2006 Elections - Stretch Drive
Tomorrow is election day and as is expected each party is trying to shore up their base and make last ditch efforts to convince undecided voters.
In this mornings USA Today, there are editorials from the national chairmen of both major parties. Here is the editorial from the RNC's Ken Mehlman and here is the one from the DNC's Howard Dean. Judge for yourself, but I see Mehlman's piece being a positive review of past accomplishments and future goals. Dean's editorial is more a list of complaints with no plan for the future.
Despite not having his own name on the ballot, Joe Negron appears to have a very real chance of winning Foley's old seat. If Democrats can't even win win Foley's seat after he had to resign in disgrace maybe the predictions of national doom and gloom were overstating the case.
If you are looking for one website to follow all the election news then Real Clear Politics is the place for you. No other website has as much election coverage. The way they summarize polling data is very useful and easy to read.
Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette makes the case for reelecting Sen. Rick Santorum. Santorum is the incumbent senator in danger who I'm most concerned about losing. No one on the political scene is consistently true to his core beliefs. He is not the sort to wait for polling data to determine his position on an issue.
The three GOP senators thought to be in the deepest kimchee are Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. The republic would miss Mr. DeWine only a little, and Mr. Chafee not at all. Rick Santorum is another story. Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, among others, has attested to his effectiveness as a senator. New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote, "I could fill this column, if not this entire page, with a list of ideas, proposals and laws Mr. Santorum has poured out in the last dozen years."Manuel Miranda of Human Events also urges voters to keep Santorum and warns people that his opponent, Bob Casey Jr. is a trojan horse.
On the stump, Mr. Santorum has been sounding Churchillian. If President Bush spoke as clearly and forcefully about the threat we face and how we should deal with it, he'd be more popular, and we'd be safer.
Pennsylvanians may think that voting for Bob Casey Jr. is a viable alternative to Santorum because Casey is Catholic and pro-life. You are wrong. Casey has already told you that. He said the life issue will not be central to what he will do in the Senate. New York’s Sen. Chuck Schumer’s has told you also. Schumer told big liberal donors that Casey would vote with him to block judges. And as Schumer added, “that is the whole ball of wax.”I've learned that a politician saying he is pro-life means nothing. Several senators who happen to have been raised in Catholic families (Kennedy, Kerry, Durbin, etc) claim to be against abortion, but want to protect a woman's choice to kill her inconvenient child. Don't tell me you're pro-life - tell me you will vote to confirm judges who have read and understand the Constitution.
Of all the conservative bloggers or columnists, Don Surber of the Charleston Daily Mail has been the most consistently optimistic in his predictions for this election. He expects the GOP to hold both houses of congress and really going out on a limb he is predicting the West Virginia legislature will go to the Republicans for the first time in 74 years. He will either be awfully proud or eating a lot of crow on Wednesday.
The Investors Business Daily looks at potential House Speaker Pelosi's choice to chair the House Intelligence Committee - Alcee Hastings. They remind us that Hastings was impeached and removed from the bench as a federal judge for taking bribes. Why is Pelosi likely to pick Hastings over the current ranking Democrat (Jane Harman) on the committee? Because Harman has committed the unpardonable sin of not being partisan enough in dealing with national security. This committee already has a bad reputation for leaking sensitive information for domestic political gain.
While Keith Olbermann of MSNBC (yes, they are still broadcasting even if no one is watching) is hoping to emulate journalistic legend Edward R. Murrow this column from the Daily Inter Lake believes he more closely resembles the cartoon character Max Headroom. If the Republicans retain both houses of congress it will almost be worth watching his show to see if he will have a breakdown right on the air.
I'll come up with other predictions later, but here is one I can make with no hesitation. There will be a new speaker of the house regardless of which party has a majority. By most accounts, Rep. Dennis Hastert is a good guy. Doesn't matter. He is in a leadership position and failed to lead. When Bob Ney plead guilty to corruption charges Hastert should have insisted that Ney resign immediately. When Rep. William Jefferson was caught with $90,000 in marked money from a federal bribery sting, did Hastert demand that Jefferson resign? NO, Hastert saved his indignation for the federal agents carrying out a warrant to search Jefferson's office. The right to hide evidence in congressional offices was more important to Hastert than the need to root out corruption. If Hastert had shown real leadership over the last few years the GOP would not be in danger of losing their majority. If we are going to say we aren't like the bums in the other party then we have to act like it. Our problems in maintaining the majority have nothing to do with policy issues and everything to do with elected Republicans behaving in the manner we've always criticized Democrats for doing (corruption, arrogance, spending, etc). Regardless of his good intentions, Hastert needs to be replaced. The number of seats lost on Tuesday will have a lot to do with who is in best position to challenge Hastert for the leadership position. If I had to guess today I'd put my money on Mike Pence.