Friday, December 04, 2009


Resolved: Tanner turned tail

U.S. Rep. John Tanner says his decision retire was a personal decision and not a political decision. Indeed, he said the folks who've suggested he can't survive in his becoming-more-Republican-by-the-day-in-the-age-of-Obama congressional district almost "enticed [him] to run again."

What bullshit. Tanner was out-raised by a 5-to-1 margin in the last reporting quarter by a political unknown who got most of his money from folks in the district. You can't tell me Tanner didn't factor that into his decision to retire.

Furthermore, President B. Hussein Obama -- according to the widely respected Cook Political Report -- is going to be "beyond radioactive" in key Democratic congressional districts next year. You have to f-in' know that Tanner wasn't relishing a re-election effort during which he'd have to answer dozens of questions each day as to when, or if, he was going to invite Obama to come down to Tennessee to campaign with him.

Here's the Cook Report's take on the 2010 prospects of folks like John Tanner ...

Plenty of veteran Democrats who haven't had to break a campaign sweat this decade are quickly losing their aura of invincibility. Next fall, some in this category are likelier to face tough races than many of the 42 less tenured Democrats who populate the "Frontline" list. As of today, eight House Democrats elected prior to 2006 sit in our "Lean Democratic" and "Toss Up" columns, and another 20 whom we view as potentially vulnerable sit in our "Likely Democratic" column.

This is not to say that highly influential and venerated fixtures such as Reps. Ike Skelton (MO-04), John Spratt (SC-05), Bart Gordon (TN-06), John Tanner (TN-08) and Rick Boucher (VA-09) are goners next year. Their eventual vulnerability is highly dependent on the quality of GOP nominees and the discipline of their "time for change" messages. But if these party elders decide to seek reelection rather than retire, the underlying dynamics of their districts suggest at least several will need to fight to survive.

... which Adam Kleinheider should've read before he wrote this.

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