Smith '08: Is Peter DeFazio still considering it?

Defazio_1Over at MyDD, a blogger named JAllen has posted this tantalizing tidbit:

I've just heard a report on the radio that the DSCC is offering Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-04) support of up to $5,000,000 if he runs against Senator Gordon Smith. Although DeFazio has said before that he will not run, apparently he is still considering it. I've heard that the DSCC has given him a deadline to decide- a deadline that is approaching soon.

Later in the comments, JAllen provides the source:

I heard the bit about the DSCC on a KOPT newsbreak (for non-Oregonians, KPOJ is the progressive radio station in Portland, KOPT is the progressive station in Eugene).

Rumors of a DeFazio run have never quite died away - despite his statement in January to The Hill:

“I had my run at the Senate,” DeFazio said. “I’m holding a gavel for the first time in my 20-year career. I’m not looking to do anything else — become the junior senator from Oregon with no seniority and not chairing a committee.”

Should Peter DeFazio run for the US Senate? Even if it means that his House seat becomes vulnerable to GOP takeover?

Would you support a DeFazio for US Senate campaign?


  • THE WOLFE (unverified)

    For all you "Gordo is going down" people, please...unless he's caught with a dead girl or a live boy he's going to be our US Senator...sorry.

    Peter, do the party, our state and hell our country a favor...stay put.

  • danboy (unverified)

    First time poster on B.O.

    Gordon is seriously vulnerable. He will get tons of money from RNC, but it won't cut it. If ever there was a time to remove this... Senator... the time is now.

    Oregon is at a point where we will no longer be considered vulnerable to the G.O.P. Smith has already placed his bets and he will be held accountable for where they stand.

    The G.O.P. is on their way out of this state and we will be entering a new progressive age in this state.

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    I agree DeFazio should stay in the US House. I'm not in his district, but I think it would be better for Oregon for him to keep his current position as long as the D's can remain in the majority.

  • Jesse B. (unverified)

    This is a tough one. DeFazio confuses and angers me with his position on immigration, but he is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and has pretty good Progressive cred on just about everything else. I guess it then becomes would he be more effective in the Senate or the House? The CPC now holds 11 of 20 Chair positions on standing committees. Do we risk have one less Progressive influence in the House and one more in a Senate?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    Let's remember a fact about the next election for senator in Oregon. It is in November - next year! We still have time to get a really good candidate to run against him; although, the sooner we get one the better. If the Democrats can't come up with a potential winner, let's go for a Green or independent and get behind him or her. Lloyd Marbet and the lady who ran against Ron Wyden would be among my first choices. (For the record, I'm a staunch independent.) Unfortunately, most Democrats will be like most Republicans. They will vote the party and not the best person for Oregon and the nation.

    We should remember that Smith was just around the 50% mark when he last won re-election so that would suggest he is no slam-dunk for another term despite the advantages of incumbency. He is a good-looking candidate which will get him most of the superficial voters, but the guy is an empty suit. The odds are the Iraq war will continue to go downhill and become an albatross for all candidates (including Hillary, Edwards, etc) who voted for the war so maybe enough of those superficial voters will get in touch with reality for a while and support someone with principle (or at least a lesser evil) and help elect Smith's opponent.

  • Don Beal (unverified)

    Defazio is finally at a place where he has some influence. I love him and would support his run but I think Steve Novick is the guy to run against Gordy.

  • Joe12Pack (unverified)

    "DeFazio confuses and angers me with his position on immigration..."

    Pete also scores relatively high marks on his NRA report card unlike most members of the CPC. Bet that really confounds your progressive programming.

  • verasoie (unverified)

    I found and commented on that MyDD diary when it first when up, and as I stated there, I'm still holding out for Kitz. Yeah, yeah, spare me and the rest of us a repeating of "Kitz isn't running, he's said so in public" because I've been told by him personally in private that he's still considering it, and won't make a decision until mid/late summer.

    Again, I see lots of backroom wrangling going on over this, and though I would prefer to see Kitz run and DeFaz stay where he is, I see Kitz wanting to stay in Oregon (to run for Gov again in a few years) and, honestly, not DeFaz running because it'll be a tough fight against Smith and he'd be losing everything if he didn't win. Where does this leave us? Still looking for another candidate around this fall.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)

    Definitely. And beyond.

    Wofie, your saw applies to people like Edwin Edwards. Having met both, Gordo is no Edwards.

    The religious right have driven this country off a cliff now twice in 100 years with Prohibition and Iraq. The NeoCons aren't a philosophy, they're a denomination. We've got the mob screwing with business and Muslims hating us forever, for the sake of domestic security. People are beginning to get the connection. Once the voters' nose is sensitized to it, Smith reeks of it.

    Perhaps, more important, I would work for DeFazio's campaign. Being pretty hostile to the way the Dems run the party in general, if I would do it, maybe people like me would also, which would help the Oregon party far beyond its effect in the Senate race. (Be nice.) Except for ending up as a Hart delegate, the last time I did that was during Robert Kennedy's campaign, so I guess you could say he fires up the base. Actually they're pretty similar, as far as I can tell.

