Dennis Romero at LA Weekly:
Pioneering political blogger Mickey Kaus took out papers filed to run for U.S. Senate in California, he told LA Weekly. The Venice resident said he’ll run this year against Barbara Boxer for her seat. He said he took out filed papers at with the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters, although a spokeswoman there could not yet confirm the filing.
The Democrat has been centrist and even conservative on some of the issues on which Boxer has taken a more left-leaning stand, including immigration: He does not favor amnesty and favors a more restrictive national policy.
The journalist’s Wiki entry says he’s also “skeptical of affirmative action, labor unions (particularly automotive workers’ unions and teachers’ unions), and gerrymandering of congressional districts.”
It’s not clear where he’ll get the money to run against such a well-oiled machine as Boxer’s. But one blogger called Boxer’s poll numbers “less than intimidating.”
And in his Kausfiles blog, Kaus has quite the widely-read bully pulpit, with an estimated readership of as many as 30,000 people daily.
The rollout didn’t go as my team of highly paid media consultants* had planned– L.A. Weekly got it way before it was supposed to. Heads will roll around here. But I did go down to the local registrar’s office Monday and take out nomination papers to run in the primary for U.S. Senator against Barbara Boxer. If I return them in timely fashion with enough signatures, I should be able to get on the June ballot. We’ll see what happens.
This isn’t the place to make an electioneering spiel–I don’t want to be a test case of campaign finance law if I can help it. But the basic idea would be to argue, as a Democrat, against the party’s dogma on several major issues (you can guess which ones). Likeminded Dem voters who assume they will vote for Sen. Boxer The Incumbent in the fall might value a mechanism that lets them register their dissent in the primary.
Next phase: Lowering expectations!
I’m not a Kaus-hater, but I have to confess I just don’t “get” the Kausfiles. Who could stand reading something like that? I tried for a while. It’s worse than The Note was when Halperin ran it, stylistically.
This would seem to be a classic protest candidacy, with next to zero chance of upsetting Boxer in the primary. (The Republican contenders, especially Chuck Devore, appear to have a quite decent chance of doing it in the general, however.) But it should be interesting.
So far, the former “Who’s the Boss?” star-turned-mega-Tweep — with more than 700,000 followers — hasn’t mentioned Kaus’s Senate campaign, and her support is obviously crucial in the online community.
Alyssa Milano never re-Tweeted Harold Ford Jr. Just sayin’ . . .
HE’S GOT MY VOTE: Mickey Kaus for Senate! “Pioneering political blogger Mickey Kaus filed to run for U.S. Senate in California, he told LA Weekly. The Venice resident said he’ll run this year against Barbara Boxer for her seat.”
UPDATE: Rob Kiser emails: “Someone needs to remind LA Weekly it’s not ‘her” seat. It’s the ‘people’s seat’.”
Jonah Goldberg at The Corner:
Obviously, I’d prefer a strong conservative Republican over a moderate liberal Democrat as the next senator from California. But Mickey Kaus would provide the sort of iconoclasm the Democratic party desperately needs, particularly in California. If more Democrats were as empirical and tough-minded as Mickey, the country and the state would be in a lot better shape. I’m reminded that WFB supported tough-minded Democrat Joe Lieberman over squishy Republican Lowell Weicker on similar grounds. Still, I hardly think what Mickey needs to win in a Democratic primary is full-throated support from the likes of me, or National Review. (There’s a story about Lyndon Johnson begging The New Republic to stop praising him and start attacking him because in Texas, praise from The New Republic was less than helpful). So, I’m fully prepared to attack Kaus’s outrageous, left-wing vanity run to be the next left-wing looney bird from Hollyweird!
I’m going to go counter-counterintuitive here and say that if some weird process put Mickey Kaus in the United States Senate, he’d wind up being someone who neither Reynolds nor Goldberg like very much. It’s not really clear to me what votes Kaus would have cast differently from Boxer or what difference it would have made. And of course like all politicians if he were actually in office he would face strong incentives to act like a conventional politician rather than like a contrarian blogger.
Moe Lane at Redstate:
For obvious reasons, I’m not endorsing him – a hypothetical Senator Kaus would caucus with the Democrats, which breaks the first rule of my endorsement criteria – but if you’re a Democrat who is tired of a liberal idiot* or idiots representing you, well, do something useful about it. Nobody cares if you’re just going to be mortified.
PS: If you’re wondering about a particular… consistency… to the slurs against Mickey in that LA Daily post’s comment section, go click the links found here. Essentially, this is a legacy of the pushback against Kaus for taking the John Edwards adultery story seriously. What? Why are the netroots still trying to use that line, even though it turned out that the netroots had been collectively and individually played for fools?
Re-read the last half of that last sentence for the answer.
UPDATE: Ross Douthat
UPDATE #2: Robert Wright and Jim Pinkerton at Bloggingheads
UPDATE #3: Ed Carson at Capital Hill
UPDATE #4: John Cook at Gawker
Deborah Solomon at NYT
UPDATE #5: Kaus’s final post on Slate
UPDATE #6: James Wolcott
UPDATE #7: Robert Wright and Mickey Kaus at Bloggingheads
UPDATE #8: Stephen Kaus