September 23, 2004


The Senate's New Blood? (Arianna Huffington, Arianna Online)

The passion invested by the Democratic faithful in taking back the White House has meant that not enough has been said about the imperative of taking back control of the place John Kerry will hopefully be leaving — the United States Senate.

If Kerry is the next occupant of the Oval Office, he will need legislative muscle to undo the disastrous policies of the Bush administration, which have damaged our economy, degraded our environment, added millions to the roll of America's uninsured, and seriously undermined our national security. No executive order can reverse all that.

And if — close your ears, kids — Bush is actually able to scare his way to re-election, a Democratic Senate will be the only thing standing in the way of a second term all-out assault on America's working families, and the implementation of a radical right-wing social agenda. Don't forget, the next president will probably end up appointing at least a couple of Supreme Court justices — and Bush has made it clear that he'd fill any vacancies with clones of Antonin Scalia. See ya later, Roe vs. Wade; nice knowing ya, civil liberties. Don't forget to turn your clocks back a hundred years.

The good news is that the Democrats actually have a pretty good shot at turning Bill Frist into the Senate Minority Leader. (Don't you love the ring of that?)

In looking at the Senate races Democrats can win, I focused on the three open seats currently held by retiring Republicans in Illinois, Colorado and Oklahoma. In each of these states, the Democrats are putting forth a candidate — Barack Obama in Illinois, Ken Salazar in Colorado, and Brad Carson in Oklahoma — capable of bringing a new type of leadership to Washington.

Mr. Obama is as good as elected, but the odds against the President winning the election and losing control of the Senate are astronomical--meaning Mr. Obama will more than likely be the only Democratic freshman in a large class come January. Consider only the likelihood that the President will win OK by twenty points and CO by 10% and you get a sense of the obstacle that faces even good Democratic candidates. Meanwhile, add AK to the list of difficult Republican holds and it is counterbalanced just by the five open seats that the Democrats have to try and hold against a massive Republican tide in the South. Then you get to their weak incumbents--SD, WI, WA, NV, etc.. Their exposure is simply too great for them to have any realistic shot at retaking the Senate while they face at least a possibility of a 1980/1994 level blowout.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 23, 2004 12:02 PM

Wasn't Arianna a Republican? the tone of the article is pure NY Dem snark.
With little more than a month to go I still believe the result will be +4 GOP for the Senate and possibly more. GA/IL offset, GOP barely holds AK, CO, OK, and picks up SC, FL, LA, and NC or SD. And NC/SD, WI, WA, and CA can't be ruled out. Hard to see how the Dems regain the Senate unless there is an enormous change in the tone of this election campaign before 11/2.

Posted by: AWW at September 23, 2004 12:26 PM

Arianna was a sorta, kinda, married-to-one type Republican. Well before the '00 election, she began to identify herself as a "recovering Republican" and adopted her current Maureen-Dowd-with-a-Greek-accent schtick.

[sarcasam] Personally, I think her career has been all downhill ever since Green Acres was cancelled. [/sarcasam]

Posted by: Mike Morley at September 23, 2004 12:41 PM

It turns out that both Arianna and Michael weren't really GOP or Dem; they go wherever they're most likely to be invited to dine with the fat cats, and in return, they say whatever they're asked to say.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at September 23, 2004 12:50 PM

Arianna's a twit.

Posted by: Andrew X at September 23, 2004 1:07 PM

Her biography of Picasso is outstanding.

Posted by: oj at September 23, 2004 1:24 PM

Picasso was a twit, too.

[span class=AndrewRooneyClone] Did you ever wonder why Arianna gets on Larry King so much like she's someone important, especially after the recall election, when she got, like, fewer votes than Gary Coleman? [/span]

Posted by: Mike Morley at September 23, 2004 1:43 PM


Which she proves devastatingly in her bio of him. It's delightfully savage.

Posted by: oj at September 23, 2004 1:49 PM

She's like a female Jim Jeffords. She never really was a Republican and now she's really not a Republican. What's the difference? Just a name.

Posted by: Governor Breck at September 23, 2004 2:18 PM


Glad to hear that. It's nice to know that Arianna got something right for once.

Posted by: Mike Morley at September 23, 2004 2:48 PM

I don't recall Arianna being very political when she was married to Republican Mike Huffington. It wasn't until she divorced him that she turned into a radical liberal. Perhaps, she always was and just kept her mouth shut.

During Mike Huffington's '94 Senate campaign, I vaguely remember something about Diane Feinstein criticizing Arianna for belonging to some kind of a cult. Does anybody remember that? I could be wrong, but I am not sure.

Posted by: Vince at September 23, 2004 3:35 PM

>...something about Diane Feinstein criticizing
>Arianna for belonging to some kind of a cult.

I remember that, too. Don't remember which cult, though. We have so many of them out here in SoCal.

What I remember is her exchange with Schwarzenegger in that debate, and the future Governator's smackdown -- "I tink I haff a part for you in Terminator 4."

Posted by: Ken at September 23, 2004 3:54 PM

Coors is not going to win Colorado. I have lived here all my life, and Salazar appears to be unstoppable. I think Bush will get our 9 EC votes, though.


Posted by: Stephen at September 23, 2004 6:34 PM

Didn't Michael Huffington go homosexual? Can you blame him?

Posted by: AC at September 23, 2004 8:25 PM