The GOP Senatorial Circus! Step Right Up!

US Senators on the GOP side are abandoning the McCain ship. Nine of them aren’™t coming to the GOP convention, and Ted Stevens has been indicted. Even Libby Dole is finding whiney excuses why she can’™t attend her party’™s convention, even though she’™s been a huge speaker there in the past. Meanwhile, Bush keeps running up the deficits.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

In the Center Ring, the Senior Senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens, who has been indicted! He’™s the longest serving Republican Senator ever, but he’™s going from a Bridge to Nowhere to a Bridge to the Big House! Step right up! Here’™s the story from ABCNews! The indictment comes in just a few minutes, from a Federal Grand Jury in Washington, DC!

Meanwhile, GOP Senators who are also campaigning for their jobs this year, are running scared. The story is from MyDD, but I’™ll link a few other sources as well. Here’™s a list of GOP Senators who have decided not to show up for the GOP Convention this year. From CongressDaily:

Nine of 12 targeted Republicans running in the most competitive Senate races this fall are either skipping the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn., or have not decided whether to attend.

Among those who will not attend are Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, who is not close to presumptive presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona, and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is a McCain loyalist. Stevens and Collins will use the convention week to focus on their campaigns.

Also sending regrets is former Rep. Bob Schaffer of Colorado, running for the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Wayne Allard.

Six others ‘” Sens. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, John Sununu of New Hampshire, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and Gordon Smith of Oregon and challengers John Kennedy of Louisiana and Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico are still on the fence. Their spokesman offered responses ranging from ‘œthere are no plans yet’ to ‘œno decisions have been made.’

Let’™s add Libby dole to that list. As reported by McClatchy, Mrs. Dole will not be attending the GOP convention this Fall. No, she will not be there to cheer on John McCain:

Her spokeswoman, Katie Hallaway, said people shouldn’™t read too much into the decision ‘” either about the senator’™s support for John McCain, her party’™s likely nominee, or about how she views the security of her re-election in November against Democratic state senator Kay Hagan.

‘œShe’™s got a busy week scheduled in North Carolina,’ Hallaway said. ‘œWhen there are breaks in the Senate schedule, she spends as much time as possible in North Carolina.’

Dole will be visiting with businesses, organizations and other constituent groups, but Hallaway said the schedule is not yet finalized.

Her absence from the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn., is a notable one. Dole is a bona-fide GOP rock star, the type of speaker who could rally the faithful at the daily state delegation breakfasts.

In addition, she’™s a former presidential candidate herself, running briefly in 2000, and the wife of popular former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas, who was the party’™s standard bearer in 1996. The co-chair of the GOP platform committee is her fellow North Carolina senator, Richard Burr.

Elizabeth Dole had a prime-time television speaking role at the last GOP convention in New York City, where she praised President Bush and talked in support of traditional marriage, freedom of religion and the sanctity of life.

I’™m not sure I’™d call Mrs. Dole a ‘œrock star,’ but it is important to note she’™s got as many connections to Presidential politics as anyone in the Republican fold, and for her not to show up for the GOP convention to anoint the next Republican candidate is a very important bit of news. I love that they note she’™s not worried about her reelection, but she’™s skipping the most important party event in order to campaign. Does the dole campaign think everyone is an idiot? Oh, she’™s worried alright, though I’™d still say that Kay Hagan, her opponent and a very attractive candidate, is a dark horse. (You can donate to Hagan here.) I’™m thinking Dole is worried about being seen with McSame. Libby dole doesn’™t want to be associated with the potential landslide that McCain might lose by.

As Todd Beeton of MyDD notes, precious few GOP Senators up for election will be joining John McCain in Minneapolis. Mitch McConnell and Norm Coleman. They’™ve got some interesting challengers, and maybe they should think twice as well.

Meanwhile, John McCain is flip flopping on the 100 years war in Iraq, following Barack Obama’™s lead on a 16 month timeline. Look for him to flip flop again when he finds out it was Obama’™s idea. Perhaps his people will tell him this week, and after he calls them names only suited for screaming at his wife, he’™ll change his story. Of course, McCain, not a big expert on economics, has to carry the record deficits of the Bush Administration ‘” $482 BILLION, and that’™s without the costs for Iraq and Afghanistan thrown in. Yes, the Bush Administration is setting records for fiscal irresponsibility, and John McCain is going to get saddled with that sorry record, as he should.

McCain has indicted Senators in his party, Senators who won’™t attend his convention in order to wish him well, and a President who has saddled him with the worst deficits in US history. I don’™t feel sorry for him, though.

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 by Richard Blair |

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