Category Archives: US Senate 06

Kennedy bucks Bush in favor of more conservative Republicans

Several of the assertions in Mark Kennedy’s funny 30 second spot have been gnawing at me and I just realized what one of them was. His campaign ad makes much of his independence from the President in order to imply that he is a moderate. Yet one of the issues he touts as showing his disagreement with the President is not liberal at all. Whereas Bush supported No Child Left Behind Kennedy opposes it. His ad is meant to make voters think that this must mean he’s much less conservative than Bush. Not hardly. NCLB has had conservatives gritting their teeth since it was introduced. Its big government write large. Its “liberal” in its interference with local affairs and by throwing money and regulations at problems.  By not supporting the President Mark Kennedy is showing that when his President starts acting liberal he will oppose him.

Kennedy poll numbers

The Minnesota Poll which is routinely panned by the State GOP shows Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy trailing his DFL opponent, Amy Klobuchar, by a whopping 20%. It should be remembered that the GOP rebuffed Rod Grams as a has-been when he began agitating to regain the seat that was taken from him six years ago by the retiring Mark Dayton. Kennedy was the GOP man on the move but his poor showing is striking and one more sign that the Bush and Delay Republicans have soured Minnesotans. If Kennedy’ the rising star, is falling so short statewide what does this portend for Rod Grams? Perhaps the exSenator’s private polls are more promising but I doubt it. 

My bet with Will

I had lunch with my old buddy Jerry and Will Munger Jr. today. We got talking about the race for Congress in the 8th District and I said that Oberstar was lucky that Grams picked such a crumby year for Republicans to run against him. When he asked me how much Oberstar would win by I predicted that it would be less than 60%.

Will asked how come. I said that Grams would campaign hard name recognition and money and that Oberstar was a poor campaigner. I said that prognosticators who kept pointing out that Oberstar hadn’t gotten less than 65% of the vote since his 59% showing in 1992 didn’t appreciate how weak his opponants had been since 1992. Off hand I can’t remember a single one of his more recent challengers.

Will bet me a dinner that Grams wouldn’t get more than 40% of the vote. I told him that I’d be willing to bet that Oberstar wouldn’t get 60%. I pointed out that the difference was that I expected there could be an independent candidate in which case neither Grams or Oberstar would make that percentage. Will said he’d probably lose the bet. I hope so. I’d like a free meal.

As for 1992. I remember that election very well. I was an independent candidate running aginst both the Republican, Phil Herwig, and Oberstar. I got 7 percent of the vote and a fellow named Floyd Henspetter got 3%. I stopped running when the local Ross Perot people got mad at me. I’d listed my party as the “Perot Choice” party. I hadn’t asked anybody’s permission so that riled them up. this year I figure an independent candidate could do even better. Its likely to be an anti-incumbent election.

US Senate Races

Here’s a site that handicaps the Senate Races in the 06 elections.

And here’s some of what it says about the Virginia Race:

Suddenly, this one has turned interesting. It is not so much that Republican Senator George Allen is not still favored for reelection. Rather, he has two ardent, energetic Democratic foes who will face off against each other in a June 13 Democratic primary: wealth business man Harris Miller and former Reagan Navy Secretary Jim Webb. Miller seems to be the choice of a good portion of the Democratic Party establishment, while Webb is viewed as a high-risk/high-reward opponent for Allen. It is far from clear which one will actually win the nomination.

What is clear is that Allen is continuing to campaign across the country for the presidency in 2008, and to run simultaneously for reelection in Virginia. This is beginning to attract substantial criticism. . .

Scots-Irish vote?

Popular Republican Senator George Allen commands a 20 percent lead in the Virginia polls right now. His likely Democratic challenger is the prolific author and former Secretary of the Navy, Jim Webb. I checked out Webb’s website and found an article which I was particularly interested in because my Mother always called herself “Scotch-Irish” which makes me at least partially Scotch Irish too.

Martin Marty the Lutheran historian once described Catholics as America’s Jews (in terms of the discrimination they faced) and no peoples were more Catholic than the Irish. (BTW In two weeks I’ll be attending my niece and God daughter’s first commissioningwhich will make her eligible to participate in the Catholic communion) Irish riots were quite common throughout US history and included the huge draft riots in New York City during the Civil War.

The protestant Scots who were settled in Ireland by the British to fight the Catholic Irish moved en mass to America a little before the Catholic Irish and settled throughout the Applachians. Like my Scotch Irish forbears they were quick to distinguish themselves from the late arriving Irish Catholics.

Webb wrote a book about the Scots Irish which I recall paging through at Barnes and Nobles a year or two ago. He summarizes Scot-Irish history here in a brief analysis on how the Democrats could win them back from the Republicans. Webb may be a little too red blooded for some Democrats but if they want to take the Senate back they’ll have to root for him.