It’s been quite the 24 hours in American politics.
Last night, Senator Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota, dropped a bombshell when he announced that he would not seek another term. I don’t know who runs the blog Senatus (they also maintain the Twitter handle @senatus), but they broke the news last night that Dorgan actually e-mailed his staff about his decision to retire. Very strange.
This development had been preceded by the news that Lt. Governor David Cherry will not be running to succeed his boss, the exceedingly unpopular Michigan Governor, Jennifer Granholm. Close on the heels of Dorgan’s press release was news from yet another Governor’s mansion currently in Democrat hands. Bill Ritter, once viewed by many as a rising star in the Democrat Party, has decided not to seek another term.
But in a more momentous development than all of the above, Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut made it official this morning: he will not be carrying on his embattled re-election bid any longer.
Chris, it’s been real. No, honestly, it has. Very few Senators have the kind of gall you showed last spring, looking into the camera and blaming Republicans for the language your staff inserted into legislation that was coming back to haunt you.
I’d love to say that Senator Dodd will be missed, but the rumor is that he may not be going away. Twitter is all abuzz with the possibility of Dodd being named to some government post, whether an ambassadorship or eventually, a Cabinet position. I’d also be pleased to say that I don’t think President Obama has that kind of gall, but I couldn’t utter that sentiment in good conscience.
In any event, surely something is going on out there, though even consummate political commentator Erick Erickson all but admits he doesn’t know for sure what it is, though it has to be good for us and bad for Democrats.
I posted a Facebook status update earlier tonight that incorporated this observation:
The fallout didn’t begin this early for Bill Clinton in 1994. We are in for something big in November.
I was going with a combination of memory and gut feeling on that one, so it was rewarding when Haley Barbour agreed with me, although somehow I have a feeling he hadn’t seen my Facebook status. Newt Gingrich, who actually might have (seen my FB status, I mean; no, just kidding), said tonight on “Hannity” that Haley Barbour had told him this evening that he feels the political climate now is more favorable to Republicans than it was in January 1994. Barbour happened to be the RNC Chair at that time and is now the Governor of Mississippi, so he’s been around the political block a few times.
I must say that it is both affirming and comforting to see the massive shift in the political mood in this country, when recalling the Messianic exuberance of a year ago shortly before the Obama inauguration.