Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006

2/14/2005

Ears on the Corner

Never mind the views of the locals, what do people in Washington think about Dayton’s “retirement”?

National Review’s famed The Corner blog had a few sparse words about Dayton’s sudden decision and the GOP field attempting to succeed him. Needless to say, if the Republican activists in Minnesota felt as good about Gutknecht’s campaign as a few in Washington do, Gilly would be the frontrunner.

K.J. Lopez opined as such:

”Rep. Mark Kennedy (who didn't have an easy reelection run in 04) is the most talked about Republican likely running for that seat (Rep. Gil Gutknecht has also expressed interest--and has mo (money)). But Rod Grams has expressed interest in getting his seat back. Don't know if that is just talk on his part.”


Obviously Grams was more than hot-air, but Ramesh Ponnuru agreed that Kennedy was about as close to being the “frontrunner” as anyone else:

”My sense, from talking to a few Republicans who have been following the race closely, is that Kennedy is the likely GOP nominee but he has not been aggressive enough in clearing the field. The Democratic bench isn't great--Republicans are hoping the Democrats put up former congressman Bill Luther--but there are a few deep pockets to watch out for. Bottom line: This seat is still a good pick-up opportunity for the Republicans, but it just got tougher.”


I’m not quite so sure I agree with Ponnuru’s assessment of Luther, who won in conservative districts, being the ideal GOP opponent. Luther talked like a moderate, voted like a liberal and raised money like a venture capitalist---all the hallmarks of a strong Democrat candidate. Unfortunately for the DFL, Luther surprisingly declined interest in the seat. But otherwise Ponnuru is rather spot-on.

--Posted by First Ringer

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