When President Obama was marshaling his $800 billion economic stimulus through Congress, his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had a pat answer for any Republican requests to change the bill, “We have the votes. F–k ‘em.”
With that tone set, it is not surprising that more than 18 months later, in October 2010, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., echoed Obama’s bipartisan tone, telling National Journal that after the 2010 election, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” No wonder Obama has completely failed at every turn to get any bipartisan support for any of his agenda.
If Mitt Romney is elected president this November, he will not have the same luxury Obama did to vulgarly dismiss the opposition. From day one, Romney will need at least some Democratic votes in the Senate if he wants to get anything done. The good news is Romney will be in much better position to win those Democratic votes.
Despite his landslide election, there were only two Republicans senators who were running for reelection in 2010 in states that Obama won in 2008, Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Richard Burr, R-N.C. Neither senator faced an opponent who raised more than a few hundred thousand dollars. Both won reelection comfortably. In other words, no Republican senator had any reason to fear Obama would come in and campaign for their opponent if they didn’t play ball.
But, if Romney wins in 2012, there will be up to ten Democratic senators from Romney states up for reelection in 2014. They are:
Mark Begich in Alaska
Mark Pryor in Arkansas (+27 Romney according to RCP)
Mark Udall in Colorado
Tom Harkin in Iowa
Mary Landrieu in Louisiana (+23 Romney according to RCP)
Max Baucus in Montana (+9 Romney according to RCP)
Kay Hagan in North Carolina
Tim Johnson in South Dakota (+5 Romney according to RCP)
Mark Warner in Virginia
Jay Rockefeller in West Virginia (+21 Romney according to RCP)
Not all of these Democrats will face tough elections in 2014. But many of these incumbents, like Baucus and Begch, are likely to work with a Romney administration anyway. Throw in the other Democrats from red states that have a well established history of crossing the aisle (Sens. Joe Manchin, W.V., Claire McCaskill, Mo., Ben Nelson, Fla.) and Romney will have plenty of conservative negotiating partners to work with…if he gets elected.