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Speier chasing Lantos and everyone’s in a tizzy

By rgordon
Wednesday, August 8th, 2007 at 6:21 pm in Uncategorized.

Every now and then there is a rumble among politicos about whether former Democratic state Sen. Jackie Speier, who was termed out in November, will mull a run to unseat 79-year-old U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, in 2008.

The question, which had been on hiatus for a while, was stirred up again in Sunday’s Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross column in the San Francisco Chronicle. According to them, a poll conducted in January by Sacramento pollster Jim Moore found that Speier is a 2-1 favorite among voters.

The survey of 300 voters found “Speier defeating Lantos in a head-to-head matchup by a stunning 50 percent to 24 percent among Democratic voters in the 12th District,” according to the column.

Speier, according to Matier and Ross, is spending the summer mulling over whether to entertain a run against Lantos, who is in his 13th term in Congress and chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. In the meantime, Speier is engaging in a bit of suspended animation working as an attorney at Hanson Bridgett Marcus Vlahos & Rudy LLP in San Francisco.

The revelation of the poll sparked Huffington Post blogger and Internet executive Michelle Kraus to proclaim on Monday, “Jackie Please Don’t Do It Again.”

“(T)he whole shebang is a disaster on wheels,” Kraus wrote. “Again, the highly regarded former state (s)enator is flying around looking for a landing spot, regardless of its impact or potential damage to the Democratic House leadership or one of the country’s great spokespeople on human rights. Didn’t she learn the tough lesson this last year when she went head-to-head in the race for (lieutenant governor) and lost – bloodied and costing thousands of dollars from her affluent donor base in Hillsborough(?)”

“Jackie, Jackie… what are you thinking?” she continued. “This would be a pyrrhic victory, if won.”

Meanwhile, Lynne Weil, Lantos’ spokeswoman, confirmed to Matier and Ross that Lantos is in “very good shape” for his age and has every intention to run in 2008 regardless of Speier’s ongoing ruminations.

“Contemplation is one thing and certainty is another,” she said. “And all we know for certain is Tom Lantos is going to run for re-election.”

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