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    I have the highest regard for Peter DeFazio, but I think that we need to run somebody who is a real scrapper, who will really take it to Gordon Smith, and I think that's Steve Novick.

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    I understand why DeFazio would be reluctant to sacrifice his senority in the House to jump in the Senate, but there are some upsides. The Senate gets to approve presidential appointees. It tends to have more influence over foreign policy. And, because of the different ways the bodies operate, the Senate often has more to say about final legislation. Plus, you represent all of Oregon. That last point is reason enough for me--I'd be proud as punch to have DeFazio represent the entire state.

  • jmba (unverified)

    I live in Defazio's district and I perish the thought of losing his local representation. I also think the House has gotten more done this year then the Senate, so his job performance there has been satifying for me. I hope he stays put with the power and solid base of support he has here.

  • Nate Westview (unverified)

    As a former Republican and now Indpependent, I am begining to belive that Defazio is more conserative than Smith. If he were to run he would have my vote. Even after introducing myself as a member of the College Republicans years ago, he was still polite, professional and a gentleman who listened to my concerns.
    That is far more than can be said of Smith and I campaigned for him twice. Anthony Summers wrote a biography of Richard Nixon titled the Arrogance of Power, I belive that could be applied to our current junior Senator.

  • jallen (unverified)

    First of all, jallen, like my other names on the webternets, is all lowercase. Second, Peter DeFazio, in my opinion, would be our strongest shot at taking on Gordon Smith. As I made clear in my diary, Bruggere and Bradbury lost the race all across Oregon. We need a candidate who can win the race across all of Oregon. Peter has proven he can win all across his diverse district, even in Jo and Douglas counties. Aside from that, Peter is a member of the progressive caucus and the out-of-iraq caucus, and generally great on the issues. Whoever challenges Smith will get plenty of $$ and volunteer hours from me, but it will be so much the sweeter if it is to get someone like Peter DeFazio into the Senate.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    I never thought I would say anything near this a year ago, but it would be a worthwhile exercise to give Ben Westlund some thought. I have noticed a significant change in Westlund since he left the Republican party and is no longer obliged to toe that party's line. He is knowledgeable and experienced and a hard worker. I'm not ready to give him my vote at this point, but I certainly believe his name should be added to the list of good possibilities. Maybe some of the people sticking with the Republican party will come around to realize how it has lurched to the lunatic right and will agree with Westlund this is no longer the Republican party they joined.

  • Seve (unverified)

    Hi all-- My first post. I strongly encourage DeFazio to run for Senate. I know he is secure in his seat, and will be a great chair. However, WE need to get rid of Smith now. Defazio will carry Lane an Multomah. He might carry Clackamas and Washington. The math will work for us to put true American in the seat that has been held by a 2 faced indiviual who just now figured out the Senate did not do it's job. Please encourage my favorite house member to run for the Senate

  • eugenian (unverified)

    I'm a DeFazio constituent and I think he needs to stay right where he is because he's done a terrific job representing me and the people in this district.

    Surely the Dems have more than two (Wyden being the other) Senatorial potentials in the whole state of Oregon!!

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    I'm fascinated by the 4th CD residents that love Peter so much that they want to keep him all to themselves!

    Seriously, people, share the good... Peter DeFazio would be a phenomenal candidate and (more importantly) an extraordinary US Senator. He will be able to do more for the 4th CD and for Oregon from a perch in the US Senate.

    And don't you folks worry. He's not the only Democrat who can win that congressional district. I can think of at least four Ds who could beat the best the Rs could come up with (Feldkamp again or Jim Torrey).

  • josh (unverified)


    Stick to Portland issues. Feldkamp and Torrey aren't even mentioned in the 4th CD mix. There is really only one person who can win this on the republican side and he also happens to be one of the hottest names in Lane County. Think of a mayor and you will have it.

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)

    No, because DeFazio is an economic troglodyte. If he gets the nomination I will most likely vote for Gordon Smith. We do not need another Democrat who will pander to the anti-globalization idiots, who will make sure that Latin American countries remain impoverished and importing lots of emigrants to our borders, who will beggar major parts of the U.S. economy is the misguided efforts to protect obsolescent unionized industries.

    Which is too bad, because DeFazio is right about a lot of things. But he's so wrong on this issue that it disqualifies him from ever getting my vote.

  • Aaron (unverified)

    Urban Planning Overlord-

    That is one of the strangest criticisms I've ever heard. 20 million more Mexicans have been driven into poverty since NAFTA was enacted. It completely destroyed their rural and agricultural economy, sending many farmers into the northern cities and, eventually, across the U.S. border illegally.

    DeFazio is one of the few Dems who has made that connection between our immigration problems and our unfair trade practices. He has stood up to corporate interests time and again on this issue. Something tells me that his unabashed populism will win him more votes than it will lose him.

  • tina (unverified)

    Hell yes! Go Defazio Go!

  • captkirk999 (unverified)

    do a draft Defazio campaign to get him to run. He would make a excellent senator. He is like the Kucinnich of Oregon

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    <h2>Don't insult DeFazio like that!</h2>
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