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September 08, 2007

Watch The Stars Align

By Neil the Ethical Werewolf

It's a happy day to look back at John Judis' piece on Democratic Senate prospects for 2008.  With John Warner having decided to resign from the Senate, Mark Warner is in position to give Virginia a second Democratic Senator.  And it looks like Chuck Hagel will be retiring in Nebraska, paving the way for the locally beloved Bob Kerrey to return to the Senate.  (Nebraska votes solidly Republican on the presidential level, but it's actually quite good to Democrats in the Senate -- Hagel is the only Republican to win a Nebraska Senate race in the last 35 years.)  Along with Colorado and New Hampshire, this makes 4 seats in which we'll be favored to win.  A 60-seat Senate majority by 2011, while still unlikely, is not out of reach. 

September 8, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

Too bad, of course, that Kerrey is no Kerry and seems to be shaping up to be a Loserman par excellance.

Posted by: Josiah the Unethical Werewolf | Sep 8, 2007 1:00:22 PM

Why would we want another John Kerry? Especially in Nebraska. *shudder*

Posted by: Phil | Sep 8, 2007 1:23:08 PM

While Kerrey would be another vote towards cloture on important votes, I'll add my voice to his detractors. I like my conservative Dems to be conventional like Ben Nelson, not maverick attention seekers like Kerrey. Those types end up causing trouble.

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And as always, my two additional notes to the Senate outlook:

- If you want to pick up the most seats in '08, put Johnny Edwards at the top of the ticket. How many additional seats would he bring along in '08 compared to HRC? 2 or 3, perhaps?

- Contra Neil, '10 is likely not going to be a good Dem year for Senate pickups. With consolidated Democratic control of Washington, the GOP should enjoy a dead cat bounce in '10. If we avoid losses in '10, I'll be pleased.

Posted by: Petey | Sep 8, 2007 2:34:38 PM

I saw the second post first, so I commented on teh prospects for 60 - I think we'll have to wait and see about 2010 when it gets closer; it depends on who wins the Presidency and how they govern. I too would just as soon leave Bob Kerrey to the past and move on - we can do better (frankly, Chuck Hagel was better). I also on't think Senatorial success rests with picking Edwards, or any other Presidential candidate; at this point what we need are good candidates for each state, and the rest is about the wind at our backs and making sure we campaign smart and focused, not nervous and scattered.

Posted by: weboy | Sep 8, 2007 3:31:28 PM

I've said before that Bob Kerrey unbalances the Dems' Senate slate in a year when the emphasis should be on using the cyclical advantage to get better Democrats, particularly on the subject of Iraq, which ain't going away between now and November 2008.

But, given that Reid is now apparently supplicating to Republicans, we'll presumably see Kerrey declare, hog a media spotlight that could be better directed to the challengers in Maine and NH, and eagerly use the Sunday Gasbag shows to disagree with the eventual presidential nominee. Gift horse, meet mouth.

It's bad local politics, too. A war-skeptic, socially-conservative Dem in Nebraska could stake a claim to be the rightful successor to Chuck Hagel. Bob Kerrey can't do that. He's trouble.

Posted by: pseudonymous in nc | Sep 8, 2007 4:08:03 PM

Well, let me ask you this: do you think that on 9/11 even one Democratic Senator is going to say "Now, General Petraeus, I'd like to ask you some questions about why the figures you've presented are so different from the ones my staff prepared for me"?

I know I sure don't. I'd love to be proven wrong.

Posted by: serial catowner | Sep 8, 2007 7:12:26 PM

For all those dissing Bob Kerrey in this thread, I'd urge you to consider the likely alternatives, which would not be a maverick Republican like Hagel, but just a plain supply-side, pro-war, party line Republican.

Posted by: AJ | Sep 8, 2007 8:09:36 PM

I'd urge you to consider the likely alternatives, which would not be a maverick Republican like Hagel, but just a plain supply-side, pro-war, party line Republican.

Or a socially conservative, anti-war Democrat. Nebraska isn't Oklahoma.

Posted by: pseudonymous in nc | Sep 8, 2007 11:28:10 PM

I too would just as soon leave Bob Kerrey to the past and move on - we can do better (frankly, Chuck Hagel was better).

Well, Bob Kerrey's lifetime ADA voting score is 81%; Hagel's is 10%. Kerrey's lifetime AFL-CIO score is 76%, Hagel's is 12%. Kerrey is disappointing on a few issues, but to say "Hagel was better" seems a little extreme.

Posted by: Jestak | Sep 9, 2007 3:02:59 PM

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