| 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.