The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

30 August 2003

Is this it for Don Nickles?

In 1980, Don Nickles opined that term limits would be useful, and certainly no one should serve more than two terms — twelve years — in the US Senate. Voters may or may not have agreed with this particular premise, but enough of them embraced Nickles to propel him to a win in that year's Senate race, and a repeat win in 1986.

And then, apparently forgetting what he'd said, he ran again in 1992 and 1998. He won easily, so it must be assumed that the electorate either didn't remember or didn't hold it against him. Recently departed Congressman J. C. Watts reneged on a similar pledge and still was reelected, which suggests the latter.

Now comes the 2004 election, and rumors are floating that Nickles may step down. I'm not sure what I think about this: he's not my favorite Oklahoma politician by any stretch of the imagination, but Don Nickles is a veritable Renaissance Man next to his junior counterpart, the venal and insipid Jim Inhofe, and I'd hate to see him go if he's going to be replaced by the likes of Tom Cole or (gag) Ernest Istook.

Which brings up the next question: Will J. C. Watts come out of retirement? The Bush administration seems fond of the fellow.

Oh, the Democrats? Yeah, they'll nominate some sacrificial lamb to go through the motions. As OkieDoke's Mike points out:

In addition to a sluggish economy, the Dems will need a strong presidential candidate to give the needed push for any shot at the Senate seat.

I don't expect the economy to be in great shape next year — the sheer weight of federal borrowing to cover the nearly half-trillion-dollar deficit will see to that — but it won't be Hooverville either, and somehow it's hard to imagine any of the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates making the slightest bit of impact on the Oklahoma electorate.

Posted at 9:02 AM to Soonerland

TrackBack: 8:31 PM, 30 August 2003
» Blogs around the U.S.A. Update V from Oscar Jr. Was Here
Here's the long-promised update to the Blogs around the U.S.A. project. Via Dustbury, for the Sooner State, I've added Okiedoke. Also for the Sooner State, see OkiePundit. Via mtpolitics, for the Treasure State, I've added billingsblog. From the Empire......[read more]

Had a reminder about one Democrat that would put up a good fight - Drew Edmondson. He's got a good record of battles behing him. A recent comment about a Senate bid:
"I don't know what Sen. Nickles is going to do, and I am still enjoying being attorney general," he said.

Edmondson said the Senate race is not something he is working toward but added, if Nickles retires, he would take a look.

Sounds to me like he might be interested.

Posted by: Mike at 12:48 PM on 30 August 2003

I think Edmondson's probably going to have to deny any higher aspirations for a while, at least until there's some movement on this WorldCom suit; otherwise, the defendants are going to argue that the suit is politically motivated, and this is presumably not something he wants.

Posted by: CGHill at 1:04 PM on 30 August 2003