About last night: Over the weekend Emmanuelle Macron’s new En Marche! party got a majority of the seats in the French parliamentary election, coming in at the lower end of expectations.
Tomorrow is special election day. Be sure to check back here at 3p ET today for our preview and at 7p ET tomorrow for our liveblog of the special generals for GA-06 and SC-05. Now, onto the news!
Landrieu: File this one under either ‘columnists don’t understand psephology’ or ‘someone had too many hurricanes on Bourbon Street just before a deadline.’ Apparently, a few Democrats are floating New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s (D) name as a possible presidential candidate. Oy. Here we go. For the next few years we’re going to get just about every reasonably-prominent Democrat in the country who does something half-noteable (in this case, a speech on the removal of Confederate monuments) run through the machinery of the Great Mentioner for at least a week or so. Never mind that Landrieu isn’t even the mayor of a mega-city, let alone a senator, governor, or even a celebrity businessman. No, he’s just the mayor of a reasonably-large city in a country full of them. But, The Hill needs something to write about, and stories about presidential campaigns, real or imagined, get clicks. Expect more of this drivel for a few years. Maybe a few of them will actually make also-ran status.
Kander: …And just as I say that, another one drops. At least this article is more intelligently written than the first one. It’s premise is just as stupid, though. Is former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) a rising star? Yes. Is he making the rounds that presidential hopefuls make? That’s certainly so. Does he have a snowball’s chance in Hades of becoming President this cycle? Hell no (unless he succeeds Sen. Claire McCaskill first). His performance against Sen. Roy Blunt (R) last year was impressive, though some of it can be put down to Blunt’s ineptitude and lack of likability. As the article rightly points out, Kander has nothing to run for that he could conceivably win unless Sen. McCaskill (D) steps aside. Therefore, he’s making the speaking circuit. I doubt it’s about more than keeping himself relevant. Most politicians have delusions of grandeur, but if he believes he’s going to be nominated for President in 2020 with no office in between, someone should stick him in a psych ward. Another day, another DC journalist has a deadline, another ridiculous presidential Great Mentioner story…
GA-06: Ahead of tomorrow’s special election, WSB-TV/Landmark has Han Solo impersonator John Ossoff (D) up two points over former Secretary of State Karen Handel (R). RRH currently rates this race as Lean D.
NE-02: Is former Rep. Brad Ashford (D) a one-term wonder, or a comeback kid? If that was one of the burning questions that you’ve been dying to know, rejoice! You’re probably about to find out. Ashford has announced a revenge run against the man who beat him in 2016, now-Rep. Don Bacon (R). He’s probably the Democrats’ most credible candidate, and could certainly win in a wave. Still, I’m skeptical. Who wouldn’t vote for more bacon?
WA-03: You have to give former State House nominee Teresa Purcell (D) credit for one thing: confidence. Even though she lost a state house seat that Democrats had held for decades and is currently under investigation by the (Democratic) state attorney general for reporting violations, she still wants to run for Congress. If I were Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler (R), though, I’d definitely want Purcell to make Top Two.
KS-Gov: If at first you don’t beat a Democrat in Kansas… try again? Former State Sen. and 2006 gubernatorial nominee Jim Barnett (R) seems to think so. He’s launching a second bid for the office, this time to succeed Gov. Sam Brownback (R).
PA-Gov: This one might be a record. Just days after entering the gubernatorial race, businessman Kris Hart (R) is exiting it. Why, you ask? Because, Pennsylvania has a ludicrous seven-year residency requirement for anyone who wants to be Governor of the Commonwealth. Hart likely wouldn’t have gotten very far, and he only arrived in the state in May. Still, seven years is a tad much for a residency requirement.
VA-Gov: The first real general election poll for this year’s contest in Virginia couldn’t be more exciting. It’s a tie, 46-46, or so says Harper Polling. They did pretty well last cycle, though they tend to have a Republican lean. Both candidates are viewed pretty favorably. It will be interesting to see how those numbers shift as the race progresses and attacks are likely to start flying.
CA-SD-29: Naughty, naughty *wags finger*. California Democrats, fearful that State Sen. Josh Newman (D) would be successfully recalled, changed the rules mid-stream. They slipped a change into the budget requiring the recall to be held at the next general election, likely boosting turnout for the race. Something tells me that they’ll eventually regret this, but that’s politics for you.
CO-Leg: Some people really like to burn money. Take the people featured in this article, for instance; they want to recruit candidates to run under a ‘Centrist’ banner against incumbents of both parties in the Colorado Legislature. Their goal is to beat five incumbents and hold the balance of power in the legislature. The article makes several sound critiques of this plan. The biggest hole in the scheme, though, is that any third party candidate only succeeds in freak circumstances or with established personal popularity. Anyone who gives these people money might as well douse the cash in gasoline and throw a lit match at it.
IN-Redistrict: Here’s a piece talking about the fact that Indiana will likely lose a congressional district in the future. That’s mildly interesting in and of itself. However, what’s more interesting is who the author is: Christina Hale. I said she’d stick around, and she has. This is exactly the kind of ‘talking seriously about the state’s problems’ piece that politicians write when they’re in the wilderness and building up their positive credit for a comeback.
WI-SC: Justice Michael Gableman, a member of the conservative wing on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, will not seek a second ten-year term on that body. There is speculation that he may step down early to give Gov. Scott Walker (R) a chance to appoint his replacement. The court is currently split 5-2 in favor of the conservative faction.