Advertisement

LJWorld.com weblogs Congressional Briefing

Does Brownback have a chance?

Advertisement

![][1]Sen. Sam Brownback made it official Monday, announcing his "exploratory committee" to raise funds for a 2008 presidential bid.Coverage in the national press was respectful -- if skeptical of Brownback's chances.Take this quote in the [L.A. Times:][2] "Obviously there's a vacancy on the right, and he may well fit the niche," said Stuart Rothenberg of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report. "He's a longshot - but you don't have any shot if you don't throw your hat in the ring."The Times adds: An opponent of abortion, same-sex marriage and embryonic stem-cell research, Brownback often leads meetings of the Values Action Team, where advocacy groups meet to track social conservative legislation."He will add a lot to the national, not just the presidential, debate," said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, a group represented at those meetings. "He truly understands the conservative point of view. It is so frustrating for us when politicians try to pander to us. Brownback is consistent."He voted for - and, aides say, still supports - the Iraq war."Culturally and geographically, Sen. Brownback is a tremendous fit for Iowa - the strongest fit of any candidate, Democrat or Republican," said David Kensinger, his former chief of staff and an informal campaign advisor. "He's clearly going to run as a Reagan Republican."_[The Washington Post][3] offers its own analysis:_Brownback is the fifth Republican to signal his intention to pursue the presidency in 2008. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Rep. Duncan Hunter (Calif.) have formed exploratory committees, while Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to join the race in early 2007. Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and former congressman Newt Gingrich (Ga.) also have been mentioned as candidates for the GOP nomination.In declaring his intentions so early, Brownback is hoping to stake out a position as the most viable conservative in the field. Neither McCain nor Romney is the first choice of social conservatives, and analysts said there is room for a candidate who fills that niche."He is the candidate of movement conservatives," said David Kensinger, a former Brownback chief of staff and a member of the senator's political inner circle.Kensinger argued that Brownback's political positioning makes him the ideal candidate for the Iowa caucuses, which tend to be dominated by social conservatives. While Brownback has kept a low public profile in Iowa, he has been working hard behind the scenes to build a volunteer-heavy grass-roots effort -- meeting with small groups in churches and living rooms -- under the belief that President Bush's reelection effort affirmed the import of ground troops.Money is a major hurdle for Brownback, who has never raised or spent more than $2.5 million on a race. At the end of September, he had $600,000 in his Senate campaign account.Kensinger acknowledged that Brownback's fundraising ability remains an open question but added: "If you can win Iowa, you are going to have all the money you need overnight."[The Hill][4] offers a ray of hope:_Brownback's appeal to social conservatives could help him become the leading alternative to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the perceived frontrunner."The way I see the race shaping up is that it's going to be McCain against someone who's not McCain," said David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union. "McCain has a lot of people in the party who don't like him."Social conservatives are wary of McCain for his stance on campaign finance, of Romney for his views on abortion, and of Giuliani because of his beliefs on both abortion and homosexual rights.Many are gravitating toward Huckabee because of his experience as a minister, but Huckabee has alienated small-government fiscal conservatives because he raised taxes as governor.Tom McClusky, vice president of government affairs for the Family Research Council, one of the most influential conservative advocacy groups in Washington ... said Brownback might be able to fill a conservative leadership void among top-tier candidates. But even if he does not win the nomination, Brownback could have a major impact on the Republican primary by defining the debate on abortion and other related "life" issues, he said.Paul Weyrich, chairman of the Free Congress Foundation, who hosts a weekly meeting of influential social conservatives, acknowledged the perceived weakness of conservative credentials among the GOP's presidential frontrunners. He said Brownback or Huckabee could fill the role of a strong socially conservative candidate."Brownback's candidacy potentially gives us a vehicle and there may be others, like Gov. Huckabee of Arkansas, who many favor because he's a former preacher and is mesmerizing in his speaking ability."But (David) Keene, who is also columnist for The Hill, said Brownback's strength is also his weakness. He may appeal to social conservatives but faces the challenge of having to win over a broader spectrum of Republicans."His reach doesn't go much beyond the social conservative base," said Keene._More to come, you can be sure. [1]: http://cache.wonkette.com/images/thumbs/7107506f6e566acbad38eb8d29efceb0.jpg [2]: http://www.latimes.com/news/la-na-brownback5dec05,1,5222173.story [3]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/04/AR2006120400403.html [4]: http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/120506/brownback.html

Comments

cutny 8 years ago

No matter how prettily you dress an ugly pig/dog/child, at the end of the day it is still an ugly pig/dog/child. If Brownie really cared about this country he would stop wasting his time on something that will clearly never be and instead focus his energy on bringing about some type of change. Get over yourself Brownback.

63BC 8 years ago

Might we have a bit of manners, please?

Here is an individual who has served our state for over twenty years in public office, graduated with degrees from our two largest regents institutions and is married with five children.

If we disagree with him, might we refrain from describing him as an "ugly pig/dog/child"?

Goodness sakes.

Gareth Skarka 8 years ago

Yes, for goodness sakes -- he may be a morally bankrupt, fanatical fundamentalist member of the American Taliban, but let's be polite about it....

That's just so damn Midwestern.

commuter 8 years ago

Does he have a chance? Yes.

Do I hope he gets the republican nomination? No.

Why? The Republican base needs to move to a more centrist position and get away from the far right extremists. More pople are in the middle of things than on the far left or right.

A moderate has more potential to compromise then someone on the extremes.

Kaw Pickinton 8 years ago

Does he have a chance? Yes - a very very very slim one.

Do I hope he gets the republican nomination? Yes.

Why? There is no way in hell he would win the presidency.

rhd99 8 years ago

He has a chance, razor slim, at best! Look, this is a man whose moral compass is extremely tilted. One side says he is against abortions, but he is for a pregnancy to come to full term, but will not make provisions if an expectant mother's health is in danger during the pregnancy. The other tilt is that he says he is for human life, IS THAT SO? Well, if he is, then why does he continually speak out & vote against funding for treatments that help Michael J. Fox & others suffering from neuro & muscular diseases? Always looking for ways to help millionaires & billionaires, but at the same time, sticking it to the average citizen, like he did to Kansas when he announced his decision to explore this run in MISSOURI!

Cait McKnelly 8 years ago

".....shutting down unregulated, unsafe, unclean, unholy abortion mills" 1. "unregulated" Abortion is the single most regulated medical procedure in the United States. 2. "unsafe" More people die on an annual basis from getting their teeth pulled. Shall we shut down dentistry? 3. "unclean" Abortion clinics operate set to sanitation standards established for all free standing surgical centers in each state. If that's not clean enough for you I guess you won't be getting any plastic surgery soon. 4. "unholy" This is a moral judgement based on your personal belief system and has no bearing in a political debate.

I guess we know the direction of your agenda.

BigDog 8 years ago

Not going to debate the issue of abortion here but have you seen the tape of the conditions of the clinic which prompted some to question the condition of abortion clinics. I don't which side of the issue you are on .... no one should support any kind of procedure happening in those conditions.

bliddel 8 years ago

I don't want ANY president to come from Kansas or Missouri, unless or until the draconian security measures on general aviation are lifted. Aviation is one of Kansas's last best industries for jobs, and to implement a 60-mile diameter "kill zone" for general aviation around the president's home is one sure way to drive general aviation out of Kansas.

If TSA and DHS had a clue, things might be different, but they consistently prove you cannot win a reasoned discussion with an idiot.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.