Pat Roberts may win re-election in Kansas thanks to Obama's first campaign promise

Barack Obama may re-elect GOP Senator Pat Roberts in Kansas, thanks to some adroit footwork by the aging moderate incumbent.  Capitalizing on the perceived squishiness of his opponent, Roberts is stoking fears that following the meidterms, President Obama may send the remaining Gitmo prisoners to Fort Leavenworth, the sole high-security military prison in the United States.  That could make Kansas a target for jihadis seeking a spectacular operation aimed at busting out their comrades.

Business Insider reports:

The issue of Fort Leavenworth has become a significant one in the 2014 election for US Senate in Kansas, which finds Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts facing a fierce challenge from independent businessman Greg Orman. 

The Obama administration is reportedly considering possible ways for President Barack Obama to unilaterally shut the military's detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, making good on one of his earliest campaign promises. As the Defense Department's only maximum-security facility, Fort Leavenworth has often been floated as a possible destination for Guantanamo's remaining 149 detainees inside the continental US.

Roberts has reacted furiously to the reports, making it a central issue in his campaign platform. During a press conference last week in Overland Park, he looked straight into a camera and pledged to "shut down the Senate" if Obama tried to close Guantanamo Bay and send its detainees to Fort Leavenworth.

"Not. On. My. Watch," said Roberts, a former Marine, pausing after each word for emphasis and saying he'll do "anything" — shut down the government, filibuster — to keep it from happening. 

Leavenworth is only a 45-minute drive from Kansas City, Kansas – one of the major population concentrations in the state, and the location of many affluent suburbs, owing to the lower taxes of Kansas attracting wealthier residents of the bi-state metropolitan area.  These are the type of people who turn out in midterm elections.

I credit Roberts with some skill in forcing the hand of Orman, whose campaign reacted clumsily:

For his part, Orman has said Obama is "absolutely wrong" to consider transferring detainees to Fort Leavenworth. But the Roberts campaign, in its push to nationalize the race and tie Orman to Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has questioned whether Orman would be willing to buck Obama if he were elected.

"The thought of Greg Orman standing up to Obama on any issue or shutting down the Senate on any issue is laughable," the strategist said.

A spokesman from the Orman campaign recently came under fire when he mocked Roberts' campaign in an attempt to criticize Roberts for fear-mongering on the issue. Sam Edelen, the spokesman, tweeted a line from a piece in Washington Monthly:  

Natural leaders don’t excel by instilling fear & cowardice in their people. But does the Senate Bedwetter's Caucus? http://t.co/6hK0RRIS1r

— Sam Edelen (@samedelen) October 11, 2014

He added a jab at "the senator's Bedwetting Caucus," a reference to a phrase in the piece  whose author said "is made up of the people most likely to urinate on themselves out of irrational fear."

The Kansas Republican Party was quick to demand an apology from Orman's campaign, which relented. According to two people with knowledge of the move, Edelen was "reassigned" after the flap from the tweet.

My heart was with Milton Wolf, who challenged Pat Roberts for the GOP Senate nomination in Kansas, but in the end the electorate picked Roberts.  Thanks to an extraordinary ruling from the Kansas Supreme Court that defied the language of the law requiring that the only reason a candidate could withdraw is being “incapable” of serving, the Democrats were able to take the name of their own nominee off the ballot so that faux-independent Greg Orman would have a better chance of beating the aging Roberts.  Orman coyly is claiming he doesn’t know which caucus he will align with if elected, but he has a history of donating primarily to Democrats.

Keep your eyes on Kansas next Tuesday.  My gut tells me Roberts will pull this one out of the fire.

Barack Obama may re-elect GOP Senator Pat Roberts in Kansas, thanks to some adroit footwork by the aging moderate incumbent.  Capitalizing on the perceived squishiness of his opponent, Roberts is stoking fears that following the meidterms, President Obama may send the remaining Gitmo prisoners to Fort Leavenworth, the sole high-security military prison in the United States.  That could make Kansas a target for jihadis seeking a spectacular operation aimed at busting out their comrades.

Business Insider reports:

The issue of Fort Leavenworth has become a significant one in the 2014 election for US Senate in Kansas, which finds Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts facing a fierce challenge from independent businessman Greg Orman. 

The Obama administration is reportedly considering possible ways for President Barack Obama to unilaterally shut the military's detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, making good on one of his earliest campaign promises. As the Defense Department's only maximum-security facility, Fort Leavenworth has often been floated as a possible destination for Guantanamo's remaining 149 detainees inside the continental US.

Roberts has reacted furiously to the reports, making it a central issue in his campaign platform. During a press conference last week in Overland Park, he looked straight into a camera and pledged to "shut down the Senate" if Obama tried to close Guantanamo Bay and send its detainees to Fort Leavenworth.

"Not. On. My. Watch," said Roberts, a former Marine, pausing after each word for emphasis and saying he'll do "anything" — shut down the government, filibuster — to keep it from happening. 

Leavenworth is only a 45-minute drive from Kansas City, Kansas – one of the major population concentrations in the state, and the location of many affluent suburbs, owing to the lower taxes of Kansas attracting wealthier residents of the bi-state metropolitan area.  These are the type of people who turn out in midterm elections.

I credit Roberts with some skill in forcing the hand of Orman, whose campaign reacted clumsily:

For his part, Orman has said Obama is "absolutely wrong" to consider transferring detainees to Fort Leavenworth. But the Roberts campaign, in its push to nationalize the race and tie Orman to Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has questioned whether Orman would be willing to buck Obama if he were elected.

"The thought of Greg Orman standing up to Obama on any issue or shutting down the Senate on any issue is laughable," the strategist said.

A spokesman from the Orman campaign recently came under fire when he mocked Roberts' campaign in an attempt to criticize Roberts for fear-mongering on the issue. Sam Edelen, the spokesman, tweeted a line from a piece in Washington Monthly:  

Natural leaders don’t excel by instilling fear & cowardice in their people. But does the Senate Bedwetter's Caucus? http://t.co/6hK0RRIS1r

— Sam Edelen (@samedelen) October 11, 2014

He added a jab at "the senator's Bedwetting Caucus," a reference to a phrase in the piece  whose author said "is made up of the people most likely to urinate on themselves out of irrational fear."

The Kansas Republican Party was quick to demand an apology from Orman's campaign, which relented. According to two people with knowledge of the move, Edelen was "reassigned" after the flap from the tweet.

My heart was with Milton Wolf, who challenged Pat Roberts for the GOP Senate nomination in Kansas, but in the end the electorate picked Roberts.  Thanks to an extraordinary ruling from the Kansas Supreme Court that defied the language of the law requiring that the only reason a candidate could withdraw is being “incapable” of serving, the Democrats were able to take the name of their own nominee off the ballot so that faux-independent Greg Orman would have a better chance of beating the aging Roberts.  Orman coyly is claiming he doesn’t know which caucus he will align with if elected, but he has a history of donating primarily to Democrats.

Keep your eyes on Kansas next Tuesday.  My gut tells me Roberts will pull this one out of the fire.