“What’s on Tim Johnson’s Mind,” by John Schaff, South Dakota Politics, 14 June 2005, http://southdakotapolitics.blogs.com/south_dakota_politics/2005/week24/index.html#a0005173860.
“Herseth,” by Quentin Riggins, South Dakota Politics, 14 June 2005, http://southdakotapolitics.blogs.com/south_dakota_politics/2005/week24/index.html#a0005170580.
A great post on how Tim Johnson, who was always the boring version of Tom Daschle (but, unlike Daschle, actually bested John Thune in a Senatorial election), is acting like he doesn’t want to run for reelection in 2008 (emphasis mine)
Tim Johnson has voted against yet another Bush judicial nominee, Thomas Griffith of Utah, this time aligning himself with a distinct minority of the Democratic far left. Heck, even Dick Durbin voted for this guy, and there isn’t any more partisan Democrat than Dick Durbin. Maybe Sen. Johnson has some good reason for voting against these nominees, but we have yet to hear it. So let me invent a reason. Sen. Johnson is starting to vote like a man who has no intention of running for re-election in 2008. He almost lost last time, he does not have the Daschle patronage, and 2008 will be another presidential year in which this state will likely vote solidly for the Republican nominee. So Johnson is now free to vote his conscience, which is to the left of most South Dakotans. This scenario, naturally, would leave Johnson’s Democratic seat open for 2008. I wonder if there is a Democrat with strong South Dakota ties who might be interested in returning…ahem…I mean joining the U.S. Senate?
Update: NROs Bench Memos has some information as to the importance of the Griffith nomination to the DC circuit. It should be noted that this Brett Kavanaugh fellow that the Democrats will be opposing has been ranked by the ABA as “well qualified” (their highest ranking) by a majority of the rating committee, and the rest of the committee rated him “qualified”.
Yet Another Update: Evidence for my No Johnson in 2008 theory is that Johnson currently only has $15,839 on hand in his election account. I realize that the election is not until 2008, but that is a pretty small number. For example, Norm Coleman from Minnesota is also up for re-election in 2008 and he has over $500,000 in his account, raising $1.7 million last year to Johnson’s $295,000. An unscientific sample of Senators up for re-election in 2008 shows that no one has less money on hand than Tim Johnson.
Tim’s hesitance is understandable, with rumors that Stephanie Herseth wants to join John Thune as Republican Senator from South Dakota…
Dave Kranz says in today’s Argus Leader that Representative Stephanie Herseth’s pro-Republican votes are angering Democrats and raises the possibility of her switching parties:
Some South Dakota Democrats don’t find much humor in Rep. Stephanie Herseth’s increasing number of votes supporting President Bush on key issues. In fact, it is becoming common for doubting Democrats to wonder whether she eventually will switch parties.
That says a lot, coming from the Democratically-inclined Kranz. No votes or issues are mentioned, but they must surely include Herseth’s support for the Patriot Act, her vote in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment, her support for the war in Iraq, her A-rating from the NRA (Daschle had an F), etc… Maybe the state will send a real Republican to Washington to replace Herseth, who now has no power as a thirty-something, first-termer in the minority.