Friday, February 11, 2011

Setting up for 2012

In the last few days there have been some interesting developments.   First the good news.  Four democrats (not surprisingly three are up for re-election) have announced they would vote to kill the individual mandate in the healthcare bill (McCaskill, Nelson, Tester and Manchin).   If this were not a political move they might also have voted to repeal the bill but that is a much more complicated story.   And indeed, my guess is that the American people want something done about Obamacare but they do not want to go back to status quo ante. Second, John Kyl announced he would not seek a fourth term.  In something typical of him he simply said "It is time for me to do something else and time to give someone else a chance."  Tea leaves have a way of changing so this may or may not be a trend.  Finally there is Jim Webb, who decided to become a one term senator.  While conventional wisdom might suggest that both seats will be GOP after the election, a lot depends on who is nominated for both sides.  Clearly Webb is leaving in part because of a very tough electoral cycle in Virginia.   But if you remember Webb got there because his predecessor did a couple of bonehead things in his re-election campaign.

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