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A year later, a race Debbie Dingell belongs in

by: Eric B.

Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 11:01:05 AM EST

John Dingell is retiring from his Congressional seat. This was news about three hours ago, and it's being so widely reporting that there is no need for a link. If you want one, you can probably find it on a website of your choosing.

I've also seen some first-ground speculation of the parachuting in by national press corps. You can ignore these people now as you've been able to ignore them everytime they parachute in to speculate about what's happening in one of the states.

Most of us know that a year after she made a giant stink about not being consulted about a Gary Peters candidacy for the Senate that this is a race that makes a lot more sense for Debbie Dingell, especially if she wants to create a credible stepping stone to an eventual Senate run.

Beyond that, I have no comment.

Update! ... This is a pretty great comment from Dingell.

More than health concerns, Dingell says a disillusionment with the institution drove his decision to retire. "I find serving in the House to be obnoxious," he says. "It’s become very hard because of the acrimony and bitterness, both in Congress and in the streets."
How many people from both parties have left long tenures of public service and essentially said that the Tea Party is at the root of Congress' dysfunction? File this away the next time someone drags out the, "Both sides are equally guilty" nonsense.
Eric B. :: A year later, a race Debbie Dingell belongs in
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Wide Open in the 12th
Support for Debbie Dingell (apart from John) is a mile wide and a half inch thick.  The bloviators that claim she is a shoe-in really don't understand the district or the rancor most politically active/working Dems hold for Debbie Dingell.

Rebecca Warren is sure to run and I'd imagine at least one or two folks from Downriver will get into the race.  It's anybody's guess how it will go at this point.

Good point
I sort of assumed that people would fall in behind her out of respect for John, but if she can't win a Democratic House primary, it would probably go a long way to easing her out of her spot of internal influence. Last year, during the Brewer-Johnson party chair fight, her name was regularly mentioned as someone who is part of the real problem (her and Bob King and a couple others).

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
It's has always seemed to me that she is fairly thin skinned, and was very quick to throw the sexism card. Point in case the when her name was thrown out for senate and she got roundly shot down by the party, she threw that "there are a lot of sexist in our party" label pretty quickly.

[ Parent ]
It's has always seemed to me that she is fairly thin skinned, and was very quick to throw the sexism card. Point in case the when her name was thrown out for senate and she got roundly shot down by the party, she threw that "there are a lot of sexist in our party" label pretty quickly.

[ Parent ]
Aren't you the guy that was making the issue about her initials...quite the insightful guy...my apologies to the lamp guy, don't put it out, I will be quiet now.

[ Parent ]
I didn't make a issue
I just pointed out calling someone DD or double D maybe be a tad tacky

[ Parent ]
I hope you won't hold it against me
that my initials are also shared by the Mars candy M&M.  Please send all copyright infringement lawsuit correspondence to my parents, as they are the responsible parties.

I should've raise the copyright infringement issue when all of my teachers and fellow students referenced that during the early grade school years.  If only I were more aware of business law at age five.


Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
I suspect this is going to be a crowded primary, which is a consequence oof having a long-standing incumbent step down.  It's why I'd give Debbie a more than fifty percent chance of winning this.  She'll get some of her husbands supporters, some from her husbands name recognition, and someone from the establishment for her work in Democratic circles.  That leaves the rest to be split between all kinds of candidates.

Debbie's best hope looks like a crowded primary, particularly crowded with relative unknowns.  I suspect there will be a crowded primary.

Other possibilities
I think this is Debbie's race to lose. Just because John is retiring does not mean he loses all of the influence he has. Dearborn and Downriver will vote for Debbie based on the name recognition and knowing who they are getting. I'm sure Ford will come out in support of Debbie as well and donate a bunch of money like they do for John.

While I'm sure there are people, especially Rebekah Warren, who have higher aspirations, I feel like entering this race would be very foolish for them. Some possible candidates...

- Rebekah Warren: Not only is Ann Arbor only about 12% of this Congressional District, but she really has no name recognition with the average voter Downriver or in Dearborn. She has 4 more guaranteed years in the Senate where she will probably be top 3 in leadership. Coincidentally, her term will be up at the same time statewide elections comes around again. Even if Debbie Dingell sticks around in Congress for 10-15 years, Warren would be much safer in finishing off in the Senate and then running for Lt. Gov, Sec. of State, or even Gov.

