Saturday, November 11, 2006

Post-Election Roundup

By the end of the year, we'll see the jockeying begin for the 2007 races.

In The Fix, Evan Bayh is ranked #4. You know my thoughts on Bayh in 2008. I don't need to preach the choir but I feel that Bayh is our best chance having just helped us take three seats away from the GOP. Beyond that, he had field troops in campaigns outside of Indiana, such as Iowa and New Hampshire.
4. Evan Bayh: One of the unsung winners of Tuesday's election was the senator from Indiana. Bayh spent from his political capital in the Hoosier State to help elect Democrats in the 2nd, 8th and 9th congressional districts. It paid off. All three seats went for Democrats -- providing Bayh with a nice talking point in Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond about the success of his brand of moderate politics. But can a centrist message appeal to the liberal activists who dominate the early presidential voting states? It's a tough road for Bayh, but he is as well-organized as any candidate in the field and has put together an extremely impressive -- and experienced -- staff from top to bottom.
Secretary-designate of Defense Robert Gates was on the "realist" camp when it came to war against Iraq.
Jewish insiders close to the Bush administration said that Gates was chosen because of his contrast with Donald Rumsfeld, the neoconservative whose six years as defense secretary are coming to an end in the wake of the repudiation of Bush’s Iraq policy in the midterm congressional election.
A synogogue in Munich, Germany, was opened on the 68th anniversary of Kristallnacht this past Thursday.

I have to say with regards to our neighbors in Virginia that I am in complete agreement with the hope that the legislature will pass a bill to allow for Governors to run for re-election instead of having to wait another four years to run for Governor again.

I'm prety sure I posted this already but if I did not, let me reiterate the key points it makes:
Luallen, Attorney General Greg Stumbo, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, Louisville businessman Charlie Owen and Louisville lawyer Jack Conway each said yesterday they were considering running for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Brereton Jones, the Democratic governor from 1991-95, did not return phone calls yesterday about the matter.

The first major decision that some are waiting for is that of Ben Chandler, who won re-election as congressman from the 6th District on Tuesday. Luallen, Stumbo, Conway and Abramson said yesterday they will support Chandler if he decides to run.

But Chandler, who lost to Fletcher in 2003, said in an interview last month he would not be inclined to run for governor in 2007 if Democrats took control of the U.S. House in Tuesday's elections -- which they did. Chandler declined to be interviewed yesterday about the governor's race.

Abramson, who won re-election Tuesday with 67 percent of the vote, said he expects to make a decision within two or three weeks.

Abramson said he and his family have talked only in passing about a gubernatorial run. "I'm going to spend the next week or so interacting at the dinner table," he said.

Luallen said she is confident she could win, but, having worked closely with previous Democratic governors, is still considering the potential impact of the race and the job on her family.[...]

Conway said he's considering races for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and Louisville mayor.

He said he may run for governor if his friends -- Chandler, Luallen and Abramson -- do not.

"I'm not going to get crossways with them, but if they decide they're not going to run, I may do it," Conway said.

McBrayer said he will run only if the Democratic Party doesn't quickly field a strong candidate.
Despite losing some other races, Speaker Jody Richards was pleased with the gains made in the House. I still cannot believe we knocked of Rep. Steve Nunn.

Here's more information on the race by way of the Kentucky Post.
Jerry Abramson will decide in the next week or so. Ben Chandler by Thanksgiving. Greg Stumbo by Dec. 1.[...]

The Democrats did indeed win the House. While stopping short of saying Chandler would definitely remain to take advantage of the new atmosphere, his spokeswoman, Jennifer Spalding, said her boss had his eyes on a seat on the powerful Appropriations Committee.

"Congress is going to be a lot different place," Spalding said. "We're looking forward to it."

But Spalding said the House takeover was but one factor in Chandler's decision. Another is family.

Chandler essentially spends three days a week in Washington and four days a week back home in Woodford County with his wife and three children.

Being governor is more of a seven-day-a-week job that totally consumes an official's time, partly because the governor represents all 120 counties, Spalding said. With 16 counties, the 6th District is much more compact, she said.

Spalding said Wednesday that Chandler - widely seen as the Democrats' best hope to take back the Governor's Mansion - will make his decision by Thanksgiving." Meanwhile, he is being lobbied hard by those who want him to stay and those who want him to run for governor.

"I'm ready for it to be over," she said.

Others are too, because their decision depends on Chandler.[...]

In Louisville, Abramson faces the same dilemma. He won re-election overwhelmingly on Tuesday as head of the merged government in Jefferson County but said throughout the campaign people suggested he seek higher office.

"I think I have the tools to be a successful governor. I have the experience, with running the largest county in the state ... I could articulate a vision that would energize folks, and there's no question we would raise the money necessary to win the campaign," he said.

"It's a question of whether you want to do it ... how badly you want it," Abramson said.

He said he would spend the next week or two essentially doing a gut check as he tries to decide whether he wants to spend a year campaigning in the increasingly "toxic atmosphere" of politics and four years governing in a job that consumes every waking moment.

He said his reputation of being "a uniter, not a divider," would serve him well on the campaign trail. Whether he runs will not depend on what other candidates do, he said.

Those close to state Auditor Crit Luallen say she's facing the same decision. Those close to her say she's trying to decide whether she has the ego and ambition for the governor's job. Over the last year or so, she's been talking to civic and business groups in visits around the state in what many see as an attempt to get her name, face and reputation out to the public.

She certainly has the knowledge, with decades of experience as state budget director, state secretary of finance and administration, secretary of the executive cabinet, chairwoman of a government efficiency initiative and president of the Greater Louisville Economic Development Partnership. In that last position, she worked closely with Abramson, and the two have high respect for each other, observers say.

So it's considered unlikely that Abramson and Luallen would run against each other.
The DLC asks what's next for the Democrats.

Senator Joe Lieberman has a message for his colleagues in the Senate: "Call me a Democrat."

Soon to be Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to go forward with the "Six for '06" agenda:
To make our country safer by implementing the 9/11 commission recommendations
To make our economy fairer
To make college and health care more affordable
To move toward energy independence
To guarantee a dignified retirement
To do this in a fiscally sound way with civility, integrity, and bipartisanship.
We're on our way to regaining the values voters.
Either way, the national exit polls told a dramatic story of changing views in the pews: Democrats recaptured the Catholic vote they had lost two years ago. They sliced the GOP's advantage among weekly churchgoers to 12 percentage points, down from 18 points in 2004 congressional races and 22 points in the 2004 presidential contest. Democrats even siphoned off a portion of the Republican Party's most loyal base, white evangelical Protestants.
Will the election results trim the political capital in Congress?

Aside from my usual SNL liveblog and the usual posts dealing with the Wildcats, this blog will mainly focus on politics from here on out.

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