Castle vs. Coons
The campaign for Joe Biden’s U.S. Senate seat is a major political battle, not only in Delaware, but across the country. Could the high stakes upset the Delaware Way?
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Jensen thus dares to voice a theory that some have hinted at: Coons’ candidacy is a way of paying his dues to the national party so that, if he loses, he’ll have earned a job in the Obama administration. Liberal Geek, an editor of delawareliberal.net, goes even further. “It will be interesting to see,” he says, “whether the Bidens get out and support Chris openly and attend events, or whether they will just bide their time, let Castle win, and let him retire in four years, when he’s 75, and Beau can take the opportunity to run.”
Joe Biden’s son, Attorney General Beau Biden, announced in January that he would concentrate on his duties in the Department of Justice instead of running for his father’s seat, which many expected him to do. Soon after the announcement, Beau, his father and other prominent Democrats asked Coons to run.
Coons denies any would-be Biden succession plan and states unequivocally that not only can he win but he will win.
The economy and the effect of the stimulus package figure to be major issues in the campaign. Coons will emphasize that Castle voted against the stimulus, which, he says, “was a critical, strategic investment that stopped the rapid slide of our economy into a second great depression.” He also says the Republican Party “has moved much farther to the right than Delaware’s very centrist core values,” so his campaign will portray Castle as a true Republican, not the RINO—Republican in name only—that some have labeled the moderate congressman.
Castle seems almost to embrace the label, citing his ability “to work with everybody. By everybody,” he says, “I mean not only Republicans, Democrats and independents, but mayors, county and state officials, businesspeople. I’ve always done that, always kept my ear to the ground.”
Moderate lawmakers like Castle are a dying breed, according to Dr. Joseph Pika, professor of political science at UD. “Washington needs more of them,” Pika says. “That’s the way to get things done. Castle tends to want to solve problems, not take ideological stands.”
The Coons camp is hoping for a big voter turnout in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 3:2 ratio. But big turnouts in a mid-term election are rare. The Coons people know they face an uphill battle against the juggernaut that is Castle, who is viewed almost as an incumbent, and able to hit the ground running in a switch from the House to the Senate.
Coons notes that he wrestled competitively at Tower Hill, which taught him “to endure pain with grace.”
Come November 2, that lesson may come in handy.
On the other hand, David did vanquish Goliath.