The New Republic printed a great run through of some of Bill and Hillary's greatest hits in campaign finance. Now, imagine we're in the middle of the election and across the stage we have Mr. McCain-Feingold go on and on about how campaign finance reform is so near and dear to his heart. In fact he helped write what has become the most important word in that field in our generation! Even better, he gets to talk to all of the moderates/independents that this shows his political courage because it's one of the issues that the right wingers absolutely HATE him for supporting. And what does nominee Hillary have to say? Probably just shed a tear or have a coughing fit. Whatever it is, McCain's talking points will probably be taken from this article.
Over in Oregon, former NEA Chairman John Frohnmayer is expected to enter the 2008 OR-Sen race as an independent candidate. It is unclear who his candidacy would harm more, Republican Gordon Smith or the eventual Democratic nominee, but accurately refering to Frohnmayer as a George Bush appointee and the brother of Republican former state Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer is a good start.
According to popular former New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen's de facto spokesman, her husband Bill, a decision on a Senate bid should come by the end of the month.
Glancing over at the circus in Idaho, should Larry Craig resign at the end of the month as expected, Governor Butch Otter will have to make an appointment to fill the remainder of the term. Republican Rep. Mike Simpson says that he does not want the job, noting a personal distaste for Mitch McConnell. While Lt. Gov. Jim Risch is considered the front-runner for the appointment, so many Idaho Republicans are interested in the seat that Gov. Butch Otter is open to appointing a place-holder who will serve until the end of the term but not run for the seat in his or her own right in 2008. At this point, I'd put it at 50-50 between Otter appointing Risch vs. appointing a place-holder. Almost comically, the NRSC web site's News page lacks any mention of or official comment on the Craig scandal.
Further, possible-to-likely Senate candidates are emerging in traditionally red states:
In North Carolina, State Representative and Afghanistan War veteran Grier Martin is closing in on a decision regarding a Senate bid. Says The Independent Weekly's Bob Geary, "There was no mistaking the new bounce in his tone: He wants to run. And he's much closer to doing it." Last Tuesday, I offered an analysis of the potential of a Martin-Dole match-up.
In Tennessee, businessman and gubernatorial son Mike McWherter is making the rounds and sounding like he is ready to take on Lamar Alexander. If/when McWherter officially enters, other Democrats considering a bid have already said that they would defer to McWherter and support his candidacy.
Indeed, September could prove a very decisive month in terms of shaping the 2008 Senate races. This week also saw a plethora of interesting news around the country:
South Dakota: Senator Tim Johnson returned to the Senate floor and made his first roll call vote in almost nine months. Badlands Blue has the video of his return, including a nearly-minute-long standing ovation before Johnson spoke and another minute of standing ovation after Senator Johnson's comments. Truly uplifting. Delaware: Senator Joe Biden is definitely moving forward with Senate re-election plans amid his Presidential campaign. Texas: Though a majority of Democratic primary voters are still undecided, State Representative and Lieutenant Colonel Rick Noriega currently has about double the support of attorney Mikal Watts, 27-14. Attorney Emil Reichstadt, who may soon exit the race, clocks in at 6%. Noriega also recently scored the support of Texas' firefighters. New Hampshire and Minnesota: In case anyone thought otherwise, both Sprintin' John Sununu and Smilin' Norm Coleman are still George W. Bush's lapdogs on Iraq. Alaska: Ted Stevens appears to be both a climatologist and a sociopath. All of that insane behavior may just be to deflect attention from his latest earmark scandal. Colorado: Backwards Bob Schaffer's own poll numbers see him losing to Democratic Congressman Mark Udall by more than the margin of error. Schaffer's camp is trying to spin this as a good thing! I can't wait for the non-partisan numbers to come out. Louisiana: The candidate filing period for 2007 passed this week in Louisiana, and Republican state Treasurer John N. Kennedy is running unopposed for re-election while looking ahead to a possible 2008 Senate challenge to Senator Mary Landrieu. Given Treasurer Kennedy's chronically mercurial career goals, hopefully someone in the Louisiana media can get him to answer questions like "If re-elected to the Treasurer's office, do you pledge to serve out your full term?" and "Why should the voters of Louisiana re-elect you if you're just going to run for another office in a few months?" So far, all that has gone on the record is:
Kennedy declined to speculate on his political future, and would not commit to serving out his entire four-year term.
