Back in the day, it was pretty strongly alleged that the Democratic party unceremoniously threatened Rep. Steve Israel in order to keep him from running against appointed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in her primary this year. Strenuously denied at the time, of course – remember, this was before the Sestak and Romanoff scandals erupted – but plausible, very plausible. Both the threats (loss of donor money, active campaigning by the President, deliberate organizing of the African-American vote against Israel), and the promises (the gratitude of the Democratic party for not going up against a weak candidate, and maybe even a promotion to the inner circle). And after all of that, oddly enough: Steve Israel didn’t run for Senate.
And now look here: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday named Representative Steve Israel of New York to lead the House Democratic campaign committee into the next election, putting him in charge of the party’s effort to regain the majority it lost in November.” Which certainly qualifies as “inner circle” – and which keeps him from even thinking about a Senate bid until 2016. Guess the Democrats learned their lesson from the Blanche Lincoln debacle: lock up the primary challengers early, and all that. A little too smart for my liking: I prefer the Democrats to have the kind of thinking that causes them to keep the same House leadership team that threw away sixty-two seats and counting.
Still, nice to see that the Other Side is at least still sticking to the twin principles of Fundraising Above All and Incumbents First, Everybody Else Last…