Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) announced March 7 that he would not seek reelection in 2014. His Senate seat has been a safe Democratic seat for the last five elections, but the Republican Senatorial primary bids fair to be a feeding frenzy of would-be successors.
Senator Levin, at six terms is Michigan's longest serving Senator, but he would be 80 years old at his reelection. Does that seem a bit too certain a conclusion in this time of Republican and TEA Party domination of the political scene? It shouldn't. For one thing, cracks are appearing in the solid front of what have come to be called by many, TEA-Publicans. For another, and far more importantly, Senator Levin won every election since 1984 by a minimum of 58 percent of the vote, and any poll taken against any likely Republican candidate said he would do it again. Now, however, Senator Levin will not run. There is an open Senate seat in Michigan for the first time in 20 years.
Who knows how this coming election will turn out? Michigan workers, after watching President Obama and the Democrats save their sorry manufacturing tails, in a grand show of astounding ingratitude, gave the entire State government to the TEAPublicans. They were immediately rewarded... by having their union heritage trashed and Michigan turned into a Right To Work state, and by having Michigan's elderly and its children robbed by the legislature, with the ill-gotten money given to the wealthiest of Michiganders and to businesses in the form of tax reductions... following which, the unemployment rate in Michigan, which had been declining, began to rise.
Several Democrats have been mentioned as likely candidates to hold the seat, with Gary Peters, U.S. Representative from Bloomfield, Michigan, being the most aggressive, pointing out that he stepped into a Republican district, took it and has held it. In any case, all have solemnly declared that what most definitely matters is that the seat remain Democratic, since Levin makes four Democrats who have announced retirement at the end of this Congress. Not one of them, of course has declared a disinterest in running, which may mean a Democrat feeding frenzy in its own right. Nonetheless, it is the Republican Party that is virtually drooling over the opportunity to run for an open seat in Michigan.
More than a dozen past, present, and would-be Republican officeholders have announced an interest. Only Candice Miller, U.S. Representative from Michigan's 10th District has officially opted out of the fray, and she did that as a part of her statement praising Senator Levin for his service, which is to say within hours of his announcement. It may be that she will reconsider, or is simply giving the GOP a chance to woo her. From the Democrats' standpoint, it would be good to have a shot at an open seat in this TEA-Publican's district in the election following this year's House-initiated budget and deficit reduction mess.
Now that Senator Carl Levin will not run again, the question arises: Will the Michigan working men and women again vote against their best interests and give one of Michigan's two Democrat Senate seats away as they gave away the State government? Cook's Political Report has already moved Levin's seat from "solidly" Democratic to "leans" Democratic.
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