"I've never made promises about things in the future that I can't control," Kennedy said, adding that he wanted to savor re-election before looking ahead.
Hey, John, running for Senate isn't an involuntary action like sneezing or yawning - you do actually have control over whether or not you run for Senate. Totally disingenuous. Virginia: A VA-GOP Senate primary between Tom Davis and Jim Gilmore could get very ugly. The Club for Growth is already attacking Tom Davis' economic record. Meanwhile, Davis' campaign has apparently hired adviser Chris LaCivita, whose claims to fame include advising and producing commercials for the notorious Swift Boat Veterans and serving as direct supervisor to the man responsible for the infamous New Hampshire phone jamming scandal. This could be a historically ugly primary. Kentucky: The Public Campaign Action Fund released an ad highlighting Mitch McConnell's record supporting the use of taxpayer dollars to fund iPod-like music players for Afghani tribesman but opposing body armor for our troops. (Yes, you read that right; Ditch Mitch KY explains. It of course involves a former McConnell staffer becoming a lobbyist, and McConnell securing an earmark for the clients of his former staffer while the lobbyist/former staffer raises thousands of dollars for McConnell.) So what does McConnell do? He uses his contacts and clout to get the ad pulled from cable stations! In a completely unrelated note, Dictionary.com defines "fascism" as "forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism." Arizona: Looking ahead to 2010, popular-but-term-limited Governor Janet Napolitano has established a federal political action committee, seen as an early step toward a 2010 Senate bid. Meanwhile, early polling sees Governor Napolitano handily defeating John McCain by double digits in a hypothetical 2010 Senate match-up, 47-36.
When George W. Bush took office, the National Debt stood at less than $5.75 trillion. Last week, the National Debt crossed the $9 trillion mark. In other words, the National Debt has gone up $3.25 trillion, more than 56%, on George W. Bush's watch of just over six-and-a-half years. Just another indicator of the failure of Bush's policies.
And you thought Lou Reed had captured real debauchery:
Mark Foley came from Miami, F.L.A. "Pork-barreled" his way across the USA E-mailed some pages on the way Sought teenage sex and then he was an "ex" He says, Hey son Take a walk on the wild side Said, Hey Junior Take a walk on the wild side
Abramoff came, from, the Reservation In the backroom, backstabbing Choctaw Nation But he never lost his head Even when, busted by the feds He says, Hey Congress Take a walk on the perp side Said, Hey Ney Take a walk on the perp side And the Black Caucus goes doo, doo doo, doo doo, doo doo doo doo ...
I guess Republicans have decided to blame Hastert. After remembering, then forgetting, Boehner has remembered again.
Friday morning:House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of some "contact" between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), and that Hastert assured him "we're taking care of it.Friday afternoon:Boehner later contacted The Post and said he could not remember whether he talked to Hastert.Friday evening:Boehner later contacted The Post and said he could not remember whether he talked to Hastert.Monday:In a radio interview with 700 WLW radio in Cincinnati, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) placed responsibility for the Foley matter not being handled properly on House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL).
"I believe I talked to the Speaker and he told me it had been taken care of," said Boehner. "And, and, and my position is it's in his corner, it's his responsibility. The Clerk of the House who runs the page program, the Page Board--all report to the Speaker. And I believe it had been dealt with."
Please note that by saying that he talked with the Speaker about Foley, Boehner is reversing course and going back to his original position.
With Reynolds and The Washington Times already turning on Hastert, you have to believe that Hastert's days in the Republican leadership are numbered. I have heard that he was probably going to down from the leadership after the election anyway, which might be one of the reasons why other Republicans feel it is alright to throw him under the bus. Since Reynolds was finished at the NRCC anyway for doing such a lousy job, the remaining questions seem to be:
Will Reynolds lose his seat on November 7th to Jack Davis?