The politics editor for National Journal, Josh Kraushaar, tweeted today that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is potentially vulnerable but, he noted, she doesn’t even have a GOP opponent.
Not so, countered Union Leader editor Drew Cline. “Shaheen does have a GOP opponent: Jim Rubens.”
I should have said “strong GOP opponent,” replied Kraushaar. “Unless I’m underestimating…”
"You’re not," answered Cline.
Conservative activist Karen Testerman, who promised to run for the U.S. Senate if 5,000 people asked her to, failed to get the response she was seeking — but she’s going to run anyway.
The Hill reports Testerman filed papers today to join former state Sen. Jim Rubens in a Republican primary for the Senate seat held by Democrat Jeanne Shaheen:
Testerman said she decided to run because of the strong support she was seeing in New Hampshire.
She had planned to launch a campaign if she received 5,000 signatures on a petition to draft her into the race or if she received a pledge of $50,000 from donors.
While she didn’t meet either goal, she said it was a “combination of both” that enticed her to run, as well as some guarantees from big donors in New Hampshire, though she declined to offer further details.
Last night, former U.S. Senator Scott Brown denounced Jeanne Shaheen for a fundraising appeal that raised the specter of a Brown candidacy for her Senate seat.
Brown has been publicly toying with the idea of moving to the Granite State and taking on Shaheen — so much so that the Union Leader called on him to put up or shut up. Nevertheless, he told reporters “I think it’s shameful for her to do that, for one, because I’m not a declared candidate.”
Invoking the name of a well-known “potential” opponent to raise money is a tactic Scott is very familiar with. In 2010, a fundraising email from Brown claimed “liberal MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow” was being recruited by “the political machine in Massachusetts” to run against him.
Maddow subsequently took a full page ad in the Boston Globe to condemn the email. "I’m not running against Scott Brown," she wrote. "Senator Brown never even tried to find out if it was true, before using the made-up threat of me running against him, to try and scare donors into giving him more money.”
Last night, when the digital strategist for the National Republican Senatorial Committee attempted to spin the government shutdown as Sen. Jeanne Shaheen voting against her constituents, Slate’s Dave Weigel jumped in and gave him a lesson in Granite State politics:
A former state senator, Jim Rubens, declared the week before last, but he’s not seen as a top-tier contender.
— James Hohmann, Politico reporter, on the race for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Jeanne Shaheen
Charlie Bass isn’t just another Republican. No, he’s someone who says the Tea Party is going to ‘save our nation.’ He called his vote for the Ryan budget, which slashed nutrition assistance for children and gutted Medicare, a ‘great statement of principle.’ With those kinds of extreme views, Bass is the very prototype for a candidate Karl Rove and extremist Super PACs will spend millions supporting.
— Fundraising email from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, following news reports that former Congressman Charlie Bass is “seriously considering" a race to unseat the incumbent senator
Though a Charlie Bass challenge to Sen. Shaheen would have to be considered a long shot, expect the party leaders to pull out all the stops to get him into the race. It is likely that a Bass candidacy would be the strongest the Republicans’ could field, despite the odds of achieving victory being very long.
— Jim Ellis, Republican consultant, on GOP efforts to unseat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen
It’s hard to imagine that a candidate more conservative than Karen Testerman will enter the Republican primary to take on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Nevertheless, in a letter to the editor of the Laconia Daily Sun, Testerman moved to secure her right flank and attacked potential competitor Scott Brown by linking him to Hillary Clinton:
Former Senator Scott Brown thinks that you’re the problem if you are a conservative. Brown argued on Fox News that Republicans should cut more deals with Democrats in Washington and shouldn’t fight so much for conservative policies.
Brown, might play games and pretend that he is a Granite Stater — just like numerous out-of-state Democratic campaign staffers and students did in 2012. This smells like Hillary’s carpetbag move in New York for her Senate seat. Birds of a feather?
State House Rep. Glenn Cordelli (R-Tuftonboro) has endorsed conservative commentator Mark Steyn for the U.S. Senate. “We need a US Senator from NH who understands the situation our country faces,” he wrote. “We need Mark Steyn to beat Shaheen.”
As we noted before, Steyn is a Canadian citizen and is constitutionally ineligible to serve as a U.S. senator.
With the New Hampshire Republican Party seemingly unable to find a suitable candidate to oppose U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in her reelection bid, the search has broadened.
Massachusetts resident Scott Brown helicoptered in (literally) to signal his interest, as did Florida resident Bob Smith, who briefly left the party before then leaving the state.
Given the lack of enthusiasm those out-of-staters generated, conservatives have now initiated a campaign to draft commentator Mark Steyn, a New Hampshire resident who occasionally guest hosts for Rush Limbaugh.
Last week, talk show host Hugh Hewitt announced the launch of SteynforSenate.com, where visitors can sign a petition encouraging the conservative commentator to run for the U.S. Senate seat. Appearing on Hewitt’s radio show, Steyn didn’t quite take the bait, but he did express his disdain for the current crop of Republican hopefuls.
“My heart sank somewhat when I read in the Union Leader, I think it was the other day, about those who were preparing to run against Jeanne Shaheen for the U.S. Senate seat,” Steyn said.
"I wish this state was the way it was 20 years ago, but the New Hampshire Republican Party was too often was content to be in office rather than in power," he complained.
There is one small problem. Steyn is a Canadian citizen. Article I, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution requires U.S. Senators to have been a U.S. citizen for at least nine years.
Hewitt claims the 17th amendment eliminated that requirement, a position that doesn’t seem to be shared by constitutional scholars.
In her statement announcing an exploratory campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, conservative activist Karen Testerman declared, “America’s strength lies in her people when they are free to be creative, to make choices, to succeed or fail.”
Her appreciation for Americans exercising their free will doesn’t extent to those who voted for Pres. Obama, however. Those Americans, she says, “voted against the Creator.”
In a gross understatement, UNH political scientist Dante Scala told Ben Leubsdorf that Testerman is “pretty far to the right among New Hampshire Republicans.” Here are a few examples of Testerman’s pretty extreme rhetoric:
On gun violence prevention:
The current attack on our 2nd Amendment Rights by the Obama Administration is a precursor to total gun confiscation and the final nail in the coffin to total serfdom.
On marriage equality:
Creating an unnatural class like counterfeit marriage denies the rights of others.
On Girl Scout cookies:
When the public hears about the open policy to admit transgender boys, the promotion of abortion to our innocent children, and the close association with Planned Parenthood, is it any wonder that annual cookie sales of the Girl Scouts USA are down?
In a moment of honesty today, the executive director of Cornerstone lamented the lack of top-tier challengers to take on Democrats for the 2014 midterm election. Just 15 months before voters head to the polls, no Republicans have officially entered the races to face Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, Congresswoman Ann Kuster or Gov. Maggie Hassan.