LaRocco/Risch 2: Electric Boogaloo?

Via Idaho's front-page friend from Kossackland, mcjoan:

Short on the heels of Larry LaRocco's announcement yesterday, GOP Lt. Gov. Jim Risch let it be known far and wide that he was available for the job, too.

And how smarmy can a guy get?

"I've been approached for over a year about it," Risch said. "I've never seen anything like this. It's been a groundswell,"


"When people want you to serve in Idaho and think this is something you need to do for Idaho you’ve got to stop and think about it."

Claiming himself the heir apparent by public acclaim before Craig has even announced his intentions? "He needs our respect," says Risch of the senior Senator from Idaho. But get out of the way, you old hack, it's my turn.

In last year's matchup between Risch and LaRocco, Risch had one very important bullet in his bandolier that's absent for the upcoming race -- campaigning as a sitting governor, on the taxpayer's dime. Risch traveled back and forth across the Gem State last year giving speeches, cutting ribbons and making proclamations ostensibly related to his job as temporary governor of Idaho, though in reality it was a way to campaign and garner tons of free publicity without having to spend a farthing of his own money.

If Risch chooses to run against LaRocco for the Senate seat, I don't think he'll find it as easy to pull in the free PR as before. The Lt. Guv seat just doesn't have the same clout as the Governor's office. As before his few months of being a pretend governor, Risch has reverted to being the invisible second banana he was during the Kempthorne years. With LaRocco's early announcement, and his opportunity to raise a boatload of money before the real campaigning sets in, Risch will actually have to work at winning voters, and I'm not certain he's built for it. Not to mention, he'll find it a damn sight harder to duck out of debates with LaRocco, as he did last year.

As mcjoan says, "fun times ahead for the Gem State".

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Otter will help

Otter will send him on all the PR stunts he wants, so it's campaigning on the state dollar all over again.

Otter is pretty damn loyal to the R's that have saved his worthless hide too many times over.

Why will it be harder for

Why will it be harder for Risch to duck debates with LaRocco? I hope that's the case, I'm just not sure how that will work.

Good question, Alan

Here's the only way I can answer that, and it relates to your and Larry's military training and service. As I understand (and please feel free to correct me where I drift), an important component of military action, whether in training or actual combat, is analyzing afterward as concisely as possible what worked, what actions or strategies were weak or failed, and how it can be improved upon in the future.

I'd guess LaRocco knows (as I too suspect) that the higher-office Idaho GOP candidates will try to again drastically limit, or halt altogether, any statewide debates they can scurry away from. Larry knows Risch won't be any more eager to debate him in 2008 than he was in 2006. As soon as Risch announces his candidacy, if he were to do so, Larry (and the Idaho blue blogosphere, 'natch) needs to start hitting on Risch for being too cowardly to face Larry mano-a-mano, and that if Jimmy can't face Idaho citizen's and answer the questions put before him, he sure as heck can't face a Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate in any substantial way that benefits the public back home.

Larry's rode this trail before. He's a smart man, and I believe he will take to heart the hard-lessons learned from last year's campaign (his early announcement, to me, is a positive indication of that).