One of the Senate GOP's top goals this cycle was to starve crazy Sen. Jim Bunning of any reelection money, thus forcing him into retirement. Mission accomplished.
Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky says he will not run for a third term in 2010, citing a lack of campaign money.
In a statement issued by his office Monday, Bunning blamed fellow Senate Republicans for doing, quote: "everything in their power to dry up my fundraising."
For Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and NRSC Chair John Cornyn, this is undoubtedly a huge victory, moving the seat from a lean Democratic pickup opportunity to an even toss-up. But in the process, they publicly humiliated a colleague.
There's a real easy way for Bunning to get back at McConnell and the rest of his tormentors -- quit the seat early. Sure, his replacement would be appointed by the state's Democratic governor, but that would certainly be fitting retribution. And it's not an original idea. In fact, it was Bunning who first floated it.
The Kentucky Republican suggested that possible scenario at a campaign fundraiser for him on Capitol Hill earlier this week, according to three sources who asked not to be identified because of the politically sensitive nature of Bunning’s remarks.
The implication, they said, was that Bunning would allow Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, to appoint his replacement — a move that could give Democrats the 60 votes they need to block Republican filibusters in the Senate.
"I would get the last laugh. Don’t forget Kentucky has a Democrat governor," one of the sources quoted Bunning as saying.
Do it, Jim. Get the last laugh. Make it epic.