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« Grant and the Jews | Main | The information war »

Dec 18, 2006


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Fred Gregory

Right on cue two days after the Great Mentioner drops her name on his blog the N & R puts Kay Hagan on the front page. Yeah, she is a centrist and Rachel Hunter is a graet jurist.

Ed Cone

I appreciate your confidence in my powers, Fred, but I think Binker is probably more accurate at his blog as to why Hagan is on the radar at this moment: "Why are we having this discussion now? Because the type of offices for which she is considered a potential candidate require advance planning."

As for Hagan being a "centrist," I guess if you live in a world where no Democrat qualifies as a centrist, she is not one...but by other measures she's pretty much in the mainstream.


If Kay Hagan attempts to run for higher office (Congress or the U. S. Senate), she may have a tough time trying to satisfy her political ambitions. Sure, she has been successful in that small state senate district that was gerrymandered by the Democrat leadership in the General Assembly to provide a “Democrat seat for eternity.” But, Kay has been a big fish in a small pond.

Sen. Hagan is a woman of wealth and she can always raise large wads of campaign cash from her rich friends. But, I don’t think that her political success is all that impressive. The first time that she ran, in 1998, she got into a spending contest with John Blust, the GOP candidate. Now, Blust may be one of the few pols around who has a more insatiable hunger for a political career than Hagan. Unfortunately, for Blust, Hagan out-gunned him in the fund-raising department and he lost. Since then, Hagan hasn’t really been tested. Her GOP opposition has been weak; they were just some guys who ran against her who didn’t spend much money or time. The one exception was Mark McDaniel who did spend some money and time on his campaign against Hagan. But, she overwhelmed him by spending the mega bucks in a Democrat saturated district.

Oh, I think Kay Hagan is a nice person and all that. But, if Hagan tries to move up into the big leagues, she will face the unseemly prospect of having to run in a real election contest in a district (or state) where Democrat voters haven’t been stacked by gerrymandering into the high heavens. Unfortunately for Hagan, she has a board-certified liberal voting record that she has been working on for the last eight years. It’s not “centrist;” it’s not “moderate.” Her voting record reflects the wishes of the Democrat leadership in the General Assembly. It’s clearly not a conservative one.

So, she would have to face some Republican who will be able to raise sums of money that might make even her jealous. And, that Republican will have something very useful to use against Hagan; her voting record. John Edwards didn’t have that problem. He didn’t have a voting record when he ran for the U. S. Senate in 1998. He was just a country lawyer from Robbins. However, after Edwards worked on that voting record for six years, he was afraid to run again for U. S. Senate. He realized that his Kennedy-styled voting record wouldn’t sell in North Carolina.

So, if Kay is smart, she will stay in that little gerrymandered Democrat state senate district and just keep raising money from her rich friends and winning, and winning, and winning. The prospect of losing is just too grim.

Mark Binker


To calm one of your paranoias, that story was in the can a solid week before it ran. It was what we call an evergreen - stories newspaper editors can sock away for a light news day.

Alpha: I would point out that Hagan has had at least two dog fights campaign wise...one when she defeated John Blust (who was an incumbent at the time) and one again Mark McDaniel (who threw everything but the kitchen sink at her). Still, there's no question that moving up the ticket would be a challenge.

Connie Mack Jr

she is a centrist and Rachel Hunter is a graet jurist.*Fred Gregory

I agree Fred! Lawyer Hunter can clean your clock in a legal dispute anytime with both tumors tie behind her back. Is there any reason why you batshit hate RLH and her remarkable campaign against the legal establisment and it's judical corruption in this state. Some meltdown uh Ed?

Fred Gregory

My goodness, aren't we touchy.

Mark, you really should resist your thin-skinned urges to fulminate over nothing . In the " can " is, however, accurate.

Do you have anything in the can on this ? If not, why not ?

Curious Contract

Fred Gregory


I don't know or hate RLH. I just formed an opinion of her abilities as a jurist based upon the bashing she universally took from the major newspapers in NC when they endorsed her opponent. If she received some positive press I would certainly be interested in seeing it.


"Do you have anything in the can on this ? If not, why not ?"

Why should they, Fred?

It's just business as usual for both the City and the N&R, as well we know from past experience.


Mark Binker said:

“Alpha: I would point out that Hagan has had at least two dog fights campaign wise...one when she defeated John Blust (who was an incumbent at the time) and one again Mark McDaniel (who threw everything but the kitchen sink at her).”

Mark, Hagan’s toughest campaign was her 1998 contest against John Blust. He was the incumbent and he has been the ONLY candidate that came even close to her campaign spending. Blust spent about $141,000 while Hagan spent around $158,000.

Poor Mark McDaniel was completely submerged by the Hagan tidal wave of campaign cash. Hagan’s campaign spent $377,000 while McDaniel spent only 68,000. Good grief, she outspent the guy by over a five-to-one ratio. So, I don’t think that was much of a dogfight. It was more like King Kong vs. Bambi.

I can’t deny that Kay Hagan is a nice woman and quite charming. And, she knows how to raise campaign money from her rich friends in Irving Park. But, her liberal voting record in the state senate would be an albatross around her neck in the GOP designed 6th congressional district.

She would have a better shot at the U. S. Senate if Liddy Dole runs for re-election. Notwithstanding her liberal voting record, Hagan may have a chance in this scenario for two reasons: Dole doesn’t really live in North Carolina and has little, if any, genuine connections with this state and I think that Dole’s advancing age may become a factor.

As for the 6th congressional district, I don’t think Howard Coble will ever quit. But, I don’t think he can live forever. I think that John Blust has been gnawing at the bit for years to run for that congressional seat. But, he isn’t about to tackle Coble in a GOP primary because of the fear of a humiliating defeat. (I’m sure the loss to Hagan still rankles the guy.)

I think that BJ Barnes has his eye on the seat, but I don’t think that he’ll get anywhere. The GOP pros will think his image is a little to, um, “gruff” for a congressional candidate. Marcus Kindley doesn’t really have much of a chance; he lost badly in a GOP primary for county commissioner (coming in dead last among three candidates). Steve Arnold might run. Or, the national GOP boys may promote some new fresh face we haven’t heard from before.


I refuse to take you seriously until you learn the proper name of my political party.



Ed Cone

Coble's seat seems safe as long as he wants it, and I can't see Hagan giving up a powerful and useful job in Raleigh for such a long shot. After Coble, well, it's still drawn as a GOP district...but who knows.

I agree that Hagan might be a good challenger for Dole.

AO, you mention Hagan's liberal record, and she is of course a Democrat...but she's not exactly Ellie Kinnaird.

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