The Campaign Spot

Bart Might Ride Off Into the Sunset

Not long ago, I laid out how Bart Stupak’s chances for reelection had shrunk from near-certain to significantly challenged. Now it’s possible he might not even try:

With just a few days to go before the end of this recess, House Democrats are cautiously optimistic that they could get through it without a single retirement announcement. That said, there is still a concern that some important incumbents in districts that they are uniquely suited could call it quits. At the top of the concern list this week: Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak. The Democrat best known this year as the Democrat who delivered the winning margin of votes for the president’s health-care reform bill is said to be simply exhausted. The criticism he received — first from the left, and then from the right — has worn him and his family out. And if he had to make the decision now, he’d probably NOT run. As of this writing, a bunch of senior Democrats (many of the same ones who twisted his arm on the health care vote) are trying to talk him into running. The filing deadline in Michigan is still a month away, but veterans of that state’s politics are skeptical anyone other than Stupak can hold that district in this political climate.

This is a heavily Catholic, rural, working-class, poorer district. It’s not the hardest of terrain for Democrats, but it’s far from the easiest. Also note that while it’s still early, GOP gubernatorial options are outpacing their Democratic counterparts; not much help for any Democratic entrant from the top of the ticket.

UPDATE: I like this slogan, inspired by Sammy Benoit: Bart Stupak 2010: Because he almost took a courageous stand.

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