GOP DISASTER BREWING FOR '08
Senator Elizabeth Dole will NOT be a candidate for re-election in 2008, according to a confidential source on Capitol Hill. Apparently, she is completely demoralized following the stunning victory resulting in Democrats capturing the Senate. Six months ago, it was not much more than a pipe dream that Senator Chuck Schumer would lead his party to a majority in the upper chamber of Congress. However, the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is charged to have been badly run under Dole's leadership. It was reported last week that Dole penned a letter in an effort to retire the RSCC's debt from the 2006 election. Her underlings refused to actually say how much in the hole they went while squandering their majority in the Senate.
Now it's time for the scrambling of suitors. North Carolina is a Southern State that has resisted the massive Red conversion of other States below the Mason-Dixon Line. Is this another possible pick up for the Senate Dems?
Republicans already face a disaster in waiting in the next election for the Senate. The Republicans have 21 seats to defend and the Dems have only 11 incumbents to protect. And YES, I believe that ALL Democratic Senators will be seeking re-election. In alphabetical order, here are the hurdles that Republicans face in 2008.
Sen. Lamar Alexander: He lost his race for Minority Whip to racist, foot in mouth guy, Trent Lott. Harold Ford could capitalize on his much better than expected race this year and make a very credible run for this seat. Alexander isn't exactly a spring chicken either.
Sen. Wayne Allard: Word on the street is that he's retiring., thank God. Likely Dem nominee is Congressman Mark Udall, who should walk away with it.
Sen. Thad Cochran: Recent media reports say that the Dems are looking for a resurgent year in '08 in Mississippi. Two former Governors will team up to take the top two spots in State government from Gov. Haley Barbour and his number 2. Former Attorney General Mike Moore apparently will mount a strong challenge for the U.S. Senate seat. Sure sounds like a dream team to lead the ticket in a Southern State!
Sen. Norm Coleman: He won in '02 in a strange election which saw the death of liberal icon Sen. Paul Wellstone in a plane crash two weeks before the election. The political style speech by replacement candidate, former V.P. Walter Mondale at Wellstone's funeral apparently ticked off the voters of MN. However, the amazing performance of Amy Klobuchar in easily capturing the Senate seat in this year's election is pushing radio host/author Al Franken to a candidacy for Coleman's seat. Minnesota is a quirky state and likes maverick candidates, so this one could be a toss up too!
Sen. Larry Craig: He was recently reported by blogactive.com's Mike Rogers as being one of those closeted gay Republicans, providing specific details such as having sex in the bathrooms of Union Station. No one knows if this will have an effect on Craig or not. If he retires, the Dems could capitalize on recent victories in the region to pick up this seat.
Sen. Pete Domenici: Sounds like he is retiring too. Governor Bill Richardson would be a shoo-in for this seat. He served on the House side before. Don't they all aim for the more collegial Senate?
Sen. Lindsey Graham: He gets a mention because I'm from S.C. While Lindsey has been pretty well received across the board in S.C., there are two issues that could cause problems for what should be an easy sailing re-election. First, are the persistent rumors that he is gay. This has never been confirmed or denied. But, it's been tossed around bunches. Enough people know about it to tell us that, as long as you don't admit to being gay, then S.C. voters probably don't care about it. Second are rumors that he will face a strong, conservative primary challenge. Lindsey's actions, while applauded by folks across the country have angered the right wing in S.C. These people have mad influence in the Primary. This could be interesting to watch because a couple Dems have the ability to wage a campaign that could ultimately be successful against a right wing nut. Included in those Dems are my old boss, former Governor Jim Hodges, and two great people and friends, outgoing Ed. Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum and Dem. Lt. Gov. nominee Robert Barber.
Sen. John Sununu: New Hampshire had an awesome year for the Dems, picking up two Congressional seats and the State Legislature. Former Governor, Jean Shaheen narrowly lost this seat to Sununu in '02. If she chooses to make another un at it, I think she's the one to beat.
Given these circumstances, I think the Dems pick up a minimum of three seats. If we can show in the next year and a half that we know how to run government, then we can pick up as many as five seats. It's an early prediction, but take it to the bank!