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Speculation heats up about Roberts' future on intelligence committee


Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:Sen. Pat Roberts (R)![][1][(McClatchy) Pat Roberts may be leaving Senate Intelligence Committee:][2] Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas is preparing to leave the Senate Intelligence Committee after an intense four years as chairman, according to Senate officials. Roberts has been a lightning rod for partisan criticism throughout his tenure, which began just weeks before the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003. The Intelligence Committee, once noted for bipartisan collegiality, was increasingly swept into the maelstrom of vitriol surrounding the intelligence that led to the Iraq war, the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program and the treatment of suspected terrorists in custody. Neither Roberts nor his spokeswoman would comment for this story.Sen. Sam Brownback (R) ![][3][(National Review commentary) Window on the Week:][4] But now Brownback appears to have succumbed to the temptation that all senators seem to face: He's on the verge of running for president. "We're very close with announcements," he said on November 26, appearing on ABC's This Week. "I think there is room, on the Republican side, for somebody that's a full-scale conservative." Several other GOP candidates may quarrel with that assessment, and they'll be quick to point out that Brownback supported both the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law (initially, at least) and the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill. A lot of "full-scale" conservatives opposed both, and vigorously. If Brownback does choose to run, he will no doubt acquit himself honorably. He may also do so irrelevantly. Or worse: He could fracture the conservative base and contribute to the success of a "half-scale" Republican. If Brownback wants to advance conservatism, perhaps he should consider pursuing the governorship of his own state in 2010 and seeing where that leads.[(Salt Lake Tribune) Is Romney's religion a non-factor?][5] The Mormon issue for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's expected presidential run has been overblown, a panel of Republican strategists said Thursday. "The Mormon issue is way overstated," said Mark McKinnon, a former chief media adviser to President Bush's 2004 campaign and a strategist now aligned with Arizona Sen. John McCain. "In the end, it won't be much of an issue." The comment was echoed by David Kensinger, a strategist for GOP Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, who is expected to announce his White House bid soon. "The country will be ready for this [a Mormon president] at some point," he said. [1]: http://roberts.senate.gov/Roberts-020405-18060-080-CFFflipped.jpg [2]: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/16133751.htm [3]: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/fr/thumb/c/c8/Sam_Brownback.jpg/150px-Sam_Brownback.jpg [4]: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NWVlZGZmNDFmZjg3MmE5MTg3ZTdlNDdiNjZiYjRmNGU= [5]: http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_4753190


Richard Heckler 11 years, 1 month ago

Brownback is not a republican or a conservative. He is a Christian Coalition Neoconservative who stands behind GW Bush lies. He also received an F for his lack of support for the middle class, the environment and his inability to tell GW NO. He is a Bush party loyalists first and has not been a good senator. For someone who constantly bad mouths big government he certainly loves those financial perks. How many $4000 annual pay increases has he turned down?

The McCain- Feingold Bill did nothing to stop the flow of huge special interest dollars.

Stephen Roberts 11 years, 1 month ago

Merrill: Did he support the child tax credit? Isn't that designed for the lower and middle class? I for one know I get a credit my children since they are under the age of 17.

Also, I really enjoy my dividends and capital gains being taxed at a lower rate. I make less than 70,000 but I make it a practice to invest. Does this mean I am rich?

james bush 11 years, 1 month ago

Roberts is okay in my book. He puts his position as our elected representative before the Kansas voters and lets us decide to agree or not.... what the hell more do you want. Quit complaining about him. Bush is the problem, much as I hate to say it...since I thought, and still do, "anyone but Kerry." Good intentions......some one said something about that and hell!@?

Pug 11 years, 1 month ago

At the beginning of the 109th Congress, our junior senator had the opportunity to assume the role Ag chairman a position that would have been good for both the great state of Kansas and the nation. See, Roberts was term limited from continuing his SSIC chairmanship, but that was not ideal for him or the White House. You have to understand that Roberts is in love with himself. He and his staff believe that he is the funniest thing since slice bread. His "folksy, whimsical" humor has been praised by the Washingtonian and any number of good Kansans. While the Ag chairmanship would have put him in position to do the only thing he does well, Roberts was obsessed with the spotlight. He became a media whore, using White House-scripted responses and his beloved props to push the Republican agenda.

No doubt at the urging of the WH, the Senate Replicans changed the rules to allow Pat to continue as SSIC chairman. This certainly was important to the Bush Administration because Roberts is a loyal footsoldier, willing to do the bidding of President Bush.

As SSIC chairman, Roberts has proven himself to be an inept leader. Be assured that his visits to the WH during moments of crisis were followed by press releases that toted the Bush line all the while ignoring the serious flaws in intelligence on Iraq and reports that portented a strong insurgency following military removal of Saddam Hussein.

Now Roberts, a relic who sold himself out to support a war that was ill-sought and has led to the pointless deaths and casualties of his beloved Marines (oorah, Pat), is quitting the Intelligence Committee. For what reasons? Hmmmm. That is the question. Is it because the Republicans know that he has neither the ability nor will to spar with a Democrat chairman who certainly will be looking to present Roberts as the complete incompetant that he is? Or could it be that he is unwilling to serve the nation in such a role now that he will be on the receiving end? A helping of both to be sure, with a realization that the Democratic party has had a resurgence in Kansas. Roberts is up for election in 2008, and as the article states, he is in need of distancing himself from an unpopular war he helped facilitate and the need to do work that will bring projects and money to the state of Kansas.

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