2008 US Elections: Shake Hands and Come Out Fighting

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Kimball_Kinnison, Jul 6, 2008.

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  1. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    At the request of the mods, we are launching a new elections thread. Rather than focus on the usual Presidential elections, because we all know that they will get discussed anyways, let's take a look at some of the other elections coming up this year.

    First of all, please try to remember that this is the Senate. All are welcome to post here in this thread, but we do try to focus on a little more substance than other forums do. Try to keep the "Ra, ra! Ron Paul!" (or whatever other candidate you might favor, up to and including Obama or McCain) posts to a minimum, and sources for your information never go out of style. ;)

    With that said, we have 33 Senate seats up for election this year. Of those, there are 5 retiring Senators, all of them Republicans. Rather than cut and paste all of that information here, you can find a full list (including several predictions) at Wikipedia.

    We also have 11 governors up for election, at least 2 of them cannot run for reelection.

    The entire House of Representatives is also up for election. So far, 33 members have announced their retirement, and another 3 have already lost their reelection bids.

    Oh, and did I mention that some yahoos are running for President, and haven't told us who they want to be their Vice Presidents yet?

    Remember, no hitting below the belt. Keep it clean, or at least don't let anyone catch you fighting dirty. Now, shake hands, and come out fighting!

    Kimball Kinnison
  2. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    The Gubernatorial election in Washington is going to be interesting, to say the least. Back in '04 Democrat Christine Gregiore took office by 133 votes after three hand-recounts occurred in King County (The most notorious liberal part of the state) each recount finding a few hundred more "misplaced" ballots. Originally, Gregiore lost by 261 votes. Needless to say, this left many Republican and Independent voters who had cast their ballots in favor of Republican Dino Rossi feeling furious.

    While in office, Gregiore oversaw the largest gas tax increase in state history. That money was supposed to be used for transportation improvements, but between her and former Democratic governor Gary Locke, projects are over a decade behind schedule and billions of dollars over-budget. No one was really sure where that gas-tax money went, leading to a successful Citizen's Initiative calling for third-party audits of state government spending.

    Sports fans are furious with her over her failure to allow an emergency bill to be brought to the floor during the last 2007 legislative session. That bill may have been able to keep the NBA Supersonics in Seattle, but as of last week, they are now bound for Oklahoma City.

    The general feeling within the county I live in (Snohomish) is that the overwhelming Democrat majority within the legislature and a Democratic governor have seriously let down the voters. The big-ticket issue is going to be transportation, and the voters are not going to blindly accept any proposals this time around. The state has shown no accountability with monetary resources in ages, and voters are starting to get annoyed as a result. The failure of Proposition One, which had been spearheaded by Gregiore and other local Democrats was soundly shot down, partly due to shoving mass transit down the voter's throats, but mostly due to reckless spending and utter lack of fiscal accountability over the last decade.

    In 2008 Gregiore will be facing off against Dino Rossi once more. 2004 was a bit of a surprise simply due to how close the vote was in a traditionally Democrat-leaning state. 2008 might pose some serious problems for Gregiore. Voters are tired of accountability-free spending, "Nanny-Legislation," and seemingly endless new taxes. Combine all of that with the bitterness that remains from the 2004 election itself, and the recipe for a major upset in the state exists.
  3. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I live in one of those three districts, and this is one of the safest Republican districts in the country. I voted for the man who is going to be our next representative, Jason Chaffetz, and the thing everyone else should know about him is that he basically called for internment camps for illegals. I will not be voting for him in November, but I was glad to replace one clown with another with less seniority to send a message to every other incumbent that none of them are safe, even if Uncle Orrin Hatch says I'm stupid for doing so.
  4. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    As Wiki states, Mark Warner is expected to take over for John Warner (no relation) in Virginia. This means that in two years, Virginia's Senate delegation will have gone from two Republicans to two Democrats, which is pretty remarkable. Although I would still chalk it up to local rather than national trends.
  5. Soviet_Canuckistan Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2006
    I was watching a feature on CNN the other day on how closely Canadians are watching events south of the border. One of Obama's goals, and I believe McCain has mentioned it once or twice as well, is 'to restore America's reputation in the world'. My question to Americans is this: at the end of the day, how important will this issue be? Does the average American care what the rest of the world thinks of his country?

    - Soviet Canuckistan
  6. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    I'll be honest, I'm more concerned with the cost of food and gas prices than what the rest of the world thinks about my country right now.
  7. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Amen to that.

    To the washingtonians who have posted above:

    Do you think that the irritation with local democrats means Obama can't win Washington? How does he poll there?

    Peace,

    V-03
  8. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    The stereotype is that this issue is polarized between angry gun-toting rednecks who flip France the bird and wear the perceived disapproval of the world like a badge of honor, and latte-sipping coastal elitists who desperately crave the approval of the international audience and will loudly bemoan our perceived loss of standing to guests at their fashionable cocktail parties. I think there's an element of truth to those stereotypes but it's probably important not to overstate them.
  9. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Personally, I feel rather annoyed with the whole idea that I should vote so that people in other countries will like the U.S. better. Its a really dumb reason to vote a particular way.
    I'm going to vote for the person that is least incompetent, not who is going to make me more popular. Either on a personal level, or a global level.

