Skip to comments.Major shakeup unlikely in Senate GOP leadership
Posted on 11/05/2008 10:18:45 AM PST by BGHater
Senate Republicans are unlikely to do major housecleaning after their party suffered at least a five-seat loss in Tuesday's election.
Lower-ranking GOP spots are open, but Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and GOP Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) are likely to remain in their leadership positions, according to several GOP aides and senators. But three other positions are up for grabs: the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), chairman of the GOP Policy Committee, and vice chairman of the conference. The lower-ranking leadership positions give senators a voice in shaping the party's strategy and legislative approaches.
Senate Republicans expressed relief Wednesday that their losses were not steeper in the election, which leaves them facing a 56-44 Democratic majority. Even though four races have yet to be called, the Republican incumbents are leading in each of those races, making it unlikely Democrats will reach a 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) plans to relinquish his spot as vice chairman of the conference and run to head the NRSC. His expected opponent, Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.), may be hamstrung because his tight Senate race against comedian Al Franken (D) seems likely to head to a recount, which could prevent a winner from being declared until December.
Cornyn said he would be able to use his fundraising prowess to prop up the NRSC in 2010, when Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will be up for reelection.
"I think Texas is certainly one of the states, like New York is for Democrats, that is really a big benefactor for Republicans," Cornyn said in an interview.
The current head of the NRSC, Sen. John Ensign (Nev.), plans to run for chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, which is being vacated by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is seriously considering resigning next year to run for Texas governor.
It's unclear yet who might challenge Ensign for the policy position. Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.), who lost his bid against Alexander for the No. 3 spot last year, has been considered a likely candidate for the position. But his spokesman said that running for leadership "has just been the furthest thing from his mind."
With Cornyn running for NRSC, the vice chairmanship might create a contest between Sens. John Thune (S.D.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who both have expressed interest in the position, according to GOP senators. Thune, the current chief deputy whip, is a telegenic presence and could be an effective communicator of the party's message. But Murkowski would give the GOP leadership a female voice, which it would lack with the loss of Hutchison.
Spokesmen for both Thune and Murkowski could not be immediately reached for comment.
Reward failure, get more failure.
That’s too bad.
DeMint deserves a shot, imo.
Sounds like rearranging the deck chairs on the Lusitania...
Remove The RINOs...too many of these GOPer Senators will probably side with Obama anyway out of “biparisanship”
There are at least 4 RINOs that willl side with the Dems. If not, the Dems will change the Standing Rules.
More proof that conservatism will really be a political minority for a long time, if not forever. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result, and maintaining the GOP leadership team as is on the Senate side is insane and stupid!
What a coincidence. There will be no ‘shakeup’ in my giving habits to the RNC either.
Cornyn, Ensign, McConnell, and Burr all have solid conservative ratings. Not a bad lot if you ask me.
Make Newt chairman of the RNC and I think we can get all of our losses back. Newt is aware of the change in the electorate that will be an on going feature in the future.
Not sure others get it.
McConnell is a good leader.
Cornyn and Sessions are solid.
DeMintt is the BEST.
I wish I knew a way to make it happen...or even who to lobby for it.
And historic electoral failures.
They don’t need a shakeup as much as a collective enema.
Doesn't that about sum up the problem and the attitude? Can you imagine a football team being relieved that they only lost by 10 points instead of 20 points? Can you imagine a baseball team being relieved that they only lost by 2 runs and not 4 runs?
I've got some news for you Republicans...quit being losers and play to win!
Oh, no! Let’s not change anything!
More of the same will get us where we want to be!
Newt would work well but it’s just a bad idea. Dems would have another bogeyman to run against. Newt would be a lightning rod for a MSM that already hates him. The MSM would make an angry Newt the face of the Republican party.
Actually, Bogeymen for the Dems are not in short supply. The RNC chair is basically invisible to the electorate and it would be a good spot for Newt.
There’s gonna be a change in leadership. The grassroots are going to demand it.
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