31 Days: An Absentee U.S. Senator

DAY 31

Exactly one month before the election, and now that we’re down to the wire, political pundits from North Carolina and Washington DC are beginning to realize what North Carolinians have known for months – Elizabeth Dole is an absentee senator who has hardly lifted a finger to help hardworking families. Instead of working for her constituents, Dole has chosen instead to represent the interests of Big Oil and Gas, corporations that ship jobs overseas, and the failed policies of the Bush administration.

Charlie Cook: Dole “May Not Have Worked Hard Enough.” According to the Raleigh News & Observer’s Under the Dome blog, political analyst Charlie Cook said that Dole “may not have worked hard enough.” Furthermore, Cook said, “Normally, when you get elected to the Senate, you're a lot younger and a lot more aggressive and proactive and you hit the ground running and you work your tail off for six years,” but that, “when you get elected and you're not that young and you're a Republican in the South, maybe you're not quite as visible as you needed to have been and maybe you haven't been quite as aggressive as you needed to have been and in a bad year you can get yourself into a race.” [Raleigh News & Observer, Under the Dome blog, 9/8/08]

Raleigh News & Observer: Dole’s Negative Attacks “Can’t Be Serious.” In an editorial, the Raleigh News & Observer wrote that Dole “can’t be serious” with her negative attack ads against Kay Hagan. The editorial said, “there are plenty of valid reasons to oppose offshore drilling -- as Dole did until the tides recently turned -- and in imputing this kind of nonsensical motive, the senator can't be serious.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 9/13/08]

Independent Weekly: Dole Was “A Loyal Foot Soldier In The Bush Administration’s Army.” Independent Weekly reported that “Through the first nine months of 2007, Dole was a loyal foot soldier in the Bush administration's army. Her voting record was strongly pro-business and anti-labor. She backed the Bush line against environmental and energy-conservation measures, health and education funding, civil rights and tax reform. To this day, Dole is a staunch supporter of the Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans and proposes to cut corporate taxes further and eliminate estate taxes entirely.” [Independent Weekly, 9/17/08]

Center For Responsive Politics: Dole Is An “Obvious Industry Favorite” For Big Oil & Gas. The Center for Responsive Politics reported that “the oil and gas industry has given incumbent Elizabeth Dole 22 times more money than Democratic challenger Kay Hagan. Of the candidates for Senate this election cycle, Dole is among the top 10 recipients of oil and gas money--an obvious industry favorite.” [Center for Responsive Politics, 9/29/08]

Raleigh News & Observer: Dole Was A “Back-Bencher” In The Senate. The Raleigh News & Observer reported, “Dole has spent her first term largely as a back-bencher who is more likely to co-sponsor major legislation than author it, more likely to join a group of negotiators than lead it.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 9/29/08]

Hard To Find What Dole Has Done. Kerry Haynie, a political scientist at Duke University said, “If you look for things [Dole’s] done, you have to look hard and long to find those things, she's more of a silent senator in many respects.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 9/29/08]

Larry Sabato: Dole “Lost Touch With The State She Represents.” Larry Sabato wrote that Dole “lost touch with the state she represents,” and that “recently released figures suggesting Dole spent a mere thirty-three days in North Carolina for all of 2005 and 2006 (two years combined) only underline the Democrats’ charge.” [Virginia Tidewater News. 10/3/08]

---Disclosure: I am Kay Hagan's Online Communications Director---