    I've also found that other countries really don't have a full picture of what is going on in the elections here. Canada may be more complete, but I think it was last summer as the primary stuff was starting, I'd seen coverage in Australia say that McCain's poll numbers were so low because of his support for Iraq. Ignoring that the actual serious issue for McCain with the Republican base was illegal immigration, and that all the other Republicans had fairly similar stances on Iraq.
  10. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    The local problems, at least from what I can tell, have not harmed Obama's chances measurably. Obama will still clean up in Seattle.

    Rossi, though, will likely win the governorship.

    That said, Obama seems to have a problem with his base on FISA-NSA/telecom immunity:
    For details, check out "Can Barrack Obama Survive His FISA-NSA Flip-Flop?" at Strata-sphere.com.
  11. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Do you really think his base (which includes people like me) is going to abandon him in November? I think not. What's the alternative? McCain? Surely you jest.
  12. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I'm figuring, while Obama's base might not like some of the moves..... when even they realise that Obama is a standard politician full of doublespeak, they'll abandon any ideological high horses they're currently on but still support him because he's still 'their' standard politician. And thus, we'll still be at politics as usual.

    Interesting column from Rasmussen about polling data: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/the_value_of_party_weighting_for_a_tracking_poll
  13. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    A lot of people were speculating earlier that Jim Webb may be Obama's VP, but he has now officially turned that down to continue his work in the Senate.

    http://thepage.time.com/2008/07/07/cross-webb-off-obama-veep-list/

    EDIT: Jim, not Kim! :p Are the boards super slow and glitchy for anyone else?
  14. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4

    I'll echo what JediSmuggler said. Obama will likely win Washington through the King County vote, but Rossi stands a very good chance of winning the Gubernatorial election simply because Gregiore has become the face of a faulty state government.
  15. Leto II Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2000
    star 6
    I wonder if there is something else going on in removing his name from consideration. I think Obama may have already settled on a name, or at least a very short list that does not include Webb. Webb's name has gotten a lot of buzz lately. He may have said what he said to shift the buzz elsewhere, and minimize the disappointment amongst the Dems and from the press when he's not picked as the running-mate.
  16. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2006
    star 5
    I agree with KnightWriter. Although I may not like Obama's new stance on telecom immunity, I will still vote for him and I'm reasonably sure I am considered part of his base.
  17. Soviet_Canuckistan Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Considering how tenuous the Democrats's control of the Senate is, Obama's probably wary of bringing too many of them into his administration. Also, Virginia's not a safe state for the Democrats. It'd be a big risk to remove Webb.

    Personally, I'd like to see Bill Richardson as Vice-President or, better yet, Secretary of State.
  18. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Democratic control of the Senate should be far from tenuous for at least two years. Democrats stand to gain several seats in November. Ideally, the party could then kick Lieberman's sorry ass out of the caucus for good.

    Personally, I'd like to see Bill Richardson as Vice-President or, better yet, Secretary of State.

    Richardson would be a disastrous pick as a VP.
  19. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    Franken has just about imploded in Minnesota. The tax woes and his comedic material are coming from the past to bite him hard. Norm Coleman will probably have another six years at this rate. That was probably the Dems' best chance for a pickup, given Coleman's win in 2002 being very close.

    Lieberman may be the one with the last laugh, I think. I can't help but note that Obama's ditching a lot of his positions... and his multiple answers on Iraq in one day did not look good. If there is no change in the Senate (which could be likely, I think Landrieu could lose in Louisiana and I think McCain will win New Hampshire, putting Sununu over the top - I'll be charitable and give the Dems New Mexico and Oregon), then the Dems will need Lieberman much more than he needs them.
  20. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Uh, Oregon will be a landslide for Obama, Smuggler.
  21. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    It seems Mr. Obama is peeving off the left wing editorial purists with his phony shift to the center, because no politician can win on the national level on a direct progressive platform.

    But, that makes him a typical politician, something he has always been.
  22. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Glenn Greenwald laid out a well reasoned case for why Obama should run as a true liberal, and why the country is ready for it. Not entirely sure I agree, but he's a smart guy.
  23. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    KW, that was almost my exact point over in the JCC thread. Now, I'd say that my conclusions are different than Greenwald's conclusions, but my observation is the same.

    At least you realized the difference in tone I was trying to illusate with regards to Obama's campaign and didn't jump on the "what, his platform have always been the same..." bandwagon. If Greenwald has his way, it would be a truly interesting race, which would also represent valid alternatives.
  24. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    But, that makes him a typical politician, something he has always been.

    Just out of curiosity, hasn't every Presidential candidate or for that matter every President been a typical 'politician'. I don't know US history very well but I'm sure there has never been a 'Jack Ryan' type President. Has there?
  25. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Its more that Obama had been trying to present himself as a new kind of politician. That he'd represent some fashion of change. I mean, I'm not talking about McCain being a typical politician in large part as I don't think the case is trying to be made that he's not.
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