- Oh General Petraeus, why? WHY? You had everything going for you and you blew it. You were going to be like Eisenhower, someone both parties were going to fight over to run for President. You would become immensely popular on both sides of the aisle and unite a divided nation with your leadership, and you blew it.
- Rumors of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry moving into SecDef role. While I think that is hilarious, Kerry, weak, spineless, John Kerry as Secretary of DEFENSE, it does open up a Senate seat. A 2013 special election would be perfect for Scott Brown — Senate control is not up in the air, he’s way popular still, and those idiots in MA can have the best of both worlds, Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren. He’d run for a full term in 2014. So that’s 2010 special, 2012 general, 2013 special, 2014 general. Poor man.
- Susan Rice will not be Secretary of State. She won’t get through Senate confirmation. That I can say with absolute certainty. Darkhouse: Jon Huntsman.
- 2014 Senate races heating up. 3 of the 4 Republican House members in Arkansas are exploring potential runs against Mark Pyror. I’d say his time is running out. Within the next few months, we will candidates gear up for races in Alaska, Louisiana, South Dakota, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Colorado, West Virginia and Minnesota.
- Seems like GOP leaders are looking hard in the mirror. In the past few days, we’ve seen immigration reform, tax reform, potential tax hikes, and gay marriage work their way into the soul searching of the GOP before 2016. The party of small government: tax reform, immigration reform, civil liberties, and getting government out of your personal life (gay marriage and drug laws). Winning message.
- Texas secession = shut up. Same to you Louisiana and Alabama. Just shut up.
In the words of Meghan McCain this week, “I am not a moderate Republican. I am a modern Republican.”
So with the Republican National Conference over and the Democratic National Convention starting, one only has to look at the speakers to see who the rising stars (“the benches”) are for each party. Let’s put them in a depth chart
- First String: VA Gov. Bob McDonnell; WI Gov. Scott Walker; SC Gov. Nikki Haley; NJ Gov. Chris Christie; LA Gov. Bobby Jindal; SD Sen. John Thune; Former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice; WI Rep. Paul Ryan; FL Sen. Marco Rubio
- Second String: NH Sen. Kelly Ayotte; OK Gov. Mary Fallin; NV Gov. Brian Sandoval; KY Sen. Rand Paul; OH Sen. Rob Portman; PR Gov. Luis Fortuño; NM Gov. Susana Martinez; Former FL Gov. Jeb Bush; TX Sen. Ted Cruz
- Third String: ND Sen. John Hoeven; TN Rep. Marsha Blackburn; WA Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers; Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love; OH Gov. John Kasich; Former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty
- First String: CO Gov. John Hickenlooper; Former VA Gov. Tim Kaine; MD Gov. Martin O’Malley; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; MT Gov. Brian Schweitzer; MA Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren
- Second String: Newark Mayor Corey Booker; San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel; Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx; NC Sen. Kay Hagan; Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; Vice President Joe Biden; MN Senator Amy Klobuchar; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Vilagarossa
- Third String: WI Senate Candidate Tammy Baldwin; House of Representatives Candidate Joaquin Castro; MA Gov. Deval Patrick; Former OH Gov. Ted Strickland; Houston Mayor Annisse Parker
So, maybe the news isn’t all bad for Republican control of the Senate? Let’s go straight to predictions and explanations!
