MO-Sen: Rep. Sam Graves (R) Won’t Run Against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D)

A big break for Claire McCaskill:

Rep. Sam Graves will not run against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in 2012, the Missouri Republican announced Thursday, saying it was “an agonizing decision.”

“However, I also believe that I can have a greater impact on federal policy in the next six years as a chairman in the House,” the House Small Business chairman said in a statement. “I am the first chairman in the history of the sixth Congressional district and there is much I still want to accomplish in Washington.”

Translation: I’d rather be a big kahuna in the House than risk trading that for a back-bench seat in the Senate, where we might not even regain the majority. Of course, there’s still no shortage of GOPers lining up to take  on McCaskill – and indeed, the fundraising is starting strong, as Reid Wilson observes, with Ed Martin pulling in $229K in December alone, while Sarah Steelman collected $208K.

So even without Graves, McCaskill is likely to draw a strong opponent. That, combined with Missouri’s reddening, has to have the incumbent praying for a truly epic cat fud fight. All the more so, since McCaskill apparently has a political deathwish:

McCaskill, D-Mo., this morning joined with Republican senators in a far-reaching anti-deficit plan that could impose cuts on Social Security, Medicare and spending programs vital to Americans.

“This is a bold step; it has risks. If this bill is distorted and twisted, it could cost me my Senate seat,” McCaskill said on the Senate floor.

Make no mistake about it: McCaskill is signing up on a plan to cut Medicare and Social Security – and pretty much everything else. This is retarded and wrong on so, so many levels. It also shows how poor her political skills are, because a) it won’t take any “distorting or twisting” for her opponents to argue that she wants to cut these programs – that’s exactly what the CAP Act is designed to do; b) uh, of course the GOP will lie about McCaskill – they successfully cast themselves as the defenders of Medicare against evil, evil Democratic cuts last cycle, and this will be no different, even if it is Bob Corker’s bill; and c) of course the GOP will tar McCaskill as a big-spending libruhl regardless of what she does. She’s even making it easy for them:

She continued: “TARP? Let’s be honest. It was a genius decision in many ways and it stabilized our economy.”

TARP was genius. Jesus christ. I don’t think “I voted for it before I voted against it” was as bad. I don’t like where this is going one bit.

66 thoughts on “MO-Sen: Rep. Sam Graves (R) Won’t Run Against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D)”

  1. I kinda wish the Administration still had access to a trillion Dollar slush fund.

    As to Claire’s political acumen. . . I think she’s going for the Beltway “reasonable” brand of approval. But in the ads, she’s still signing up for a plan to slash Social Security.

    Democrats need to stop giving a f*¬Ęk what David Broder thinks. Nobody reads him.  

  2. doesn’t specifically call for Social Security or Medicare cuts. The link below (yes, it discusses policy, but that’s relevant here) seems to suggest that it could be a by product of the plan to limit overall spending under some circumstances.

    For a moment, let me play the devil’s advocate and say that this proposal won’t go anywhere, but that she will get the credit for tying herself to limit government spending. That list thing probably will probably help her a little, now and in the future.

    And TARP? That’ll probably be old news in 2012, and anybody who is still pissed about it probably won’t be voting for her no matter what happens.  

  3. So maybe she thought that she may as well defend it, precisely to avoid sounding like she was double-talking.  The other ’06ers who voted for it are Whitehouse, Webb, Casey, Klobuchar, Cardin, and Brown.  (Tester and Sanders voted against it).  I suppose Webb and Brown, along with McCaskill, face the toughest re-election: How are they talking about it?

  4. Personally I don’t think Grave’s decision matters one bit, I never believed he was likely to run, and not particularly likely to win the primary if he did (and thus why he’s taking a pass).

    I expect an similair announcement from Emerson shortly, which will be follow in short order by an campaign kickoff by Ann Wagner, she really is the 800lb gorilla in the primary, she’s as or mor conservative than Martin (without the Tea Party amateurism or the MATT BLUNT stigmata) and can wrap up the establishment support from Sarah Steelman too.

    As for McCaskill, I think her campaign strategy is clearly to run as Republican-Light across the state and assume that Obama being on the ticket will get the Urbann/AA vote out for her in KC & STL no matter what she does or says in the GOP leaning hinterlands.

  5. It worked for them because they opposed the whole bill in unison. Much harder to attack McCaskill over something most Republicans support that probably won’t happen anyway. And she is correct to double down on TARP. It was genius.

  6. I don’t like what I’m hearing from McCaskill.  I sometimes question whether she has the political savvy to survive in Washington.  However, I also think she does work hard in the US Senate and that trait probably counts a lot in Missouri.  McCaskill does have an edge about her that should resonate with the middle class within her state, but when she’s joining the GOP on cutting Social Security and Medicare, it makes me think she doesn’t understand Middle America.  These statements won’t help her, IMHO.  

Comments are closed.