Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Jeff Merkley Ousts Bush Rubber Stamp Gordon Smith In Oregon


Earlier today some of my colleagues were arguing over whether or not a progressive congressmember from Illinois was progressive enough to be termed "Wellstone-like." I was uncertain but I am certain that the Senate candidate Blue America backed this year who is the most like Paul Wellstone is the former Speaker of Oregon's House, Jeff Merkley. After slow counting in heavily Democratic Multnomah and Lane counties finally came in Jeff won the seat and ousted Bush rubber stamp incumbent Gordon Smith, one of the Senate's least honorable members-- and in this Senate that is saying a lot!

We expect Jeff to be one of the Senate's most tenacious and effective fighters for working families-- just like he was in Oregon. This is the best news in the Senate races this year-- although Tom Udall (D-NM) is also an outstanding new member.
Merkley will join Oregon's senior senator, Ron Wyden, giving Oregon a two-Democrat team for the first time in four decades. Democratic senatorial leaders, who threw millions of dollars into the effort to defeat Smith, were hoping to boost their ranks to 60, which would effectively give them unfettered sway over Congress.

...Merkley said he feels especially satisfied given how hard it is to unseat an incumbent in modern politics. It has been more than 40 years since an Oregon Democrat knocked out a sitting Republican senator, he said.

"It takes an enormous sense by citizens that things are way off track and that it's necessary to intervene to change the course," he said. He said he hopes to bring to the Senate the same skills he used as Oregon House speaker during the 2007 legislative session, which has been praised as one of the most productive in years.


Gordon Smith has finally conceded the defeat he earned. Let's hope we never hear from that hack again.

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At 6:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great news; you're correct. Though I think we all know the "we must get 60!" mantra is going to be used as a defense now by Reid and the cave-in Senate Dems--as though Landrieu or Nelson could be counted to march in step with the blue column.

In any case, Merkley's energy and tenacity will be welcome in the Senate, as will that of Tom Udall. Hopefully, they'll galvanize some of their "we've lost before we start fighting" colleagues.

At 7:34 AM, Blogger KenInNY said...

This news just about made my day.



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