This man used to be my Congressman, and about the best I can say for Rep. Cummings is that he’s not the absolute worst Democratic politician in Maryland. I don’t even really despise him; I’m just kind of contemptuous of the way that Cummings has done precisely zero beyond get himself nicely situated in the machine. It was a happy day when that racist redistricting plan the Maryland legislature shoved through shoved me into some other Democrat’s bailiwick; it meant that I could stop caring about Elijah Cummings directly, as it were. Continue reading Interesting: Rep Elijah Cummings may be positioning himself for Maryland Senate run.
Because they’re talking about it! “Former Sen. Bob Torricelli downplayed rumors Sunday that he might mount a Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who is fighting federal corruption charges.” And why are there such rumors? Because Senator Menendez is in a fascinatingly complex situation vis-a-vis this administration. On the one hand, Menendez is indeed fighting federal corruption charges. On the other hand, Sen. Menendez is apparently legitimately appalled at this administration’s Middle Eastern policy, particularly with regard to Iran. And on the gripping hand… that’s how bad the bench is for New Jersey Democrats, huh? The only worse choice would former governor Jon Corzine, and he’s probably thinking about running, too. I mean, Bob Torricelli’s thinking about it, right?
Before you grin too much: name a good New Jersey Republican challenger. For that matter, Bob Menendez isn’t even up for election again until 2018. Which is why this post isn’t on RedState: right now this is beyond speculation. But still. I’d love to cover that primary.
There’s an interesting – in the ‘Chinese curse’ sense of the term – thing happening in Ohio’s Democratic Senate primary. The not-really-short version is that national Democrats have told themselves a marvelous fairy tale about how they can take back to the Senate in 2016: unfortunately, state Democrats actually have to make that a reality somehow. And they’re being hampered by the way that national Democrats managed to blight state Democratic political gardens in 2010 and 2014.
Case in point: Ohio. The Ohio Democratic party leadership has seized upon the elderly (74) Ted Strickland for their Senate candidate, despite the fact that the former governor got beaten in his reelection bid in 2010 by John Kasich. Why? Because there isn’t anybody else at Strickland’s level. The Democrats got wiped out in the Ohio Congressional delegation in 2010, and have not recovered. In 2010 they had ten seats to the GOP’s eight; today they have four seats to the GOP’s twelve (Ohio lost two seats after the last Census). The state legislature is also heavily Republican, if not quite at this level. There are no Democratic state-wide elected officials in Ohio. And the previous Democratic gubernatorial candidate? …Well. Continue reading What the Ohio Democratic Senate primary tells us about the state of their state parties.
Do you believe in miracles?
Oh, don’t tease me like this.
The first statewide survey of the [Florida] Democratic Senate race since [Alan] Grayson formally announced his campaign found Grayson leading [Patrick] Murphy by nearly seven points – 30 to 23 percent. Just over 17 percent said “someone else,” and 22 percent are undecided.
Via Hot Air comes this refreshing bucket of icy sea water on Democratic fever dreams: “Former North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan will not be mounting a challenge to her former GOP colleague, Sen. Richard M. Burr.” Not surprising that Hagan bowed out though, really. It is not the easiest thing in the world for a former Senator who was tossed out of office to come back and win a new election, particularly when it is against an incumbent.
Alas for the Democratic party, recruiting people who have intimately known the bitter lash of electoral defeat is the lynchpin of their 2016 Senate strategy. Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania… shoot, the next Democratic nominee for FL-SEN might very well be Alan Grayson, who rather famously got smacked down in 2010, to the point where he had to go running to a safer district. A lot of retreads, in other words. A lot of retreads. Which is fine if you think that the electorate is regretting its previous decisions; but what if they’re not?
You know, it’s sad when you see somebody whose basic motivation in life is so self-evidently Where am I gonna get my next fix from, man? Sad, and a little embarrassing. You want ’em to get help, but it’s not your place to tell ’em to shape up:
Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold — long a champion of campaign finance reform — founded a political action committee that has given a mere 5% of its income to federal candidates and political parties.
Instead, nearly half of the $7.1 million that Progressives United PAChas spent since 2011 has gone to raising more money for itself, according to data compiled by OpenSecrets.org. The data also show the group has paid another sizable chunk of money on salaries or consulting fees for Feingold, his top aide and eight former staffers.
Before we get into the meat of this story from the National Journal, let me just note that this – “One of the most underappreciated stories in recent years is the deterioration of the Democratic bench under President Obama’s tenure in office” – has always been properly appreciated by me. I noticed this issue a while back. Sorry, but I felt the need to establish that.
…less attention has been paid to how the shrinking number of Democratic officeholders in the House and in statewide offices is affecting the party’s Senate races. It’s awfully unusual to see how dependent Democrats are in relying on former losing candidates as their standard-bearers in 2016. Wisconsin’s Russ Feingold, Pennsylvania’s Joe Sestak, Indiana’s Baron Hill, and Ohio’s Ted Strickland all ran underwhelming campaigns in losing office in 2010—and are looking to return to politics six years later. Party officials are courting former Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina to make a comeback bid, despite mediocre favorability ratings and the fact that she lost a race just months ago that most had expected her to win. All told, more than half of the Democrats’ Senate challengers in 2016 are comeback candidates.
I haven’t decided whether this Washington Post article on Alan Grayson is an attempt to warm him up to the Beltway, or else warn the Beltway about him. Probably the latter: you don’t say things like “[h]is campaign Web [site] … liberally uses ALL CAPS, which gives you a sense of what a possible Grayson for Senate campaign would be like” in This Town when you’re trying to be nice. On the other hand, there is one really important thing that the WaPo should have been mentioned about Alan Grayson, but neglected to. To wit: in 2010 Alan Grayson had his head handed to him in FL-08, and that was as an incumbent. Daniel Webster winning with 56% of the vote was enough to get Grayson scurrying for another district. Continue reading Ah, the 2016 Senate race. I cannot wait for the Democratic DEEP HURTING*.