Friday, September 02, 2005

Van Susteren Makes Senate Run Official

from The League: Reassembled

Lise Van Susteren formally announced her candidacy for the US Senate seat being vacated by Paul S. Sarbanes yesterday. Van Susteren, whose website describes her as "a forensic psychiatrist and mother of three" from Montgomery County, joins a growing list of Democrats vying for the party's nomination.

Political analyst David Nitkin speculated on the effect of Van Susteren's candidacy on the primary race earlier this week: "Conventional thinking holds that a larger number of white candidates in the Democratic primary would benefit Mfume most. Blacks make up about 28 percent of the state's population, and are a higher proportion of the primary voting pool."

Van Susteren is likely to be a smart, articulate candidate running against the Iraq war and the demonized career politicians (primary opponents Kweisi Mfume and Ben Cardin, who have both served in the federal House of Representatives). She has a thoughtful anti-war position, calling for a smart yet unhasty withdrawal. She is opposed to Bush's plan to destroy Social Security. She also plans to focus on education and has some very specific healthcare proposals, including one to increase the number of Americans insured. We at The League are particularly pleased with her progressive stances on social issues, particularly support for gay marriage and embryonic stem cell research. She even mocked President Bush for his support of intelligent design.

She is also unlikely to win. Her name recognition, even in Montgomery County, is miniscule. This, and the momentum behind Cardin's campaign, will create difficulty in securing endorsements and, more importantly, in fundraising efforts. Another challenge will be stepping out of the shadow of her sister, Greta, who hosts a popular show on the FoxNews cable television channel. In fact, a quick google search of "van susteren for senate" shows how most news organizations are covering Van Susteren's announcement: "WJZ: Greta Van Susteren's Sister To Run For Md. Senate"

Ouch. If Van Susteren really wants to represent Maryland in the Senate, she needs to prove to voters and financial contributors that she can do so better than Ben Cardin and that she is more than "Greta's big sis."

from The League: Reassembled

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