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Let us all pause and laugh and point at the sad end of the political career of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, who discovered far too late that there is no amount of spittle that you can lick that will save you from the inevitable career suicide when you ally yourself with El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago. On Tuesday night, JeffBo tried to regain the Senate seat he’d given up to be attorney general in the president*’s punching-bag cabinet. He got freight-trained in a Republican primary by a former Auburn football coach named Tommy Tuberville. In the end, the president* submarined Sessions as though JeffBo were an Atlantic City glazier he could stiff on an invoice. He endorsed Tuberville.
Kyle Whitmire at AL.com gives JeffBo the send-off he deserves.
Four years ago, Jeff Sessions was the most popular politician in Alabama, comfortably in a Senate seat that could have been his for the rest of his life. Today he’s as unemployed as the former football coach who beat him this week in the Republican primary. Don’t have pity for him. He brought this on himself. Rather, have pity on Alabama. Republican voters may have rejected Sessions, but it seems they did so for all the wrong reasons. Or for the wrong person.
Tuberville beat Sessions like a tin drum all over the state. He even swept Tuscaloosa County, home of the University of Alabama, which is quite an accomplishment for a guy that coached at Auburn, the Crimson Tide’s historic cross-state rival. And if you think that college football isn’t a factor in this race, the Alabama Democrats are here on the electric Twitter machine to remind you that you’re out of your mind.
He lost his last Iron Bowl 36-0, collects millions of dollars in pension money from hard-working Alabamians, and bilked investors based on their trust in his investment advice. Tubs, Doug’s gonna run through you like Fred Talley at an 11AM Jefferson-Pilot game.
Note for folks who may not be football-literate. Fred Talley was a running back from Arkansas who put 241 yards on Tuberville’s Auburn squad in 2002. This is a great piece of oppo. But the whole “bilking investors” thing is far more serious. His partner was convicted of fraud. From the Opelika-Auburn News:
John David Stroud, 42, of Auburn pleaded guilty Friday in Circuit Judge Jacob A. Walker III’s courtroom. Investigators said Stroud took money given to him by investors and used it for personal expenses or for unauthorized business, said Stephen Feaga, deputy director of the Alabama Securities Commission. Prosecutors argued that Stroud presented himself as a commodities trader and set up several companies in order to get money, raising $5.2 million between 2008 and 2012.
Tuberville was not charged in the scheme, but the aroma of the scandal has stayed with him. (Sessions tried to make an issue of it, but it failed to stick as a campaign issue.) In addition, as a national political candidate, Tuberville is a banana factory. From Yellowhammer News:
In what was perhaps the most interesting comment of the day, Tuberville said, “I’ve been in the cities, folks, you can’t drive through a neighborhood. Why? Because terrorism has taken over. Sharia Law has taken over. Folks, there [are] places you can go in this country that you’re not wanted. In our country. I mean this is not the Middle East.”
“It is wrong to come here and [not] go by our Constitution and go by our laws. And you’re welcome, I don’t care what religion you are, what culture you’re from, we’re in the most giving country in the world.”
“But my goodness, if we’re going to allow them to change our culture, and our country. Because they’re going to get their hands on the Constitution one day, and when they do it’s over. They want to get it for one reason: that Electoral College. If they ever knock that out we’re done, we’re done,” he added. “We’ve allowed it to happen. Washington, D.C. and our elected officials have allowed it to happen. And it is embarrassing, it really is,” Tuberville concluded.
For his part, incumbent Democratic senator Doug Jones still has a long, hard pull ahead of him to keep his seat. At this point, he’s about the only Democratic senator whose seat is considered vulnerable. However, his campaign is financially sound, and Tuberville is better than even money to say something stupid that will energize Black turnout, which is how Jones beat Roy Moore to replace JeffBo in the Senate, and it is entirely possible that this president* may be such an incurable electoral cholera by the beginning of November that his endorsement of Tuberville could turn out to have been deadly.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, in Texas, Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician, won a runoff in what is probably the most conservative congressional district in the state, while Candace Valenzuela, an underdog progressive Democrat, won that party’s runoff in the state’s 24th congressional district, defeating one of those military Democrats named Kim Olson. Another military Democrat, M.J. Hegar, narrowly won a Democratic runoff against a fast-closing progressive named Royce West for a chance to relieve the Senate of John Cornyn. The dynamic in that race seems to have been similar to that of the Amy McGrath-Charles Booker Democratic senatorial primary in Kentucky. From the Texas Tribune:
Hegar brushed off questions about her small margin during a news conference earlier in the night. She denied the margin was closer than expected, instead saying the turnout — near 1 million votes — was higher than expected and should concern Cornyn…
West proved a worthy opponent in the runoff, though, campaigning as the “true Democrat” supported more by the party in Texas than in Washington. Already backed by many Democratic colleagues in the Legislature, West picked up endorsements from five of his former primary rivals, none of whom got behind Hegar. He also inherited endorsements from the third-place primary finisher, progressive Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, including that of U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio.
In Maine, however, where Sara Gideon, the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, has been running against incumbent Susan Collins for over a year now anyway, the three-way Democratic primary was a walkover. From the Portland Press-Herald:
But Sweet and Kidman were overshadowed by Gideon as soon as she entered the race and picked up endorsements from big-money, influential national groups such as EMILY’s List and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Critically, Gideon also immediately landed an endorsement from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, and the support of the national party’s massive campaign machine, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Those high-profile endorsements helped Gideon raise more than $23 million for her campaign as of June 24, demolishing all previous fundraising records in Maine even before the Democratic primary. Since announcing her candidacy in June 2019, Gideon has focused almost exclusively on Collins, not her primary opponents.
Were I Senator Collins, I would be, well, deeply concerned. My brow would be so furrowed it could hold a three-day rain.
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