Archive for senate majority

Montana's former governor, Brian Schweitzer, will consider campaign to replace Max Baucus


Brian Schweitzer

As Paddy posted earlier, Max Baucus (D-Montana) decided to retire rather than seek re-election in 2014. Buh-bye now.

And hopefully, hello to former Democratic Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer. He told The Hill he'd consider running for Baucus' Senate seat. However, we'll have to wait at least a week or two before we know for sure, because he won't decide until after May 2.

"I'm the kind of guy that, when I see a broke-down pickup, I'll get out with my tools and try to fix it, and I can tell you looking at Washington, D.C., from Montana, there is no bigger broke-down pickup than the Senate in Washington, D.C.," Schweitzer said in an interview, when asked if he was looking at a run to replace Baucus, who announced his retirement Tuesday morning.

Spot. On.

"I'm not ruling anything out, or anything in, but I can tell you right now I'm focused like a laser … I'm focused on the mine, on climbing that mountain... Then I'll take a deep breath; I'll take a look around [at the Senate race]. And when you're standing on a mountain in Montana, you can see a long ways... You can't see where I'm leaning. I'm leaning looking out the window here in the mountains."

Oh come on, rule in! Lean toward a run!

We need someone who would be an improvement over Baucus. (At this point it seems anyone would be.) Remember, ConservaDem Baucus worked with the GOP to co-write the infamous Bush tax cuts and Medicare prescription plan.  He also voted against some Democratic social issues, and he was one of only four Democratic "No" votes on the Manchin–Toomey amendment to extend background checks to private gun sales.

Schweitzer's approvals were good when he left office. Public Policy Polling had him at 56 percent in February, with 37 percent disapproving. He's our best shot.

By the way, here's an interesting tidbit from Dave Weigel:

A key Baucus staffer during that race was Jim Messina, better known now as the 2012 campaign manager for Obama-Biden.


Max Baucus (D-Montana) to retire rather than seek re-election in 2014



Don't let the door hit ya Max. And GO Schweitzer!

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is retiring rather than seek re-election in 2014, according to two senior Democratic strategists familiar with his plans.

First elected in 1978, Baucus has been the top Democrat on the powerful tax-writing committee for more than a dozen years. At times infuriating his Democratic colleagues, he worked with Republicans to co-write the Bush-era tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug plan, but he also served as the lead defender against George W. Bush’s 2005 effort to partially privatize Social Security and played a critical role in writing President Obama’s national health-care plan.

From conservative-leaning Montana, Baucus has voted against Democratic initiatives on some social issues, most recently last week’s effort to create an expanded background check system for gun purchases.

Despite Obama’s double-digit defeat in Montana, Democrats intend to vigorously defend the seat. The leading Democratic candidate is former governor Schweitzer, a popular figure who at times has feuded with Baucus over parochial political issues in the Big Sky state.

The Baucus retirement also could have dramatic policy ramifications. No longer bounded by his own 2014 re-election, Baucus can now push for comprehensive tax reform without concerns about the political ramifications, his allies say.


Roll Call: Iowa Senate race no longer "likely" Democratic, now "leans" Democratic


heads up

Now that Senator Tom Harkin won’t seek a 6th Senate term, Iowa just went from "likely" to "leans" Democratic. Get your wallets ready.

Via Roll Call:

Sen. Tom Harkin’s retirement makes the Iowa Senate seat more competitive by virtue of the six-term Democrat’s departure. Couple that with the Hawkeye State’s competitive nature, and this race could be one of the most targeted of the 2014 cycle.

Accordingly, CQ Roll Call now characterizes the Iowa Senate race as Leans Democratic, after previously rating the contest as Likely Democratic.

On the Republican side we have the possibility of Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham running.

On the Dem side, four-term Congressman Rep. Bruce Braley is a good bet.


AP NewsBreak: Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) won't seek 6th Senate term



Oh oh. Republicans are smiling in Iowa today.

CUMMING, Iowa -- Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin says he will not seek re-election in 2014.

The 73-year-old Harkin tells The Associated Press in an interview, "It's just time to step aside," because by the time he would finish a sixth term, he would be 81.

Harkin said it would also allow a new generation of Democrats to seek higher office.

The announcement comes as a surprise, considering he had $2.7 million in his campaign war chest and was planning a fundraiser next month.

Harkin played a lead role in urging the Senate's more liberal members to back the 2010 health care bill.

No Iowa Republicans have taken formal steps toward seeking the seat. Harkin's decision eases the burden on the GOP, who have to gain six seats to win the majority.