Friday, June 15, 2007

Lose Cruise: Unpopular Sen Raises $ For Our Vulnerable One

Thank goodness that while Gordo works very hard to burnish his moderate image among Oregonians, ultimately he can't escape the fact that he's a member of the Bush-enabling crew who have put us in this handbasket the last six years. So while he's personally richer than 90 of his colleagues, there's no sense in putting that money into his re-election race if someone else will do it for him--and apparently it doesn't really matter who that someone is. From the increasingly on-the-ball DPO:
Voting to continue funding the Iraq War last month was not enough of a slap in the face to Oregonians for U.S. Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR).

Now he’s bringing in a fellow Bush loyalist and ardent Iraq War supporter to bolster his campaign coffers.

United States Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will raise campaign funds for Smith on a cruise tomorrow evening on the Willamette River.

“Rather than using their seats of power to resolve Iraq and end this war, senators Smith and McConnell continue to support President Bush and continue to fund the Iraq War,” DPO Chair Meredith Wood Smith said. “Before they board that boat on Saturday, Smith and McConnell should apologize for continuing to fund this war and pledge to stop funding this conflict.”

McConnell’s blind support for President Bush and the Iraq War mirror Smith’s record.

Both Smith and McConnell vote with President Bush at least 90 percent of the time, according to Congressional Quarterly.

And McConnell – unlike Smith - is honest about it.

While Smith publicly claims to oppose the war, but then votes for it, McConnell votes for the war and is open about his unrelenting commitment to staying in Iraq. [emph mine]
If you aren't a total politics junkie like we are, you might not know that McConnell is starting to struggle in his home state of Kentucky. Oregon's own John Singer at national blog MyDD has the scoop:
...McConnell is in much worse of a position than many might imagine a Republican from a state seemingly trending towards the GOP might be. To get an idea of this, just take a look at the skewed polling McConnell commissioned to make people believe he is in a stronger position than he is actually in. Safe incumbents just don't do this type of thing. What's more, not only does McConnell have troubles broadly within the Kentucky electorate, he also potentially faces a primary challenge, indicating a possibly underwhelming level of support from within his own party.

So regardless of whether Kentucky Democrats settle on Stumbo -- or businessman Charlie Owen, former congressional candidate Andrew Horne (both of whom Gerth mentions in his article) or someone else -- the Democrats have a real shot at defeating Mitch McConnell this cycle. And at the least, there is a clear opportunity for giving McConnell a good enough scare that he has to curtail his obstructionism and stay at home in his state rather than travel and raise money for other candidates.
Well, apparently he's not TOO scared just yet; the Willamette stands to get a little sludgier this weekend. But the mere fact that he's coming means that a) the NRSC likely thinks he needs to; and b) look who Gordo is turning to, in order to fill his campaign chest. If Bush came to raise money for him, people would understandably be turned off. Mitch McConnell is THE paramount defender of the President's policies for his Senate caucus, and is essentially the #3 man in the party. Isn't having one of the President's prime proxies come to town almost as bad as the real deal?

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