- Other Democratic State Senators that represent this district are Morris Hood (no money, name recognition, or chance), Hoon-Yun Hopgood (who I think is smart enough not to give up 4 more years in the Senate to challenge a Dingell who are beloved downriver), and Coleman Young (based out of Detroit, would have to move into this district).

- Democratic State Reps: I honestly don't think any of them have the name recognition or fundraising ability to challenge Debbie. I can see someone jumping in who is going to term out and has no other seat to run for (Doug Geiss-Taylor), but I don't see this happening either. I think most of the State Reps., at least downriver, realize there is a ceiling.

If Debbie doesn't enter the race I could see some other challengers besides for just Warren entering the race, especially people from Ann Arbor and Dearborn. For example, not sure what Mark Bernstein plans to run for in the future but it is evident he has higher aspirations as well.  

More to it than just the last name
While Debbie has the advantage it's far from a done deal. People respect Mr. Dingell but now that he is, for lack of a better term, a lame-duck that respect only goes so far and imho will not extend to The Lovely Deborah.

Rebecca Warren is running (I was told she is already circulating petitions) - she can raise money and Ann Arbor is still a population center (with lots of off-year voters) in the district.

Who knows what Downriver folks will get in - Doug Geiss and Andy Kandrevas are both termed out of the State House.  Andy also has a well know name Downriver.  Ray Basham could make run from the County Commission.  

Also don't count out a mayor - especially Jack O'Reilly of Dearborn.  He's is well liked in Dearborn and known throughout Downriver from his previous day job at SEMCA. Jack would be a very formidable candidate in the primary.

My general point is that it's a little early to being calling this a cakewalk for Debbie.

[ Parent ]
Too early to say much except Debbie Dingell is the likely frontrunner and Rebekah Warren is probably the biggest hurdle standing in Debbie's way of getting Emily's List behind her candidacy. Warren can raise money and would likely have many progressives behind her and lots of small donors. There's probably no end to the corporate money that would back Debbie Dingell, who is Nolen Finley's favorite Dem. She'd be a hard, tough campaigner who might, however,get rattled out on the campaign trail. Her opponents would likely sense that vulnerability and try to exploit it.

The O'Reilly factor (pun intended)is intriguing.

[ Parent ]
I agree that she's the frontrunner; I also agree that she's probably at risk of becoming unhinged
Her reputation for being incredibly thin-skinned was pretty well ratified last year when she tried to smear me as a sexist in the D.C. media because I thought she'd make a terrible Senate campaign. Now, she'll no longer be behind the scenese. She'll be front and center, and if she loses her shit the way people say she does behind the scenes, it's going to kill her candidacy.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
Bigger potential Debbie Dingell problem...
The wheels surely might come off the wagon on the campaign trail, but potentially more problematic is her tendency to micro-manage.  That comes from a really sharp political intellect--don't underestimate her--but it may get in the way of things. If she's smart she will hire a steller campaign manager, spend most her time raising money, and do what she's told.  

[ Parent ]
We will have to see...
For as thin-skinned as she might be and weary of nepotism other people might be, not only is it her last name that helps her, but just exactly who her husband is. John is clearly one of the most beloved people in Michigan politics and this fact alone might dissuade a candidate or two from entering the race. I can understand if Kandrevas or Geiss jump in, same with O'Reilly, they will have to make sure no one else from their area (downriver or Dearborn) enters or it really will be impossible to get the votes. Any candidate outside of Rebekah Warren in this district will probably have to campaign and fund raise 3 times as hard as Dingell to stand a chance.

I would still wonder why Warren would run, unless her dream is Congress. She could be set up perfectly for a top position in Michigan when her Senate term expires. If she loses this race, she will most likely fade away into obscurity with no race to run for at least 4 more years.

[ Parent ]
I think that has limits
Back a year ago, I heard from an awful lot of people who went to pains to separate their feelings for John from Debbie. My original assumption about this race was that she'd sort of inherit the seat based on that and that people would mostly go along with it because they didn't want to see John's tenure in Congress end with an embarrassment.

That might still happen, but it also might not. If people's general warm feelings for John doesn't translate into support for Debbie, she could be in real trouble.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
Media is now
indicating Debbie Dingell will run, with a formal announcement event happening later this week.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

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