Tuesday, January 09, 2007

READS: Tuesday, January 9 is...

Commonwealth Day (N. Mariana Islands)

After this post, I'm adding the Northern Mariana Islands to the list of places I'd like to send State 29 on a permanent basis. Admittedly, I did laugh at the last part. I think it's worth noting, though, that I'm hardly a representative of the progressive movement as a whole. I know some people and I'd like to think I'm a decent analyst, but in the grand scheme I'm a blogger, not a movement. So if you arrived here this morning via State to check what the "regressive movement" is up to, I'd recommend broadening your base a little.

Common Iowan
, the Register, Dave Price and others all have the news this morning that Selden Spencer has formed an exploratory committee to look into a potential second run for Congress. The timing seems a little early but I think it's a good idea. Spencer's last campaign started too late to build enough momentum to topple Latham, but 2008 could be different for three reasons:

1) The party situation in Congress. In 2006, the party and their money entered with just one Democrat in the house and were largely focused on re-electing Leonard Boswell and electing Bruce Braley. They didn't even open the pocketbook to help Dave Loebsack, much less Spencer. In 2008 they'll enter with three D's in the house. The only viable pickup opportunity remaining will be Latham's seat.

2) Experience. It's true Spencer lost by 14 points, but for someone who had never run for public office before, you can't overvalue the experience he gained and the things he learned. Without having spoken to him about this run, my guess is he'll handle several things differently this time.

3) A better starting point.
In 2006, Spencer launched his campaign in March with no name recognition, no website and limited financial backing. Today, he launches a campaign with 22 months to do what he was unable to do in eight months in 2006. He already has a web presence, name recognition and presumably some donors. He's not starting from zero this time. He's starting from 43%, the number of fourth district voters who voted for him last time. And he could move up significantly from there.

With the Iowa Legislature underway once again, this morning we've got two sets of challenges to consider: David Yepsen covers the ones we all remember, and the Register Staff covers one I'd forgotten.

Admittedly, the phrase "Blue Thong" in the headline of this story caught my attention. It's not as exciting as I had hoped.

Finally, since it appears Michael Gartner will not resign from the Board of Regents, Nick Johnson has compiled a list of seven ways he could be removed. One can only hope one of them will come to pass.


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