- Arizona: No change from last week. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
- California: No change from last week. I’m excited to see Emken go on CNN Monday morning. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Connecticut: This one has moved into a tossup. A new poll had McMahon up 49-46 and Connecticut looks a lot less friendly to Obama. Could a Republican upset happen here? Until I see another poll tell me otherwise, I say yes. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
- Delaware: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Florida: No change. I still think the way Florida goes in November decides the winner between Nelson and Mack. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
- Hawaii: No change yet. Hirono and Lingle are going to debate 8 times between now and November. Lots of room for change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Indiana: Still not a lot of polling, so no change. WEAK GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Maine:No change. Still not a lot of polling and King has still not declared a caucus yet. MODERATE DEM LEAN/DEM PICKUP
- Maryland: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Massachusetts: A PPP poll had Brown up 5 points yesterday. Looking like Brown’s race to lose. TOSSUP/HOLD
- Michigan: Two new polls have given Hoekstra a lead and another Stabenow in the low single-digits. Romney’s coattails could make this an upset. TOSSUP/HOLD
- Minnesota: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Mississippi: Incumbent: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Missouri: Call it a tossup now. Actually, as long as Akin is the nominee, McCaskill will win. Weak Dem lean with the chance to jump back to GOP with a new nominee. WEAK DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Montana: Montana is looking RED as RED can be this year. Moving this to GOP lean. WEAK GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
- Nebraska: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
- Nevada: No change. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
- New Jersey: No change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
- New Mexico: No change yet. TOSSUP/HOLD
- New York: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- North Dakota: No change. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
- Ohio: No change. WEAK DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Pennsylvania: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Rhode Island: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Tennessee: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Texas: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Utah: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Vermont: No change. STRONG DEM (SOCIALIST) LEAN/HOLD
- Virginia: Virginia is looking like a lean blue state in November, so I’m moving this one down to a Dem hold. TOSSUP/HOLD
- Washington: No change. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
- West Virginia: No change. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Wisconsin: Thompson looks to be getting stronger and Wisconsin is looking like a Romney state. Moving this up a little. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
- Wyoming: No change. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
Last week I had it at 52-47-1 (GOP/Dem/Independent King); this week we have it at: 52-47-1. Haha. Missouri goes blue, Connecticut goes red. Total wash.
So a lot of chatter that Pres. Obama asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to take over the VP spot and have VP Joe Biden step down for “medical reasons” or just plain retire (Or did he? Rumors also that is was confidant and pain the ass Valerie Jarrett who asked her).
The Washington Examiner said she was approached and rejected the invitation two weeks ago.
“As recently as a couple of weeks ago, the White House was putting out feelers to see if Hillary Clinton was interested in replacing Joe Biden on the ticket,” Klein told Secrets. “Bill Clinton, I’m told, was urging his wife to accept the number two spot if it was formally offered. Bill sees the vice presidency as the perfect launching pad for Hillary to run for president in 2016.”
Two vice presidents for the price of one!!
But this idea has a lot of pros and cons and could destroy the Democratic Party or give it a huge boost for years to come. Let’s discuss:
- Secretary Clinton is POPULAR. Head cheerleader popular. Like, oh my god. Talk about a boost to Obama’s iffy re-elect chances.
- If she’s added and Obama-Clinton wins in 2012, you immediately have a top-tier candidate for 2016. She does (and always will, so will Bill) have ambitions about her being President. This lays the groundwork and she’s immediately the top of the pack in ’16 (take that, Elizabeth Warren!)
- If she is added and Obama-Clinton wins in 2012 AND it is a successful second term for Obama, guess who gets a lot of the credit? Vice President Hillary Clinton. Which would probably put her as the odds-on favorite to beat whoever the GOP runs in 2016 (take that, Chris Christie!)
- She hurts the ticket. The Democratic Party is torn apart by the dumping of Biden and makes Obama out to look like he’s scared shitless (which he is…I mean, Seamus…chains…tax returns…)! This tanks his chances for re-elect because no incumbent President has dumped his VP while running for a second term since 1944.
- She’s added to the ticket and they lost. Now she’s a loser. She can still run in ’16, but guess what…Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Cuomo, and Martin O’Malley are nipping at her heels and ready to blame her for the ’12 loss. Cannibalism is the funnest part of politics!
- She’s added to the ticket and they win, but Obama’s second term is worse than his first. She’s still the favorite to win the Democratic nomination (most likely), but she’s looking to get demolished by whomever the GOP runs (Christie, Ryan, Rubio, whatever….she could lose to Palin if the conditions are right).
