Monday, October 18, 2010

Two Senators To Watch: Lieberman And Nelson

The Democrats may -- I stress may -- retain control of the Senate.
But if they do it's likely that it will be by the barest margin -- one or two votes.
Of course, a 50/50 split (entirely possible) would mean that our hopelessly gaffe-prone Vice President "Regular" Joe Biden would cast the deciding vote. Technically, Dems would still be in charge. But Biden's so hapless (and has become such a joke) it hardly matters.
And a majority of one or two in the Senate is really not a working majority.
So, it's a safe bet that the GOP would seek to convert one or two Democrats to its side to win control and break a virtual deadlock.
Who might jump?
Well, the obvious choice is Senate Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. He leans Republican on many issues. He's never been particularly fond of the Obamas. And he owes the Democrats nothing. Plus, he's not likely to run for re-election anyway, so what does he care?
Lieberman's buddy Senator John McCain is the likely candidate to woo Lieberman to the other side of the aisle.
It won't be easy. Not by a longshot.
But don't rule out a Lieberman switch.
The other Senator to watch is Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska. Times have been tough for Nelson. The ultra-liberal stance of Nelson's party is not playing well in Nebraska and the Semator faces a tough battle when he comes up for re-election again.
If Nelson could pull off a switch to the other party it might mean a new lease on political life for him. Nelson voted "no" on the Kagan nomination and he's been pushing for an extension of all the Bush tax cuts. He's sending signals.
Nelson seems to be talking and acting like a man who doesn't want to be aligned with Obama anymore.
Liberman and Nelson.
These are two to watch
And there may even be one or two others.
Oh yes, interesting days lie ahead . . . .

1 comment:

Josh said...

I agree on Lieberman. As for Ben Nelson, remember how both parties are applying something of a purity test. Arlen Specter tried switching parties for political expediency and it backfired horribly. Parker Griffiths, an Alabama Congressman, tried switching from D to R earlier this year and got crushed in the GOP primary for re-election. Nelson would likely get a very stiff - and perhaps fatal - primary challenge from within the Nebraska GOP if he tried to switch parties.

The only way it would make sense for Nelson to switch parties would be if he did not plan to run for re-election in 2012 anyway. Then he could parlay a switch into a plum leadership role in a GOP-controlled Senate, use that power to curry favor with an interest group during his last two years in office, then have a very cushy landing spot waiting for him in January 2013.