My grassroots favorite pick is not Paul Hackett. It's Congressman Tim Ryan. Ryan is young, motivational, and become a blogsphere celebrity with his floor speeches about the Iraq war. However, Ryan hasn't been in office long. He has been awarded some plum committee assignments in this Congress, and a safe Congressional seat is a hard thing to give up, especially when you know that Jim Traficant is about to be released from prison and EVERYONE is wondering what he's going to do when he's released. On the legislative achievement side, Ryan's resume is rather thin, but that's an issue insiders focus on far more than voters really care about.
From what I know about Ryan, he's an ideological match for areas in Ohio that Democrats historically haven't done well in (think the 1990s' NEO/urban-centered strategy).
The careers of Lee Fisher and Tim Ryan have been on a collision course since 2006. One of them is going to be in line in front of the other until at least 2014. Fisher joined the ticket in 2006 for the sole purpose of running for governor or senate. Time's come to decide.
Thus, I think Lee Fisher is probably this minute putting the finishing touches on his victory spee....er...I mean...announcement speech. Problem for Lee is that, well, he's Lee. Boring to distraction, transparently careerist, has done little as Lt. Gov. to distinguish himself from Some Guy At The Bar, and utterly without any real rationale for running other than to run. This will not energize Democrats.
Plus, it's an off year, Lee is Lee, and Portman will prove somewhat non-insane. Ohio isn't as blue as Lee thinks, especially in an off year. So if Lee gets through a primary to the general, he will lose, you heard it here first.
But that won't stop Lee! Oh, no, my friend. If he loses to Portman, he will still be Lt. Gov. and still be in line to run for governor in 2014, having proven that no amount of statewide electoral failures can kill him. Like a cockroach! Only in Lee Fisher's world is repeated losing a no-lose situation.
This means there isn't any incentive for Tim Ryan to avoid Lee in a primary. Lee will be standing there either this year for Senate, or in 2014 for governor. If Tim wants it, he needs to go and get it. Which he can do. Tim Ryan is a force of nature, just waiting to point itself at the right target. The question is, does he want it? It's awful comfy in the majority lately, in a safe seat, and who knows, Lee could surprise us all and win in 2010, thus leaving the road to governor more open for Tim in 2014. I thought on Friday Tim would run, but I'm not so sure today. Running and losing is Lee's style, not Tim Ryan's.
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.
San Francisco's turned to crap when a top donor to Newsom who owns a tourist trap complained that people from outside of SF wouldn't visit.
I met Enrique Penalosa when he was mayor and admired what he'd done -- especially public transit and 100,000 new trees. I'll give Newsom credit for providing the wine that night.
Don't forget the VA-Gov race. Since Kaine himself has said that this will hurt the Commonwealth, this effectively benches Kaine during the race instead of bringing on a DNC Chair as another body to help Kaine and the Senators as surrogates.
Those quotes of Kaine from November are simply devastating.
There is a reason this wasn't announced, but was leaked. It is a trial balloon and hopefully will be popped. Kaine would be a disaster and the fear of that will hopefully motivate action.
Also, just over four years ago I remember similar statements that with Reid and Pelosi's support, Roemer would be DNC head no matter what. But that would have been a disaster (a pro-privatization head going into the first Bush fight Democrats actually won) so Reform Democrats organized -- and won.
He spoke early in the year at the annual meeting of the Family Foundation of Virginia, a group that advocates conservative social causes, and sounded practically like a preacher. In February, Kaine took his message to the Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.
"Sometimes our candidates have trashed the religious right, when what we meant to trash is a bad idea," he said, prompting more than a few hard-core Democrats to squirm in their seats. "We should never, never label people who are from the religious right."