Not sure the pros outweigh the cons in this case. And neither did she. Her best bet is to retire as Secretary of State and start laying the groundwork for a 2016 run regardless of what happens. She can run to succeed Obama (most likely successor) or she can run to challenge the incumbent President Mitt Romney.
Klein has sources deep in the Clinton camp and he said that they said she is eager for a rest followed by a makeover. “She clearly is exhausted. She needs to lose weight and get her energy back for a four-year slog.”
So pull out those placards and bumper stickers and a sharpie folks. Hillary ’16??
17 out of 100. 17%. That’s the percentage of women in the United States Senate. Women make up 50.8% of this country, but just 17% of the body that represents each state. Puzzling. I promise, no kitchen jokes or driving jokes.
But is that about to change? Politico reported that female Senate candidates this cycle are raking up money, to the tune of $135 million!! There are currently 17 female US Senators serving today:
- Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), serving until 2016
- Dianne Feinstein (D-California), up for re-election this year
- Barbara Boxer (D-California), serving until 2016
- Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), serving until 2014
- Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), retiring at the end of this year
- Susan Collins (R-Maine), serving until 2014
- Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), serving until 2016
- Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), up for re-election this year
- Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), up for re-election this year
- Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), up for re-election this year
- Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), serving until 2014
- Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), serving until 2016
- Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), up for re-election this year
- Kay Hagan (D-North Carolina), serving until 2014
- Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), retiring at end of this year
- Patty Murray (D-Washington), serving until 2016
- Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), up for re-election this year
Until 2013, California, New Hampshire, Maine, and Washington are the only states with two current female Senators. Of the above, Feinstein, Stabenow, Klobuchar, Gillibrand, and Cantwell are locks for re-election, setting the minimum number of female Senators in 2013 at 14. Let’s look at where they can make gains this cycle:
- Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren is a formidable opponent. She has amassed nearly a $25 million war chest thus far. Beloved my the liberal grassroots.
- Wisconsin: U.S. Rep Tammy Baldwin has raised nearly $7 million for her campaign. She would become the first openly-gay U.S. Senator if she was to win.
- Nevada: U.S. Rep Shelley Berkley has raised almost $7 million as well, putting her on even-footing with her opponent.
- New York: Attorney Wendy E. Long is running against Kirsten Gillibrand (one of three female-on-female battles)
- California: Autism activist Elizabeth Emken is running against Sen. Feinstein but has failed to reach $1 million in funds, despite Feinstein losing $4.5 million stolen by her former treasurer
- Maine: State Sen. Cynthia Dill is running to replace Olympia Snowe but has failed to gain any traction behind Independent former Gov. Angus King
- North Dakota: State AG Heidi Heitkamp is running a strong campaign in a strong GOP state in a Republican year. She is one to watch. $1.8 million in a cheap media market.
- Hawaii: Both U.S. Rep Maze Hirono and former Gov. Linda Lingle are running in this open seat. Give or take, each candidate has raised about $4 million on the islands.
- New Mexico: the GOP’s strongest female candidate, former U.S. Rep Heather Wilson, has also raised about $4 million and is running competitively in this open seat.
- Connecticut: 2010 candidate Linda McMahon is once again running in this open-seat (again) and after pouring $50 million (!!!!) into her last campaign, she has $14 million right now (….with a $12 million loan)
If you ask me (and you did, because you’re still reading), I think more female Senators and U.S. Representatives is extremely good for this country. Female legislators tend to be less interested in partisan combat, more likely to cross the aisle, and bring a fresh perspective to Congress, often as leaders of households. Again, no jokes.
Oh and how many female Senators will there be in 2013? 16 is this man’s guess.
Those who know me know I supported Hillary Clinton in 2008 and Michele Bachmann in 2012. It is time for a woman to serve as President. Who will be the first female President, you ask me? (Which again, you did!) Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. In 2020.
