Any sign of John Thune? He seems taylor made for Iowa. He's from the prairies, is a vigorous and tenacious grass-roots campaigner and has both the hard-right credentials and the easy-going personality that people on the soft right seem to find so re-assuring. I worry about him.
Meacham's fawning book on Andrew Jackson, which undeservedly won the Pulitzer, is dedicated to praising a president who was dedicated to expanding executive power at the expense of the rule of law, and who was, as Daniel Walker Howe points out in his book on the era (which deservedly won the Pulitzer), perfectly willing to make his own reality at the expense of facts and truth. He also worked hard to politicize the government and insisted on loyalty to the president above any concept of public service. After Jackson left the White House, he was succeeded by Van Buren, his vice president who had, during Jackson's tenure, pulled the strings behind the scenes and earned wide-spread loathing for his amoral pursuit of his and the president's political agenda. Given all that, I can't for the life of me see why Meacham would support a run by Cheney.
This is definitely now a race that will need attention and resources, which is a drag in a state like Delaware. However, Political Wire has just posted a link to Public Policy Polling's analysis of their Delaware polling, which argues that Castle's early lead is a function of name recognition (1o pts higher than Biden's), and that if you look at the subsample of people who actually know who both candidates are, Biden already leads.
Well to be fair we've had recent polls showing incumbent Dems trailing in CT, NV and CO, and vulnerable in Arkansas, and the GOP ahead again in NH. I don't think those polls mean anything at this point, an improvement in the economy and a decent healthcare bill could swing all those races back in our direction, but right now I'd have to say OH looks like the outlier -- along with MO.
Peter Roff argues that this would be the ideal platform for a presidential run, claiming: "If he did [become Senator], Romney would then have a platform to actually introduce legislation modeled on the proposals he put forward as a presidential candidate in 2008 and planned to put forward in 2012. No guesswork. No empty rhetoric. Real ideas, on the Senate floor, that could be evaluated, debated, and perhaps even voted on." Puh-lease. Let's ask someone who actually knows what they're talking about: "The votes you're going to have to cast, whether it's guns or whether it's abortion or whether it's any one of the hot-button items, finishes you as a national political leader in this country. You just can't do it. It's not possible." Sen. Ted Kennedy, quoted in The Battle for America 2008, advising then Sen. Barack Obama to run for president sooner rather than later. (Quote taken from Politicalwire.com.)
Incidentally, with regards to the comment about other generals flirting with politics, as David Halberstam's outstanding book The Coldest Winter makes clear, General MacArthur blatantly sought the Republican nomination while in charge of the Korean war, with the help of the extreme right of the Republican party. The political incompetence of him and his followers ensured that he failed dramatically, and he quickly disavowed ever having tried. Had he been more savvy he could have easily gone on to have been the worst president America ever had, and given his love for nuclear war, quite possibly the last.
Um, how could it just "slip by" the moderator? Surely Fox did not set up a direct line between viewer texts and their ticker, with the moderator acting as a goalie to delete the ones she didn't like. That strikes me as impossible, especially since hundreds of thousands of messages would come in. The moderator must actually have had to select and post each message -- no?
It will almost certainly be the next one, since things wrap up in mid-Dec and the Franken people can easily delay final certification with legal challenges etc. There was an article I read about this just today, about how Republicans are already worried about this, but I'll be damned if I can find it now.
Norm Coleman just gave a totally pointless speech talking about how they are still counting votes. But he took the opportunity to crow about Bachman being ahead, which she is. Blech. Neither race is over yet, but MN is not my favourite state tonight, the way things are going.
Actually, CBS has already forgotten the campaign. Several commentators talking about how "McCain conducted his campaign as he did his political career, with a great deal of class." They are going on about how eager he will be to work with Obama. We have work to do to prevent history being completely white washed.
Plus, if they are right that the race has tightened nationally, it will also have tightened in CA and NY. It doesn't seem right to say: Obama's lead has shrunk nationally (evidence: Tarrance), but not in these two large states (evidence: all the other polls), so McCain must be ahead everywhere else. We would need Tarrance's specific numbers in CA and NY showing Obama's margin holding there.
I guess the flip side of these recruiting misfortunes is that the NRSC won't get sucked into wasting money on as many lost causes -- SD, Arkansas and NJ could all have been great money sinks for them, by offering tantalising prospects of victory. That gives them more to spend defending their incumbents in Oregon, Maine and Minnesota, for instance.
I mean, presuming their spending is premissed on the fear of a "Republicans falling apart, no seat safe" media narrative rather than a genuine love of their candidate. But maybe they do just love the guy that much. They do have a thing for rich white guys.