Old politicians never die. Now, they don’t even have the courtesy to fade away. Are you ready for the has-been campaign of 2010?
As the rest of the world recovers from the lengthy 2008 campaign season, a number of washed-up politicos gear up for the 2010 races. President Obama cruised to the White House talking about “change.” Apparently scores of these charachters haven’t gotten the memo.
New York politicians are some of the worst offenders. In the Empire State, former HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo and former NYC mayor and failed presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani appear likely to run against the fairly unpopular Gov. David Paterson. Even Rick Lazio, best known for losing in the 2000 Senate campaign against Hillary Clinton despite outspending her, seems to be gearing up for a run against Paterson. In the meantime, after 12 years of service in Albany, former Governor George Pataki is mulling over running for the Senate. Looking for a fresh face in New York? Try Fran Drescher who, now that “The Nanny” has vanished from syndication, appears to be angling for a Senate campaign of her own.
Right behind New York are Ohio and New Hampshire. After losing his Senate seat, Mike DeWine is kicking over running for his old job though he could also wind up running for governor or even state attorney general. While behind in the polls, former Congressman, presidential candidate and Fox News host John Kasich is also taking aim at Gov. Ted Strickland’s job. A whole host of political has-beens, including a former governor, a former U.S. Senator, and a former Congressman are going to duke it out for the Republican nod in the open U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire. Looking at that crowded field, former New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith has headed for greener pastures, namely to Florida where he is considering running for the Senate.
Political has-beens are popping up all over the map. Former governor Bob Ehrlich shows no signs of going away in Maryland and may seek his old job again in 2010. Having lost his U.S. Senate seat, Rick Santorum might now run for governor up in Pennsylvania. Out in California, after two terms as Governor, three tries for the Democratic presidential nomination, a tenure as mayor of Oakland and service as state attorney general, Jerry Brown is running again for governor and appears to be the front runner. Having lost his run for a Senate seat, former Congressman and DLC star Harold Ford could be taking aim at the Governor’s Mansion in Nashville. Republicans in Colorado are playing musical chairs as three former Congressmen, including vocal opponent of immigration and vanquished presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, consider running for governor or the U.S. Senate seat. Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber wants his old job back. Former Congressman, and one time Republican rising star, J.C. Watts looks to be running for governor in Oklahoma.
All of these politicians are hoping to capitalize on their name recognition and the voters being comfortable with familiar faces. But after an election which was supposed to be about change, it is galling to see so many political retreads gearing up for yet another chance in 2010.