Cao Upsets Jefferson in LA-02
Republican Anh "Joseph" Cao
corrupt nine-term Democrat William Jefferson
in a House runoff in LA-02 yesterday. Jefferson, you may remember, was discovered
to have $90,000 in cold cash in his freezer. Even though the district is D+28 and heavily
black, the voters had enough of Jefferson (who is black) and went for the Republican 50% to 47%.
Cao is the first Vietnamese-American in Congress. This upset comes as a huge surprise to
nearly all observers. Most Democrats are relieved to be rid of Jefferson even if it costs
them a House seat. Cao will have his hands full trying to hold this seat in 2010, especially
if the Democrats can field a popular local black politician.
Fleming Defeats Carmouche in LA-04
Physician John Fleming (R) beat district attorney Paul Carmouche (D)
by 356 votes in
the LA-04 runoff. This is a fairly narrow win considering that the district is R+7,
John McCain took it by 19 points last month, and the NRCC poured $900,000 into the runoff.
Thus the Republicans picked up a net of two House seats yesterday. The remaining open
House districts are VA-05 and OH-15.
Obama Unveils Massive Public Works Project
President-elect Barack Obama released a
of his plan to create 2.5 million
new jobs in what would be the largest public works project since President Dwight Eisenhower
built the interstate highway system in the 1950s. The plan will make public buildings
energy efficient, repair aging roads, renovate schools, and bring broadband Internet
access to rural areas, much as President Franklin Roosevelt brought electricity to rural areas.
Menendez Open to Matthews
Incoming DSCC chairman Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who is succeeding outgoing DSCC
chairman Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY),
he is open to having Hardball host Chris Matthews run for the Democratic nomination against
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) in 2010 (English translation: Go Chris go).
In recent years, the DSCC has endorsed strong candidates in the primaries.
Matthews has good name recognition and a first poll shows that Specter is ahead of Matthews 46% to 43%.
When a five-term senator leads someone who has never held public office and is not even an announced candidate
by only 3 points, that senator has a problem. With Menendez apparently now edging towards backing Matthews,
the odds that Matthews enters the race increases greatly. Also, it is inconceivable that Menendez would
have said a word about this race before speaking with Gov Ed Rendell (D-PA). Menendez' comment suggests
that Rendell is not interested in becoming a senator. However, it is entirely possible that other Democrats
enter the race and there will be a primary.
On the other hand, Political Wire is reporting that Matthews
is going to
a new contract with MSNBC, which would preclude a Senate run, so who knows?
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