missed the vote on the Iraq war debate last Saturday. Call us cynical no more:

A spokesman for Ensign confirmed Tuesday that he played golf with his son in Nevada rather than attend the weekend session called by Senate Democrats. Ensign criticized the vote as nothing more than "political posturing" that he had no interest in joining.

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With Ensign Running NRSC Reps Hand Senate to Dems in 08

It's official, the ensignificant Senator from Nevada will be the new head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee which is responsible for recruiting and supporting Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate. This election cycle Liddy Dole was responible for that and you know how that turned out - can you say Majority Leader Reid?

Anyhow, things are gonna get much worse this time around. The Hair-do, as Ensign is known in Nevada, hasn't gotten much attention in the national press yet, cause, well, he hasn't done anything. He's been golfing under the radar. I'm pretty sure nothing much will change as he's only the face of the operation and surely, Republicans must have some qualified guys running the NRSC.

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Harry Reid vs. John Ensign, Round Two, in 2008

Democrats taking over senate control sets up an intriguing rematch, of sorts, in 2008.

I'm not sure it's well known that John Ensign of Nevada is slated to be chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, meaning he'll be in charge of raising cash, recruiting candidates, and in general directed to reclaim the senate.

That puts Ensign head up against Reid, trying to oust Reid as majority leader. The two faced each other in 1998, a stride for stride race with incumbent Reid holding on by roughly 400 votes, including a long statewide hand recount, paid for by the GOP before punch card recounts were equal protection atrocity.

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The Nancy Johnson Ad Goes National

Republican Nancy Johnson used this ad, and now John Ensign is using it.  Are we prepared?

Update: This was Chris Murphy's counter against Nancy Johnson. It was apparently effective because there was lots of press about the fraudulent nature of the Johnson ad. Perhaps the Carter campaign has an opening.

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