Friday, February 6, 2009

Harkin to HHS?

With rumors swirling regarding Iowa’s Junior Senator being considered as a possible replacement for Tax-Dodging Daschle as Obama’s Secretary of HHS nominee, joy bubbles in my veins.

Though Harkin just won re-election, a role in Obama’s administration could offer him the graceful exit he wants for his Senate career and leave his successor’s appointment in the hands of Governor Culver who’s ever malleable in his hands. Who would Culver appoint? Himself? Braley? Gronstal?

The end result? We can certainly expect another D to serve with Senator Grassley, however, they will not have Harkin’s pocketbook, fundraising ability, team, or entrenched support which sadly includes deluded Rs who see dollar signs whenever they see his face.

Let’s hope Harkin gets the nod from Obama and we get the chance to have a heck of a Senate race in five years.

Alleluia. Amen.


Anonymous said...

Would it be 5 years or would it be next year? It is my understanding of our law that the Governor only has the power to make a temporary appointment until the next General election cycle when the vacancy is filled for the remainder of its elected tenure.

Thus, in 2010 we would be looking a 3 major statewide races up for grabs in Iowa in 2010. In that case, 2010 could be the most exciting non-caucus political year in Iowa History.

Think about it. If Harkin's seat is open and held by a weaker Culver appointee, you could see Republicans like Steve King, Tom Latham, Jeff Lamberti and a bunch of the crowd that think Culver is safe and dont want to take him on but still want to move up, could come out in a huge primary for US Senate.

You could also see a big Democrat primary against Grassley as their "golden candidate" they had originally selected to take on Grassley in 2010 would likely simply get Harkins seat by appointment. This would leave a bunch of Democrats going after Grassleys seats now that a growing number of them see him as vulnerable.

Most interesting, a scenario like this could easily put 4 Congressional seats up for grabs.

It has long been speculated that Boswell is on the verge of retirement which probably throws several Democrat and Republican legislators from central Iowa into a primary on both sides.

I dont see how Harkin's seat could come open without Brailey and King getting involved in a primary for that. If those 2 leave, you could see a rematch between Whalen and Dix on our side and a slew of Democrat legislators on their side. While in Western Iowa, the departure of King could leave a big opening to be filled by a mega primary similar to the one we saw for the seat in 2002.

Anonymous said...

I think Culver appoints himself, and I'm OK with that, because Patti Judge will be a lot weaker opponent. Let's hope this happens!

Anonymous said...

Culver would also be much more weak as a Senate candidate than he will be as Governor. I hate to say this but I do not think we can beat Culver in 2010. Most non-partisan reports rate Culver as "safe" which is why I would like to focus on getting back the House and Senate in 2010.

I say let Vander Plaats have his chance. He'll probably lose the General but then again, so would anyone else. The difference is, if Vander Plaats is the sacrifice we arent out anything because he dosent hold an office that the Dems could go after.

John said...

Dream on, not gonna happen. Harkin himself wants Dean. YEEEAH!