The only thing more split this year than Presidential Election polling is Senate polling. The House is almost assuredly going to stay Republican due to redistricting and a sizable majority. Will the Senate finally turn red after Republicans (read: Tea Party) blew it in 2010?
Let’s take a look:
- Arizona: Sen. John Kyl is retiring after three terms and serving as Minority Whip this session. US Rep. Jeff Flake is taking on former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (who served under President George W. Bush). State demographics would tilt this Democrat due to the high Hispanic population, but Arizona also has a sizable Mormon population and low-Hispanic turnout. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
- California: Three term Senator Dianne Feinstein is up this year and will face Autism advocate and former IBM Cost Analyst Elizabeth Emken. The latest field poll shows Feinstein polling way below Obama and only up 12% on Emken. But California is California and even in a wave election, the GOP couldn’t touch Boxer last cycle. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Connecticut: Independent (and perpetual thorn in the side of both parties) Joe Lieberman is retiring. 2010 GOP nominee Linda McMahon of WWE fame and Dem. Rep. Chris Murphy will face off after defeating opposition by 75% of the vote. Despite spending ten million dollars in 2010, McMahon couldn’t even take the open seat. I don’t think she has a chance this year barring a Romney blowout. MODERATE DEM LEAN/DEM PICKUP
- Delaware: Two-term Sen. Tom Carper is up against…who? STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Florida: Two-term Sen. Bill Nelson faces an uphill battle with strong headwinds in a presidential year. He will face U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV. A strong candidate in Mack and a tough year for Nelson makes this a top 5 race. Whichever presidential candidate wins FL, so goes the Senate race. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
- Hawaii: An open seat, Democratic U.S. Rep Maze Hirono will face former Republican Gov. Linda Lingle. Lingle is a strong candidate, but having to go against President Obama at the top of the ticket in his home state. It’ll take a massive effort but it is not in her favor. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Indiana: Now an open race, Richard Murdock knocked off longtime incumbent Richard Lugar on the GOP side. For the Dems, U.S. Rep Joe Donnelly will face him. Obama won’t win Indiana again, but something about this race bothers me. WEAK GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Maine: Sen. Olympia Snowe surprised the political world with her retirement. A shoo-in for reelection, it now falls to a threeway race: State Sen. Cynthia Dill for the Dems, State Sec. of State Charles Summers for the GOP, and former Gov. Angus King as an Independent. King has not announced who he will caucus with, but the Democratic Senate Committee is pretty sure he’ll caucus with the Dems and has given no backing to Dill. It’s still Maine….MODERATE DEM LEAN/DEM PICKUP
- Maryland: First-term Sen. Ben Cardin faces former USSS Agent Daniel Bongino. Never heard of him and I doubt voters have either. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Massachusetts: THE race of the year. Incumbent Sen. Scott Brown faces the Harvard-educated, liberal activist Elizabeth Warren. A lot of money has been raised and the polls are razor thin. Tie goes to the incumbent. TOSSUP/HOLD
- Michigan: Two-term incumbent Debbie Stabenow faces former U.S. Rep Pete Hoesktra, famous for his oddly racist ad against China and Senator “Spend-it-Now” (lol). His only chance is a Romney blowout. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Minnesota: Incumbent Amy Klobuchar faces Ron Paul-ite Kurt Bills, State Rep. and an economics teacher. Sen. Klobuchar has kept her nose down and her name out of the news, so she’s good for a second term. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Mississippi: Incumbent Roger Wicker will face…someone named Al Gore, Jr. (Don’t ask me how he’s a “Jr,” he looks about 112 and…no relation to another Gore). Okay then…STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Missouri: One-term incumbent Claire McCaskill will face U.S. Congress Todd Akin, who won over Palin-endorsed State Treasure Sarah Steelman and “endorsed by everyone else” John Brunner. A lot of trouble for Sen McCaskill, despite weaker than expected opposition. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
