In the past 5 days, among media, things I have seen on the interweb, and people with whom I have spoken, Sarah Palin has been compared to Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King, Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, and Lyndon Johnson. She is, in short, the most amazing, incredible human being in the history of people. Tenured researchers at the University of Awesome have finally solved their field's historically unsolvable equation. The answer is Sarah Palin.
Not that the reaction has been hyperbolic or anything. I'm sure these comparisons, lain upon someone her new acolytes never heard of five days ago, are well-grounded in reality. If anything they may not be going far enough. She also reminds me of Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, Sir Edmund Hillary, and legendary knuckleballer Phil Niekro. She runs faster than Usain Bolt. She can deadlift a 1974 Ford Ranchero. She can cure pleurisy with her touch. She appears on tortillas in El Salvador. She can make dinner with one hand while writing in Hittite cunieform with the other. She declined to break the NFL single-game record for safeties out of respect for Fred Dryer. She craps platinum ingots. Her penmanship has been described as unpretentious and legible.
She is not an American, she is America.
(note: the "senate" tag at the bottom of the post can take you to other parts of this discussion)
While I discussed the odds stacked against the GOP in the first post, the good news is that many of their incumbents are safe. Unfortunately, the Democratic percentage of safe seats is far greater. Before we move on to the exciting races, let's cover the obligatory ones. These races are not considered competitive in any reasonable scenario. The unreasonable does happen. But these seats are safe in the absence of a major, game-changing blunder on the part of the incumbent. I'm not talking about answering some question wrong at a press conference – I mean calling someone "Macaca" or getting indicted. These candidates, some of whom have little more than token challengers, need only play decent defense to get re-elected.
Safe Republicans (12)
Idaho – Open: Lt. Gov. Jim Risch has a cakewalk to fill Larry Craig's deeply closeted shoes.
Lamar Alexander (TN): Tennessee is not a total wasteland for the Democrats, but Bob Tuke is not a quality challenger and Lamar is a local institution.
Mike Enzi and John Barrasso (WY): Yawn.
Saxby Chambliss (GA): This disgusting excuse for a human being is likely to be tested by Vietnam vet Jim Martin, but he will return to Washington nonetheless.
Thad Cochran (MS): To call his opposition 'token' would be hyperbolic.
Roger Wicker (MS): I don't want to say this is competitive, but Ronnie Musgrove (Governor, 2000-2004) is the closest thing the MS Democrats have to a legit statewide threat. Keep an eye on this one. It could move.
John Cornyn (TX): State Rep. Rick Noriega poses little threat to an otherwise shaky Republican.
Jeff Sessions (AL): The former Democrat remains safe in a state whose internal politics remain Democratic.
Pat Roberts (KS): War veteran/Congressman Jim Slattery is a strong challenger fighting a losing battle.
Jim Inhofe (OK): The dumbest man in the Senate will return for six more years of humiliating himself on the world stage.
Lindsey Graham (SC): Among the safest of all GOP states.
Safe Democrats (11)
Mark Pryor (AR): The only candidate who literally has no challenger – in a state GWB won twice.
Max Baucus (MT): Opposed by an 85 year-old joke candidate.
Jack Reed (RI): Opposed by a casino pit boss named Bob Tingle whose website was designed by a 9 year-old.
Jay Rockefeller (WV): The latest generation of the political royalty in the Mountaineer state.
John Kerry (MA): Jerome Corsi said he would challenge Kerry but, to no one's surprised, pussied out. Pussy.
Dick Durbin (IL): Where's Alan Keyes when you need him?
Joe Biden (DE): Some GOP direct mail consultant threw her name on the ballot when no one else wanted any part of this kamikaze run.
Tom Harkin (IA): Wealthy businessman Chris Reed could stress Harkin, but he is unlikely to prevail.
Carl Levin (MI): It's cute how the GOP insists Michigan is competitive and then runs a guy named Jack Hoogendyk against Levin.
Tim Johnson (SD): Inexplicably safe. He is getting a bump from something like a sympathy vote after his life-threatening aneurysm. Weak challenger.
Frank Lautenberg (NJ): I got into trouble by giving the GOP some credit in this state in 2006, but 84 year-old Lautenberg may be pressed by Dick Zimmer. Of the safe Democratic seats, this is one that could move.
While the safe Republicans are very safe, the sheer awfulness of some of the GOP challengers to safe Democrats is kind of awesome. Senile? Non-existent? Make $12/hr in a casino? Want your name on the ballot to impress your friends? Step right up!