Is Michael Bennet angling for a Cabinet post?
I feel pretty safe in saying that when most voters think of appointed United States Sen. Michael Bennet, the term divine does not immediately leap to mind — unless it is in reference to the hope for intervention in his policies.
But I’ve been attaching the term to him and a few other politicians lately in connection to the Japanese term “Divine Wind” or, Kamikaze. Most readers will recognize the term in connection with Japanese pilots who, in a last act of defiance, flew their planes into American ships at the close of World War II.
As I see Sen. Bennet and others decided that the discredited and unwanted health care bill must be passed, even if it takes a destructive manipulation of the legislative process, I cannot help but think of them as drinking their last cup of sake and climbing aboard their legislative bomber to hurl it broadside into the republic.
It’s long been an axiom that an opponent is at his most dangerous when he’s wounded and has nothing left to lose. In the case of Bennet, this is rapidly looking to be the case, as the disparity in polling numbers between him and his likely Republican opponent, Jane Norton, will not close their embarrassingly large gap.
Bennet is even having problems crushing an upstart candidate from his left, against whom it is looking likely he will have to spend from his enormous war chest to fend off a primary challenge.
Let us not forget he has been raising money. As of the last required reporting, he had managed to put together $4.8 million, with almost a million dollars coming from the national political action committee, ActBlue. He also raised around $675,000 at a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser with President Barack Obama last week, where the common folk for whom Bennet is so concerned, paid $15,000 apiece to have their picture taken with the president. (Some people apparently like to have a remembrance of their presence at a great calamity).
Nevertheless, the conventional wisdom is that this will probably be in vain and, barring some unforeseen mishap, the odds are large that Bennet will be replaced in November. So where does that leave our probable lame-duck, with months of mischief-making yet before him?
Defiant, perhaps a bit peevish at the electorate and possibly angling for a federal position.
We should actually be paying attention to a number of these senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial dropouts and also-rans, because the president still needs their help, especially those who have dropped out to make way for stronger Democrat candidates. For instance, it would not be surprising, after the dust has cleared from the 2010 elections, to see former Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut pop up in the administration or some cushy ambassadorship.
Bennet no doubt sees himself as qualified for a Cabinet position at, say — here’s a guess —the Department of Education, where turnover is not unexpected. Also, remember that all that campaign money can push a cause dear to Washington just as effectively as the candidate.
It’s not like similar suggestions have not been made in this very race. Last September, rumors and news stories were hot and heavy that Obama had offered former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff a position in his administration in return for Romanoff dropping his primary challenge to Bennet.
Now, in the waning days of the president’s push to achieve his unpopular agenda, the need for sacrifice on the part of folks like Bennet is high. In the senator’s stubborn adherence to pushing the president’s plans, even when many in the state’s southpaw media manifest indignation, some begin to feel a strong wind about to blow. Let’s hope it is just the result of the floundering of a troubled candidate and not the early stirring of a divine wind.
Rick Wagner offers more thoughts on politics at his blog, The War on Wrong, which can be reached through the blogs entry at GJSentinel.com.