Skip to comments.U.S. Senate '04: Four Down, Two More to Go?
Posted on 09/24/2003 9:40:29 AM PDT by Vindiciae Contra TyrannoSCOTUS
Four of the 34 U.S. Senators up for election next year have announced their exiting--Zell Miller (Ga.), John Edwards (S.C.), and Ernest Hollings (S.C.), Democrats all, and Republican Peter Fitzgerald (Ill.)
Now, signs are ominous that the next two senatorial shoes to drop will be those of Republican Don Nickles (Okla.) and Democrat John Breaux (La.). Word on the D.C. cocktail circuit over the weekend was that four-termer and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Nickles was anxious to make more money in the private sector, as was Breaux (who has been courted for every seven-figure lobbying job from legislative pointman of the Recording Industry Association of America to succeeding Jack Valenti as head of the Motion Picture Association of America).
Democratic Rep. Brad Carson, one of his party's few bright lights in the Sooner State, has signaled he will run for the Senate if Nickles bails. Similarly, Republican Rep. Ernest Istook, stalwart conservative and key Appropriations Committee Member, wants to run, while former Rep. J.C. Watts, the last black Republican in the House, is also being touted for an open Senate seat (although Watts-watchers say that he is thoroughly enjoying his current niche as chairman of Newt Gingrich's old GOPAC and corporate board member). All bets are off on the Republican side if popular former two-term Gov. Frank Keating decides to forego his current job as head of the American Council of Life Insurers and return to the hustings.
Louisiana Democrats insist that Breaux will hold off an announcement until at least November to pump up friend and fellow Democrat, Rep. Chris John, for succession; the near-certain GOP candidate is staunch conservative Rep. David Vitter. Louisiana is the lone Southern State not to have elected a Republican senator since Reconstruction.
What Color Is A Conservative? By JC Watts
How does an African American man raised in a family of Democrats on the poor side of the tracks in little Eufaula, Oklahoma, become a conservative and the first to hold a Republican Party leadership position in the history of the U.S. Congress?
In What Color Is a Conservative?, J. C. Watts, Jr., shares the remarkable story of his life and the controversy of his independent views. The fifth of six children, Watts was raised by parents who taught him the value of faith, family, hard work, and personal responsibility. As Eufaula and the nation struggled to integrate, Watts saw his father and uncle take on the local establishment to end segregation in his hometown, and he made history on his own as one of the first two black children to integrate the town's allwhite elementary school.
But it was J. C.'s outstanding football talent that earned him a scholarship and a quarterback spot on Coach Barry Switzer's legendary Oklahoma Sooners. He went on to lead the team to backtoback conference championships and Orange Bowl titles. After graduation, Watts opted to play in the Canadian Football League when the NFL refused to let him play his strength -- quarterback.
After his football career ended, J. C.'s interest in politics began to grow, but he would take a different path. "Like most African Americans," he says, "I was raised in the most partisan of households -- 100 percent Democrat. In fact, every black I knew was a Democrat."
Upon hearing Republicans such as Don Nickles and Jack Kemp espouse the same values as those of his father, he began to consider leaving the Democratic Party. It wasn't easy: "The ties that bind African Americans to the Democrat Party are strong, and I would argue are often based more on geography or tradition than ideology." But change he did, and soon his name was on the ballot. In 1994, as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, he won Oklahoma's mostly white 4th District. That victory brought him national attention as the first black Republican elected to Congress from a southern state since Reconstruction.
During his eight years in Washington, J. C. Watts has not been a typical politician. And in What Color Is a Conservative?, he shows why, taking on what he considers negative forces and entrenched ideas in both parties. While he stands proudly with the GOP, Watts knows that a lot has to change. "The party of Lincoln has in many ways forgotten its roots," he writes. Meanwhile, the Democrats have cheapened the tone of public discourse, choosing character assassination over constructive dialogue, partisanship over unity.
Then there are those who have "driven a wedge between my politics and my people." Watts challenges the nation's traditional black leaders to reject race baiting, black orthodoxy, and victimhood. He protests that when African Americans "stray too far from black orthodoxy, we are punished and isolated in a warped kind of ideological apartheid."
In a life defined by straight talk, J. C. Watts isn't afraid to tackle hotbutton issues, his vision for America's future, and his controversial decision to retire from Congress. Inspiring, provocative, and an inside look at the workings of Washington,What Color Is a Conservative? may ruffle a few feathers on the left and the right, but that's exactly what J. C. Watts, Jr., thinks is good for America,
Also watch out for Bob Graham's seat.
Conservative Watchdog Launches Senate Run
Put 'em both on the Judiciary Committee, and watch the RATS squirm.
QWhat's your view of the Michigan affirmative-action case that the Supreme Court is considering? If you were a university admissions officer with a free hand, what criteria would you use?
AI believe affirmative action should be about creating opportunities for all people. I do believe in diversity of color and think it adds value to society. God is a God of diversity. He is the author of our skin color and He made us yellow, brown, black, and white.
I have no problem with using race as a factor, but giving race 20 points and academics eight points seems to me to be a bit out of balance.
I have felt the sting of being left out because of my skin color and I wouldn't want any child to have to feel that hurt. So, therefore, let's not create or encourage a system that a white kid or black kid has to walk away a loser, feeling like he lost based on skin color.
If a white kid, a black kid, or a Hispanic kid stays in school, gets good grades, and wants to continue their education beyond high school, that opportunity should be available.
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