Sunday, May 14, 2006

Great. Just what we need. Another Levin.

From the Detroit News.

LANSING, Mich. -- The son of Democratic U.S. Rep. Sander Levin is running for the Michigan Senate.

Andy Levin, whose uncle is Democratic U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, plans to announce his candidacy Monday at a restaurant in Oakland County. The 13th Senate District in that county will be an open seat because Republican Sen. Shirley Johnson of Troy is term-limited.

Will his last name be enough or is he too leftist for the district? It's a 51% GOP area.


Anonymous said...

Having a famous name does mean a lot in politics. Most voters will vote for politicians that sound safe or familiar and having a name like Levin will be a huge asset.

In a district split so evenly between parties it may be necessary for Republicans to spend a lot of money to overcome the name advantage. One way to overcome the name advantage without spending a lot would be to run a Republican with an equally famous name.

Anonymous said...

If we have to have a death tax to prevent "rich" people from inheriting all of their wealth, why can't we have a law preventing the progeny of politicians from establishing dynasties?

No, I'm not really suggesting this as a real idea. It would be funny though to put the idea forward and see what happens. After all, if the law ends the Kennedy Dynasty it would also end the Bush Dynasty.

What an awfully painful dillema for some people to consider eh?

Mike Kelly

RKG said...

You know, some people view public service as a noble calling and it may just be that people who have witnessed it firsthand in their family are more easily or naturally drawn to offer their service. After all, I'm sure Mike and Bill Rogers learned a lot about public service from their parents and would probably resent the implication that they considered the value of name recognition in deciding to seek political office. There is a terrible danger in painting with too broad a brush. Let's give the kid a break and look at what he stands for before we reach any conclusions.

Anonymous said...

In the world of politics there is what the public sees and there is what REALLY happens behind the curtain.

Any good political analyst will look at the race of Levin younger and know immediately that the name is worth so many votes on election day. It would probably not be enough to make a difference in a Republican dominated district but in a 50/50 district it could be the difference between winning and losing. This is really sad but it is a fact of life.

In the ideal world voters would not vote based just on name recognition, but in our very real world they do. The real problem is that only about 10%-20% of voters bother to pay attention to what is REALLY going on in the world of politics all year long. Most voters vote strictly on party or else make a decision at the last minute. Some voters switch back and forth between parties to "punish" a party for something they don't like. This is ALL very sad, but things are the way they are and we just have to work with it. I personally believe that the greatest threat to our Democracy is voter apathy, but nobody has yet found a cure for this ailment.

Regarding the race of Levin the younger, my gut instinct is that he is intentionally running for the Senate because this will cause the greatest amount of confusion with voters. Keep in mind that he certainly has access to his fathers best political advisors and to his fathers campaign contributor list. In a close race the advantages that name and family resources add will almost certainly give him the election.

I would not be surprised if the idea here is for him to run and serve in the Michigan Senate for a few years. His father is getting old and is probably thinking about retiring. With a couple of elections, a famous name, and considerable resources behind him, he would be an automatic favorite to replace his father in the future.

And yes, some people do think ahead like this, especially in political circles.