AL-02, ID-01, PA-10: Bright and Minnick Won’t Switch, but Carney (!) Mulling It

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.

(H/T: desmoinesdem)

36 thoughts on “AL-02, ID-01, PA-10: Bright and Minnick Won’t Switch, but Carney (!) Mulling It”

  1. actually had a relatively comfortable re-elect for a freshman Democrat in his district if I remember correctly (10-12 points?).  Can’t say I know how much was due to Obama at the top of the ballot, but why in the frickin’ world would he want to besides reasons of complete, unadulterated opportunism?  

  2. While some switches are ideological most of the time people switch for two reasons.  Political or because of disagreements with their own party.

    Ralph Hall though conservative as hell only switched once he was threatened in the wake of the Tom Delay engineered midterm redistricting.  And was quite up front and honest about how that was THE reason he switched.  That is a classic political switch.  No animosity towards the party he left.  Just a matter of what one can get in return and political survival.

    Disagreement with ones party is of course the other reason.  Ben Nighthorse-Campbell is a good example of the second.  He was a moderate Democrat.  Not the most liberal Democrat.  Not the most conservative.  But somewhere in between.  On paper he seemed way too liberal to be considered a candidate for a party switch.  But he had bitter disagreements with members of the Colorado Democratic Party that resulted in him packing his bags and becoming a Republican where he moved dramatically to the right (most party switchers move their positions towards the ideological center of their new party after switching).

    So my question is considering he is certainly not the most endangered Democrat and his positions certainly don’t put him ideologically outside that of most Democrats… what is his relationship with his local Democratic organizations and the statewide party and is there anything there to suggest any tension?

  3. … if these fishing expeditions for party switchers on the part of the Republicans might not have a backlash, similar to what we saw earlier in the month when a small spate of Dem retirement announcements was followed by what seemed like over a dozen statements of commitment from vulnerable D members to run for re-election. This over-eagerness and willingness to engage in such craven, opportunistic gamesmanship could well rub many otherwise receptive individuals the wrong way.

  4. I don’t believe in republicans.

    Maybe they find destabilize Carney. I don’t trust nice words from republicans to a Yes voter of Public Option in Health Care Reform.

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