Brave Sir Dayton has again beat a very brave retreat from Washington DC, this time in a metaphoric sense, as he abruptly announced that he will not seek re-election in 2006, more than eighteen months away:
Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., said today that he will not run for re-election in 2006.
Dayton made the announcement this afternoon in a telephone conference call with reporters.
“I do not believe that I am the best candidate to lead the DFL Party to victory next year,” Dayton said.
No kidding. Even the DFL has started to come around to that realization. Late last month, Dayton’s approval rating in the always-generous Minnesota Poll retreated faster than Dayton himself last October from DC. He lost 15 points, even among Democrats and their Twin Cities power base. His positive rating came in five points below what George Bush had just received in the last election in Minnesota in a losing effort. Responses showed that Minnesota voters had deep reservations about Dayton’s hysterical flight from the nation’s capitol before the election and in his equally hysterical rants about Condoleezza Rice during her confirmation debate.
His early surrender gives the Democrats two years left on his lame-duck seat, complicating his committee assignments. After all, anything with any visibility should be given to Democrats who need the positive publicity of their assignments for their re-election campaigns, especially with the Democrats in such poor shape in the Senate already. Dayton leaves the DFL plenty of time to develop a candidate to run against Rep. Mark Kennedy, who the cognoscenti feel has the best shot at the GOP nomination.
This time, Democrats, try to get someone who won’t wet his armor at the sight of a killer rabbit.