- Montana: Incumbent Jon Tester will face Rep. U.S. Rep Danny Rehberg. This is a surprisingly close race in a state as red as Montana, but in the end, I think Rehberg rides Romney’s coattails to Washington. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
- Nebraska: Sen. Ben Nelson retired (because he had no chance of winning). Former Senator Bob Kerrey flew back from New York to run in his place. Deb Fischer came from third to first behind Sarah Palin’s help and will fly to Washington D.C. as the next Senator. STRONG GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
- Nevada: Sen. Dean Heller will face ethics-plagued U.S. Rep. Shelly Berkley. Despite the state’s Obama lean, Berkley is in serious trouble over the ethics complaint. Heller wins due to incumbency. MODERATE GOP LEAN/HOLD
- New Jersey: Incumbent Bob Menendez will face State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos. Menendez is not terribly popular but should win, barring a miracle Romney pickup of NJ behind Chris Christie’s help. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
- New Mexico: Open race time! Another top 5 tossup. U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich for the Dems and former U.S. Rep Heather Wilson for the GOP. Polls show neither candidate with a significant lead outside the MoE. Hold for now. TOSSUP/HOLD
- New York: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will go up against Attorney Wendy Long. Gillibrand has New York and Schumer behind her. Romp. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- North Dakota: Sen. Kent Conradt is retiring, leading to another open-race tossup. For the GOP, U.S. Rep Rick Berg; for the Dems, former State AG Heidi Heitkamp. She’s a good candidate, but ND is red, red, red. MODERATE GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
- Ohio: Incumbent Dem. Sen Sherrod Brown will face State Treasurer Josh Mandel. Mandel, who looks like he just graduated HS, is a money-raising machine, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out how Brown is the favorite. Yet, he is, barring an Romney romp of 5 or more points. WEAK DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Pennsylvania: Incumbent Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. is not his father, but Keystone residents think he is. Either way, businessman Tom Smith is a no one. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Rhode Island: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (sweet name) will face…someone. Whatever. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Tennessee: Incumbent Sen. Bob Corker is facing…someone. Whatever. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Texas: This was the premier matchup on the GOP side after incumbent Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison decided not to run again. Former State Solicitor General Ted Cruz defeated Lt. Governor David Dewhurst in a run-off. Texas…red…STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Utah: Sen. Orrin Hatch managed to be renominated (by a lot) and will face…someone. This is the reddest state in the country. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
- Vermont: Incumbent Bernie Sanders (self described democratic socialist) will face…who cares. STRONG DEM (SOCIALIST) LEAN/HOLD
- Virginia: The race of all races this year. Incumbent Jim Webb retired, setting up a fight between former Gov. and DNC Chair Tim Kaine and former US Senator George Allen who wants his seat back. Kaine runs a point or so better than Obama, but like Florida, he who wins the state wins the seat. Give me Allen right now. TOSSUP/GOP PICKUP
- Washington: Incumbent Maria Cantwell will face State Rep and veteran Michael Baumgartner. Washington was fool’s gold for the GOP in 2010 and even though Cantwell is not very popular, she will win. MODERATE DEM LEAN/HOLD
- West Virginia: 2010 rematch, incumbent Joe Manchin against businessman John Raese. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Manchin will win, but he’ll be a Republican by 2013/14. Book it. STRONG DEM LEAN/HOLD
- Wisconsin: Another open-race tossup party! Former Gov and HHS Tommy Thompson, who was a reformer but being a reformer was cool, will face U.S. Rep Tammy Baldwin. Wisconsin has been the epicenter of politics in 2012 (recall…Rep. Paul Ryan…battleground) and Thompson is way popular. WEAK GOP LEAN/GOP PICKUP
- Wyoming: Did you know John Barrasso is the Senator from Wyoming? He will still be the Senator from Wyoming in 2013. STRONG GOP LEAN/HOLD
So there you have it. By my estimate, the next Senate will be 53-47 GOP control. The hapless KY Senator Mitch McConnell will be Senator Majority Leader. Woohoo? For no one.