Bad Democrat Vibes

The decision Monday of Delaware's Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joseph Biden, not to run for his father's old Senate is another sign of tough political winds for Democrats.  It's also a story of how Democrats caused their own problems.

When Biden The Elder was elected Vice President, it was clear he wanted his son to follow him into the Senate.

"It is no secret that I believe my son, Attorney General Beau Biden, would make a great United States Senator just as I believe he has been a great attorney general," said the father.

So, why wasn't Beau just appointed to that seat originally?  Well, Biden the Son was serving in Iraq as part of the Delaware National Guard, as a Judge Advocate General.

So, to leave that for a Senate seat was deemed to be the wrong move.

That led to the decision to appoint Ted Kaufman to the Senate seat, and Kaufman quickly said he would not be running in 2010 for the office.

Who is Kaufman?  He was Biden's Chief of Staff for almost 20 years in the Senate, a trusted advisor, and the classic type of "caretaker" Senate choice, keeping the seat warm for the real candidate.

But now, Biden isn't running.  And Democrats don't have much of a bench in Delaware, making it especially difficult to keep that seat when they have to face off with Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), of whom one of my colleagues likes to say "has probably shaken the hand of every person living in Delaware."

That's because Castle has been in the State Assembly, served as Lieutenant Governor, two terms as Governor and is now in his 18th year as a House member.

He is very popular at home, and no one here in the Congress would be surprised if he wins that seat in November.

Democrats are already in trouble in three Senate races where they had to replace Senators with appointees:

* Illinois - Sen. Roland Burris is not running for the seat held by President Obama
* New York - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand faces a difficult bid to hold onto Hillary Clinton's old seat
* Colorado - Sen. Michael Bennet is in trouble for the seat once held by now Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar

Add to that Massachusetts, where the Democrats already lost a seat.

The news media narrative on this is getting steam as well.  The Associated Press story out of Delaware on the Beau Biden decision said that it dealt "another blow to President Obama's flailing party."

The winds are not blowing behind the Democrats so far in 2010.