Smith '08: David Wu is out.

In the context of a story about Steve Novick's potential candidacy for the US Senate, OPB's Colin Fogarty reported Congressman David Wu's decision about running against Gordon Smith: He's out.

The list of possible big-name challengers to Gordon Smith is pretty short. Former Governor John Kitzhaber said no. Congressman Peter DeFazio says he won't run, now that Democrats won a majority in the US House. The same with Congressman David Wu.

In the story, Novick acknowledges he'd be a bit of an odd candidate:

"I'm a somewhat unusual guy. I mean, I'm four foot nine and I have a left hand made of steel. And I like to joke about that."

But a campaign against Gordon Smith would have a clear narrative - Gordon Smith: champion of the rich, the powerful, and the special interests.

Steve Novick: "I will say that we need a Senator who will stand up for the little guy. And when I say it, you can believe it. I will say those things. And I will also talk very serious about why we should be worried about a rising national debt, why we should be worried about global warming, why we should be worried about the rising gap between the rich and powerful and the rest of us."

That's where Gordon Smith fits into Novick's political narrative. The Republican Senator made a fortune in the frozen food business. A recent report said he was a frequent flier on corporate jets. Smith's office said that report was wildly exaggerated. But Novick points out Smith voted against a hike in the minimum wage and in favor of tax cuts that benefited wealthy Americans.

Steve Novick: "We're supposed to have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Gordon Smith has always represented of the rich, by the powerful and for the special interests."

Smith's office failed to return a phone call requesting comment.

Read the rest. Discuss.

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    Steve Novick: "I will say that we need a Senator who will stand up for the little guy."

    Hell with that--we need a Senator who IS a little guy!


    (you said you like to joke about it!)

  • verasoie (unverified)

    What's with the Portland Tribune reporting that Blumenauer won't decide until this summer? Wasn't he already out? We need him in the House!

  • cwech (unverified)

    Is it possible that their all afraid that Smith is unbeatable? I could be entirely mistaken about this, but it looks to me like everyone is afraid to take him on. I dont think Wu was the right guy, but the candidates who look to me like they may have a legitimate shot are all stepping aside. Compare that to what I beleive is a similar situation in Minnesotta where the top candidates to take on Smith's clone Norm Coleman dont seem to be shying away the way they are here. I was optimistic that Smith was vulnerable in 2008, and right now its looking less and less likely to me. If anyone can restore my confidence please do so because I'm feeling pretty down about this race now.

  • JTT (unverified)

    Thank heavens Wu isn't even thinking about higher office...he should think about retiring from the office he's in now. (Yes, I'm a Democrat)

  • Bert S. (unverified)

    Well as long as we're joking about short people, then I suggest that Novick's first order of business is to bring on Robert Reich as an advisor. Novick doesn't seem like he would "lock [Reich] in the cabinet," so Reich might find it more compelling than his work with Clinton Administration.

    Good Luck, give'em hell.

    [public disclaimer, I'm kind of short, though I derive no financial benefit from it ... that I know of.]

  • LT (unverified)

    Just because Al Franken is rumored to have decided in favor of running against Coleman doesn't mean all Senate candidates have to decide within weeks of the new Congress taking office.

    Better to give the possibility of running a lot of thought and discussion with family and friends, line up support both locally and with the DSCC, and then announce when organized.

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    What's with the Portland Tribune reporting that Blumenauer won't decide until this summer? Wasn't he already out? We need him in the House!

    No, Blumenauer has not made any announcement.

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    As far as we know neither has Hooley. But the list is getting a lot shorter.

    I saw to hell with it. Steve you should run no matter who else enters the race!

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    sorry I meant "I say to hell with it."

  • cwech (unverified)

    LT-I wasnt suggesting that people have to make up their mind extremely early, what I was being frustrated about was the fact that good potential candidates are unambiguously saying that they will not run. There's a big difference, the list is getting pretty short at this point, I didnt think Wu was the best person for it, but this isnt people saying "I'm going to sit on it" this is people saying "I'm not doing it" there's a difference, I'm fine with people waiting, you're right, it is a big decision, what frustrates me is that it seems like nobody with clout wants to do it.

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    Just a note about what the dynamic is here, Cwech. There are plenty of folks 'thinking' about it - but many of them are leaning strongly one way or another.

    When "leaning away" people remove themselves from the list, that actually makes it more likely that a "leaning toward" person will make the move -- because the field is clearing for them; they know they won't have a tough primary race.

    I don't know if Earl Blumenauer is going to run; haven't got any clue. But when Peter DeFazio and John Kitzhaber pulled out, that's gotta clarify his thinking. At a minimum, Earl now knows that he shouldn't wait for them.

    The long list of people pulling away is a good thing, not bad.

  • BlueNote (unverified)

    If Earl Blumenauer decides not to run for the US Senate, it will be a very clear signal to me that he, his advisers and the Dem. senate campaign folks have determined through private polling and other data that Gordon Smith is not as vulnerable as many of us would like to believe.

    Earl can talk about how much he loves the new Dem majority and his new committee assignments, but in my experience no congressman in his right mind would pass up a high probability opportunity to move up to the senate. The difference in power and prestige is huge, particularly inside the beltway, where congressmen are for the most part considered temporary bit players, whereas senators are worshiped as gods.

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    Ty Petit is running. He's a good guy but a former Republican so he will have a challenge. Still, he worked pretty hard in Oregon on the Kerry campaign and really got around. I'm for Steve if you run though --- please, please do it. What a blast that would be.

    Ginny Ross DFO

  • genop (unverified)

    If Smith sucessfully filibusters the spending bill and achieves the aim of including the O&C timber subsidy for rural Oregon counties, he will be formidable and do much to redeem his perceived lack of spine. - Stay tuned. Any predictions on whether he will walk the talk?

  • spicey (unverified)

    I like Earl for Senate. I'd like to see him declare ASAP so we can get busy. C'mon Earl, let's not wait till the last minute. And, if you're not in, and know it... how about letting us know?

  • Ron Beasley (unverified)

    "David Wu is out" Maybe there is a God after all. Thank God!!

  • LMc (unverified)

    Nobody should let Wee Gordie slide on the fact that he was a strong and vocal supporter of the Republic-rat minimum wage proposal that would, in effect, have reduced the minimum wage for "tipped" employees in Oregon to $2.15 per hour... and you'd be a "tipped" employee as soon as you got something like $30 a week in tips.

    Besides, who says we have to wait to have an opponent to start campaigning? Think of it as a celebrity roast and start preparing your best lines right now.

  • Steiny (unverified)

    I consider myself to be a loyal Democrat, but my vote is earned, not given- so I'd never vote for Wu again. I'm not that familiar with Mr. Novick, but it sounds like Oregon now has the opportunity to have our very own Jon Tester or Jim Webb!

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