OK-Sen/OK-Gov: Coburn’s Plans Uncertain, and Could Include a Gov Run

It seems that no one knows what Tom Coburn will do in 2010, and The Hill thinks he might bail:

Coburn’s exit would throw a safe seat into the realm of possibility for Democrats, who have two attractive candidates available in term-limited Gov. Brad Henry and Rep. Dan Boren.

While Bunning took heat for raising a paltry $27,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008, Coburn raised just $19,000 and had far less cash on hand – $55,000 – than any other senator up for reelection next year.

Coburn might in fact have his sights set elsewhere:

One Oklahoma GOP consultant suggested it wouldn’t even be surprising to see Coburn wind up running for governor, despite his having said that he wouldn’t and the presence of an early party favorite in Rep. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.).

I’m skeptical about any Dem chances for picking up the Senate seat. But I’m delighted at the possibility of Tom Coburn just mucking things up in general. If he does wimp out on a re-election bid, the hapless Tom Cole might run to replace him, and he’d be fun to kick around some more even if he won in a romp.

87 thoughts on “OK-Sen/OK-Gov: Coburn’s Plans Uncertain, and Could Include a Gov Run”

  1. He’s a pain in the ass for the Dem Majority, but he’s also a pain in the ass to the GOP.  It’s hard to know whether losing him helps us or them more.  It’s nice having someone totally off-message and critical of his own caucus over in their party.

    On balance, since we’re in the majority and one senator has the power to gum up the works quite badly, I think losing him helps us more.  But if we were to wind up with 63 seats next congress (meaning we could override his holds on our own), it would be pretty hilarious having one of their 37 be Coburn.

  2. Henry seems like a much stronger candidate, but not likely to run.  I bet Boren would jump at the opportunity of an open seat, however.  I would think he’d have a good chance to win it too.

  3. Have fun Cornyn.  I hope he runs for governor.  Make Oklahoma so bad they start voting for Democrats again!

  4. It’s entirely possible that either Boren or Henry could take the seat (in Boren’s case, I’d call it probable).

    Hell, considering the absolute pummeling Kerry got in 2004 here (only 34%) Coburn’s 53-41 win isn’t all that impressive.

    I know we won’t get anyone like Former Senator (and professor of Political Science at my own University of New Mexico) Fred Harris, but still an open seat is more winnable than you’d think.

  5. even in Oklahoma.  At the very least, an open seat here would be one more headache for the NRSC.  Even if Coburn does indeed run for re-election, with numbers like that we might be able to massively outspend him, thus requiring the national committees to step in.

  6. He refused to endorse Obama, and then he said the stimulus “Became a Democrat bill and not an American bill.” I have no problem with the fact that he’s a conservative dem, and if he could go to the Senate and refrain from saying and doing things that undermine the Democratic party, I would be pleased, but if he went to the Senate without changing the way he acts, well, the things he does will get a lot more attention as one of 100 senators than as one of 435 representatives.

  7. That scares the crap out of me and probably every sane person in Oklahoma.  If he becomes Governor Oklahomans better get used to massive cuts in, well… everything.

  8. We don’t have to go with someone like Boren and all is not lost if Brad Henry doesn’t run.  With the exception of the members of the Corporation Commission, all the statewide office holders in Oklahoma are Democrats (and three of them are women).  If Bob Menendez would get out in the field and meet with some of these folks, who knows, he might be able to scare up a decent candidate.

  9. I don’t know what to say, to be honest.

    I haven’t yet developed a hatred of Bobby Bright.  Either he hasn’t done enough to make me hate him, or what he’s done is so low-key that I haven’t noticed.

    Zell Miller I openly hate.  I consider him a traitor, who was once more reasonable but suddenly decided to become an absolute asshole of a wingnut (probably due to a close race).  He’d better either ignore my hatred of him or do something that changes my opinion of him.

    Boren, by what some of you seem to describe, is nearly as bad as Zell.  The question is: is he?  Or is he slightly better, or slightly worse?

    And what would replacing Coburn with Zell Miller be like?  Would there actually be any difference?  Because so far as I’ve heard, I estimate Miller’s effective PP score to be 0% (i.e. effective personal PVI R+50, the maximum).

    As for Coburn, someone answer me this, is the following statement true?  Coburn is more insane and less evil, Inhofe is more evil and less insane.

    Maybe a more useful question is, who has more trouble getting re-elected?

    Dang, all my tiny paragraphs are making my comment look like one of etl’s.

  10. 2010 has to be a really good year for the Dems to be able to pick up a Senate seat in OK. Unless its Brad Henry whos the nominee and even with him itd still be a tough fight. I hate to say this but if it were JC Watts vs. Dan Boren…then i could see the Dems winning it in a neutral year. I know Watts was elected a U.S. Rep in a very ‘traditional’ area…but this is OK as a whole and to the U.S. Senate. Racism could be a factor. But i think hes more likely to run for Gov. than Sen.

  11. but I dont think any Dem in OK can win that Senate seat save for Henry and even then, I think he still could lose.  Federal races vs state races, as we all know, and I’m using that principle to justify my argument.

    BUT, good use of NRSC funds!

  12. Turns out Boren is married to the sister of former Oklahoma All-American Quaterback John Heupel , who led Oklahoma to their last NCAA National Championship in 2000.

    1. Itd be interesting to see Henry’s voting record as a Senator. Hes a conservative Democrat as Governor yet ive heard he was much more liberal when he was in the OK state legislature. Perhaps hed be more liberal ss Senator, perhaps hed become more conservative, or perhaps hed stay where he is. but its hard to compare…as a Gov. and Sen. are very different. A Gov. does much more than just sign/veto bills and introduce legislation.

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