Is Pete Domenici Ready for Prime Time?
Last week I took a gander at the potential for a real race for Senate in New Mexico this cycle due to the rumors that incumbent Republican Pete Domenici is on his way to retirement despite his statements otherwise. In short, there are a number of reasons why one might believe (as many do) that Domenici will opt not to run again, opening up a strong pick-up opportunity for the Democrats. But if my post were not enough to convince you that something might be up with Sen. Domenici, perhaps this report from Roll Call's Mary Ann Akers (sorry, subscription required) might make you change your mind (h/t Wonkette).
Pajama Party ... or Not. We had a number of reports Friday that Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) was wandering the halls of Senate office buildings in his jammies.
Two staffers said they saw the Senator wearing "tartan" or "buffalo plaid" pajama bottoms and a "loose-fitting shirt." By the end of the day, one informant called to say she heard Domenici was walking around in his boxers. But by that point, we already had spoken to the Senator, who assured us, "These aren't pajamas! They're hunting pants!"
These are not the actions of someone who is tasked with running for reelection over the next two years as is Sen. Domenici, who is quoted as saying, "I'm still going to run again, and win again." Make no mistake: this is not a mere Ted Stevens wearing an Incredible Hulk tie, this is a Senator potentially ambling around the halls of Congress in only his underwear. If this isn't a borderline Jim Bunning moment, I don't know what is. And though Bunning was able to ride George W. Bush's long coattails to a narrow victory over a largely unknown state senator in 2004, Domenici will not likely have as much cover from the 2008 Republican nominee (regardless of who he is) given the more even partisan balance in New Mexico.