Skip to comments.Will gridiron stars face off for Senate? [NC, Burr v Shuler?]
Posted on 12/03/2008 5:56:17 PM PST by MitchellC
The ballots had not yet been put away for the Nov. 4 election before the chattering class started speculating on 2010.
Ordinarily, we watch the sport from afar. But now that the 11th District draws a national spotlight and North Carolina is in play as a swing state, the pastime has come home.
Who will run, and for what?
Democrat Heath Shuler made national headlines when he ousted eight-term incumbent Charles Taylor in 2006. That election would prove to be the first cycle of a wave that swept Democrats into office. Barack Obama boosted other Democrats in North Carolina by pouring millions of dollars into organization on the ground and campaign spots on the air.
Obama won, 49.7 to 49.38 percent, and behind him Kay Hagan ousted Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Bev Perdue edged Pat McCrory for governor and Democrats captured six out of eight Council of State seats.
Shuler would have won anyway but Obama's 17,000-vote margin in Buncombe County propelled him to an bigger victory. But does that make Shuler the logical choice for Democrats to put up against first-term Sen. Richard Burr? Fun though it is to think of a race between the Swain County and University of Tennessee quarterback and the Wake Forest defensive back, it looks like a deep pass into unknown coverage.
To be sure, Shuler has had star power and attractiveness as a candidate for bigger things ever since his stunning upset of Taylor. A teetotaling pro-life Democrat, Shuler hews to the middle in his votes and his public life. He recently was honored by the National Federation of Small Business for his pro-business voting record. The NRA likes him.
But Burr is no pushover. He's reliably conservative and has seldom strayed from the Bush position but he is no ideologue. He has made his mark working across party lines on several issues, among them reform of the National Institutes of Health spending and creation of an agency to fight bioterrorism.
One perceived problem is not one of his own making. No incumbent has won re-election to this seat since Sam Ervin retired in 1974.
But if the Burr seat is an attractive target for Democrats, it is no certainty that Shuler is the right choice to carry the fight. Shuler has no statewide campaign experience and is untested as a debater. And if the Burr seat really looks like a plausible pickup a year from now, other Democrats will be tempted, including Attorney General Roy Cooper, whose 2.5 million votes was more than anyone in the state on Nov. 4.
Whether Shuler goes or stays, Republicans are spoiling for the fight.
Former Henderson County Sheriff George Erwin is seriously looking at the race. He has the advantage of having served as Fred Smith's Western North Carolina campaign coordinator during the gubernatorial primary campaign. But if Shuler goes, Erwin is likely to draw company, too.
It used to be quiet this time of year. No more. In a swing district in a swing state, there is no recess.
Tweedle-dum vs. Tweedle-dummer.
I’ve heard shuler speak on c-span, boy’s dumber than a box of rocks (no offense to you boxes of rocks out there).
I thought Washington was the place SEC quarterbacks go to fail.
He’s a Democrat isn’t he?
As a Dem, Shuler is about as tough on Immigration as your gonna get.
When the Redskins drafted Heath Shuler, several D.C. area sports writers interviewed the guy and they walked away in a state of shock. One of them was quoted as saying something like "Good Lord, they've just drafted Gomer Pyle" and another said that you only had to talk to the guy for two minutes to comprehend that he was not bright enough to be an NFL quarterback.
After Joe Gibbs retired, the Redskins went for something like an entire decade with nothing whatsoever to show for their drafting and, in particular, you cannot totally blow those super high draft picks and hope to get anywhere in the NFL. The Skins totally blew at least two of those in Shuler and Desmond Howard.
He also voted no on the second bailout vote.
“Heath Shuler is pro-life, pro 2nd amendment, anti-illegal amnesty...” Here is the problem...giving one more vote to the commies because of a candidates stand on these issues will hurt in the long run. I truely believe no RAT is committed to pro life or the 2nd amendment.
While Burr is pro open borders/toal amnesty, McCain follower and wont take a stand on anything some conservatives may look beyond that for the R numbers in the Senate. Time will tell.
We may see another 94 election cycle in 2010 but at this point it doesnt seem likely.
AKA a class A RINO. What a disappointment Burr has turned out to be, Shuler may actually turn out to be more conservative.
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