First, the good news:
With Griffith’s announcement Tuesday, eyes immediately turned to his home state freshman counterpart, Rep. Bobby Bright.
But Bright told the House Democratic leadership Tuesday night that he planned to stay in the party, according to a senior Democratic aide.
Similarly, Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho), another freshman Blue Dog who would be a prime target, indicated in a statement to POLITICO that he won’t switch.
“I will remain as independent as Idaho, I will not be switching parties, and I will win in November,” Minnick said in the statement.
These are two guys who you’d think might have something to gain by switching — they occupy blood-red districts and surely would have an easier time winning re-election as Republicans, right? Well, say whatever you will about their voting records, but they’re not morons like Parker Griffith. They know full well that they would stand a greater chance of being teabagged to death in a GOP primary than they do of losing a general election as a Democrat. In other words, once you go Dem, there ain’t no goin’ back.
But wait, what the hell is this?
Democratic Rep. Chris Carney received a phone call Wednesday from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) asking him to consider becoming a Republican, a top GOP official told POLITICO.
A spokesman for Carney declined to say if the congressman was considering such a switch.
“No further comment at this time,” said Carney spokesman Josh Drobnyk, who would only confirm that the call took place. […]
But [a House Republican] aide acknowledged that they had gotten “a nibble” from Carney and were now making the pitch that he’d be better off switching parties than running again as a Democrat in a northeastern Pennsylvania seat that President Obama lost by 9 percentage points last year.
Carney would be a damned fool to do this. Perhaps he’s just being coy as a means to foster some kind of cross-ballot appeal, in order to say to his GOP constituents that even DC Republicans think that he’s “their kind of Democrat”. But if Carney thinks that the NRCC could clear a primary field for him, or if he wouldn’t be vulnerable to a generic teabagger in a primary after voting for the stimulus and health care reform, his stupidity is breathtaking.