GOP hopes to pressure Boswell to retire

John Deeth brought this piece by Hotline’s Reid Wilson to my attention.

An informal list of 17 members the NRCC believes can be convinced to step down, privately called the “Dem Retirement Assault List,” makes clear the party needs Dem incumbents to step aside if they have hopes of taking back the majority. The NRCC has taken pains to attack those lawmakers in recent weeks.

The list includes 14 members whose districts voted for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in ‘08. […]

The NRCC has also begun targeting Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and Leonard Boswell (D-IA), three members who already have credible opponents but who occupy seats Pres. Obama won in ‘08.

2008 would have been a perfect time for Boswell to retire. Tons of voters in Iowa’s third Congressional district registered as Democrats in order to participate in the Iowa caucuses, and any number of candidates could have held this seat easily. Statewide, turnout in November 2008 was about the same as in 2004, but turnout in Polk County was significantly higher in 2008.

I don’t know anyone who expects Boswell to step down next year, but if he did, this might be a tough hold, since Democratic turnout tends to be lower in off-year elections. On the other hand, much would depend on the Democratic nominee. One possible candidate is former First Lady Christie Vilsack, who seemed to leave the door open for a future campaign when she ruled out running against Senator Chuck Grassley. Someone with high name recognition and no voting record to attack might even do better than Boswell against Brad Zaun or Jim Gibbons.  

  • funds now there for the republican nominee.......

    The HUGE news that the NRCC will make this a targeted race means that large amounts of funds will be available to the republican nominee in this race.  This, along with the fact that the race is getting upgraded for republicans even this early (CQ politics) means BIG trouble for Boswell.

    • not so fast

      This doesn’t mean funds will be there for the GOP nominee if Boswell doesn’t retire. Remember that the NRCC has a lot of targets and not so much cash on hand.

      I would expect the NRCC to spend money on all open-seat races, and it’s natural for them to want to create more of those. But my best guess is that they won’t have money for this race if they can’t get Boswell to retire.

  • boswell making our children and grandchildren weaker.........

    desmoinesdem, to claim that boswell is not weak when he voted for the iraq war then voted not to fund the troops, voted against the surge that worked,  then voted for the border fence then voted not to fund it, then for the biggest United States tax increase ever (cap and trade) which will damage our farmers, small businesses, and residents and is unfair to the midwest, then voted for the largest government entitlement program in history (without reading it) …is ignoring reality.  

    Boswell is weakening our future by his reckless spending, which will burden our children, grandchildren, and their children for generations to come and GREATLY weaken their future.  Did he fix medicare?  Did he fix social security?……NO..he just pushed those down the line and spent the nation’s fortune into oblivion.  

    Boswell, good ole boy, really bad representative.

  • Don't count him out

    Iowa tends to re-elect incumbents.  That fact alone gives Boswell a strong hand.

    On the other hand, off year elections tend to favor the party not holding the White House; but any challenger to Boswell will have an uphill climb.


    • 2002 was a horrible year for Dems

      with Bush’s approval still sky high. Boswell was running in a new district for him, and the NRCC put money behind Stan Thompson, but Boswell hung on. There’s a reason every election forecaster from Cook to Sabato to Swing State Project to CQ Politics has this district in the likely D column for 2010.

  • talking points.....

    desmoinesdem, those are not just GOP talking points, but independent talking points, tea party talking points, and conservative democrat talking points.  you should really get out to something besides democrat get togethers, there is a movement out there that is as strong as the "obama for change" movement, but now focused on fiscal reality.

    ask around.

    open those eyes.

    • I'm not going to waste my time

      explaining to you why you’re wrong about economic policy, climate change policy and everything else. That’s not why I blog here.

      A number of independent election forecasters rate IA-03 as “likely Democratic.” Brad Zaun is fortunate to have such an enthusiastic advocate in you, but don’t fool yourself about Boswell’s chances for re-election.

      The best thing you have going for you is an enthusiasm gap because the Democratic Congress hasn’t accomplished enough of the things Obama promised. If we had listened to the GOP’s “freeze federal spending” fiscal advice in January and February, the economy would be in much worse shape than it is now.

  • Short list...

    Who is on our short list to take over from the Boz? Christie Vilsack, yeah. Frank Cownie? Ed Fallon?

    What does the short list look like for a redistricted district? More Des Moines-centric?  

    • I don't think Fallon will run again

      He wouldn’t win an open primary, and I think he knows that, which is why ran in 2008 instead of waiting for Boswell to retire.

      Someone wrote a diary about this a year or two ago, but I can’t remember the name of the Bleeding Heartland user or who else was in the brainstorm.

      I think no matter what the new district looks like, our candidate has to be strong in Polk County.

      If Christie Vilsack doesn’t run for some reason, there will be a strong push to get another strong woman in the race. A lot of Iowa Democrats want to break the curse of never having elected a woman to Congress. Maybe Andy McGuire? Janet Peterson?

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