Bobby Scott Sounding More Like a U.S. Senate Candidate?


    According to UVA Professor Larry Sabato’s Twitter feed a few minutes ago, it’s sounding increasingly likely that Rep. Bobby Scott could be a candidate for U.S. Senate. The relevant tweets:

    *”Today we welcome Cong. Bobby Scott to Politics101.Will Scott pull a Kaine & announce Senate bid in college class? Don’t know.Will tell.”

    *”In my U.Va. class US Rep. Bobby Scott says he may be tired enuf of being in House minority to run for Senate but will decide by July.”

    *”Scott is clearly in no rush, pointing out D Senate primary isn’t until June 2012.”

    *”Scott (D) also was critical of Obama’s handling of #Libya, calling it unconstitutional since he didn’t consult Congress.”

    *”Overall, excellent presentation by Cong. Bobby Scott at U.Va., with detailed powerpoint on choices before nation. Very policy-oriented.”

    That sure sounds to me like someone seriously considering a run for U.S. Senate. It also sounds to me like someone who isn’t necessarily basing that decision on whether or not Tim Kaine runs for U.S. Senate. We’ll see.

    P.S. I’m not sure how Scott’s tweet about “Obama’s handling of #Libya” being “unconstitutional” would be received in a Democratic primary…

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      “Obama’s handling of #Libya” being “unconstitutional” = first issue of a primary. Those who don’t support an incumbent president of their own party who is up for reelection won’t get much establishment support.

    • NWVirginian

      = Senator George Allen

    • If Scott is thinking that if Kaine doesn’t run, he is doing everything he can now to put his name in the minds of Democrats in VA should that power vacuum arise.  I think we all know it would be filled pretty quickly, after all, and this puts him in the driver’s seat as opposed to waiting on the sidelines to be asked.  If that’s the plan, then that’s pretty smart, even though he wouldn’t be my personal first choice (although I’d be fine with him as the nominee.)

    • FreeDem

      Your first line references Larry Sabato’s Twitter feed. I don’t think it’s useful to speculate until you have a real source for your information. Like an actual journalist or someone trusthworthy. Like your sister’s ex-boyfriend’s roommate’s cousin. Anyone is more credible than Larry Sabato.

    • geoffreyvs

      I definitely want to see PPP come in and do another VA poll including Scott. I’ve always thought he was pretty on top of things. Perriello’s my guy and I think he’s probably the most exciting candidate we could have but it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Scott would be a decent candidate against Allen.

    • FreeDem

      I think the last round of PPP polls found that Kaine wasn’t a knock out punch against Allen, and that Perriello and Boucher were about the same but with lower name ID.

      So are we really dealing with a Generic Republican vs. a Generic Democrat?

      Maybe, maybe not.

      At the end of the day the difference between our Senate nominee and Obama’s votes will be rather small. Depending on the result of the Presidential election this could be meaningless. But if it’s close it could be vital.

      The questions I’d ask are:

      Which candidates would be best at minimizing drop-off among low-income/low-information voters supporting Obama? From experience I’d say this would favor Perriello and probably Scott.

      Which candidate has a regional “ace in the hole” that could allow them to run ahead of Obama in a few CDs/media markets? I think everyone has a claim here. However, I suspect Kaine’s advantage around Richmond has been minimized through four years of Governor and his time as DNC Chair. The Richmond suburbs are among the most hardcore of Republican bases. It was one thing when he was the white guy managing the city of Richmond running on Warner’s coattails. It’s another when he’s Obama’s chief cheerleader.

      I think Scott’s longevity of service in Hampton Roads will give him a surprising bounce among voters in that area. Surprising because I think the convention wisdom is that there are no white independents/Republicans/conservatives who would ever support him. I think the reality is different.

      Are there any other factors in play other than regional base? In other words, would Boucher’s conservatism help him with voters outside of Southwest Virginia? Would Perriello’s faith outreach help him outside of the 5th? Would Kaine’s . . . something? help him outside of Richmond?

      This is the hardest to answer. It probably depends on the type of campaign they run and the type of campaign occurring at the Presidential election. So I won’t rule one way or the other on this.

      In total, I see everyone reason to believe that Scott could be as strong as Boucher and Perriello, given his lower name ID. Which means he could be as strong as Kaine, once his name ID is elevated.

    • ValerieInRke

      Under the War Powers Resolution, the president has the authority to launch U.S. actions for 60-90 days before seeking authorization from Congress. Not that President Obama will but if he pulls back after 90 days Bobby will be left holding his …

    • Say What

      but with Kaine’s dithering, Doug Wilder’s carping and Bobby Scott’s  …. bobbing, I can easily imagine George Allen’s comeback in a big way.

      The bench for team Blue Virginia is profoundly weak. The only inspirational character (meaning a person with some proven good character) around is Tom Perriello.  

      In a personal way this may be a very good thing. I mean why waste precious time working to elect careerist politicians. If George Allen is elected you get a conservative fence post … a rather innocuous do-nothing.

      Not sure what I would get out of a Tim Kaine election…. other than some lame Democratic Party logo and the same old, same old talking points. Bobby Scott would have to show something I’ve never seen or heard from him …. leadership.

      Yep … if good old boy Allen can survive a primary challenge he now has a real shot  at becoming our next snail / slug for the Commonwealth of Virginia..

    • drobertson

      There are other candidates that fill the “strong progressive” criteria that are more electable than Scott. If you are looking for highly progressive candidates, it would seem to me that Tom Perriello, Chap Petersen, or some other lesser-known candidates would be better choices. Scott may be slightly to the left of them, but not significantly. And if electability is the question, than Scott is pretty clearly behind Kaine, Perriello, Boucher, etc. He doesn’t seem to have a clear advantage in any of the main categories.