The mud has started to fly. A key Republican strategy will be to
Michelle Obama as unpatriotic. This could backfire though
if women rally to Michelle's side and are turned off by the Republicans attacking
someone who is not running for office herself. Fetch your buckets, everyone. Here it comes.
NRSC chairman Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) said that he
to keep his losses in the Senate to eight seats, max. Not exactly optimistic talk.
Usually guys charged with winning back control of the Senate say they are going to win
half a dozen seats, not lose up to eight. He probably has already conceded Virginia,
New Hampshire, Colorado, and New Mexico, and is worried silly about Alaska, Maine, Oregon,
and Minnesota. That makes eight.
And then there is Roger Wicker's seat in Mississippi which is not supposed to be competitive but
which polls show to be a statistical tie.
To follow the Senate contests, click on the "Senate map and races"
link to the right of the map. It is updated whenever there are new Senate polls.
we looked at all the previous Veep nominees over the past 60 years and
possible Veep candidates among Democratic female senators.
Today let's look at women governors for potential Veep material.
Ruth Minner (D-DE) is the nation's longest serving female governor.
She has been in elected office since 1974, serving in the state house, the state
senate, as lieutenant governor and since 2001 as governor. Her experience is
clearly a strength but at 73, she is older than John McCain. A nonstarter. One
footnote however, Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) is a potential Veep (or potential
Secretary of State) and in the event of his resignation from the Senate, she can
be counted on to appoint a Democrat to the Senate.
Christine Gregoire (D-WA) (61) won an extremely narrow victory in 2008,
actually losing initially and after the first recount. This makes her look like
a weak candidate in a Democratic state. Obama needs to project strength, so she's an
unlikely running mate.
Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) is a young (49) dynamic woman from a state that
has been hit hard economically. Her presence on the ticket would be a signal to
both women and blue collar workers that Obama cares about them. Her main drawback is
that she is not constitutionally eligible to be President and hence not Vice President:
she was born in Vancouver, Canada. So while she could serve in Obama's cabinet, she
can't be Veep.
It would take a constitutional amendment to make her eligible.
The Republicans might actually be willing to vote for such an
amendment, however, with the Austrian-born California governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger in mind. But the process takes much too long
since 38 states have to ratify it after Congress has passed the
amendment (with 2/3 of each chamber voting for it).
Speaking of Schwarzenegger, here is a picture from the
of his front lawn.
Why two signs? His wife, Maria Shriver, is a member of the Kennedy clan.
Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) is the governor of John McCain's state, Arizona.
At 50, she fits in well with Obama's themes of youth and change. Time magazine once
named her one of the nation's top five governors. A drawback is that against a ticket
headed by McCain, she probably couldn't even win her own state.
Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS) is 60 but looks younger. She moved to Kansas when
she was 26 and was promptly elected to the state legislature. She has served in various
state positions since then. Her father, John Gilligan, was governor of Ohio and her
father-in-law, Keith Sebelius was a congressman, so she comes from a fairly political
environment. Although she probably couldn't win her home state of Kansas, she can
thought of as a Hillary Clinton with the experience but without the divisiveness.
She has gotten along well with the Republicans who control both houses of
the state legislature (75% in the state senate). If Obama wants to
do something to show women that he hears them, Sebelius would be an interesting choice:
a somewhat older, experienced woman with executive experience who doesn't ruffle
feathers. Sebelius is Catholic, which may help somewhat in the rust belt.
She is likely to make the short list in any event.
We have a number of polls today, as follows.
U. of Wisconsin
A new Senate poll in North Carolina puts Sen. Liddy Dole (R-NC) ahead of Kay Hagen (D) 53% to 39%.
Earlier polls had it much closer. This one could yet be competitive. In Oklahoma, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)
is way ahead of challenger Andrew Rice, 53% to 31%.