Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rep. Heath Shuler (D, NC) Has a Third Option

About to be Gerrymandered Congressman May Just Quit

Earlier The Dismal Political Economist speculated on the idea that North Carolina’s 11th District Congressman and former Tennessee football star Heath Shuler would switch parties.  Mr. Shuler faced huge opposition from the Republicans who were going to try to change his district so that he would be defeated, and given his Conservative views a switch to the GOP seemed like a likely option.

Now reports are coming out that Mr. Shuler may become the next Athletic Director at the University of Tennessee.  So Mr. Shuler apparently has three options, (1) run as a Democrat, (2) switch parties and run as a Republican, or (3) quit.  If he takes number 3, which seems likely at this point the “I quit when things get tough” is not going to be an easy speech to give to rev up the football and basketball teams.

Republican reaction, as reported by Roll Call

National Republicans were nearly gleeful at the report of Shuler eyeing another job. Paul Lindsay, communications director at the National Republican Congressional Committee, sent out a blast email Wednesday with the subject: “Heath Shuler has updated his LinkedIn Profile.”

“Heath Shuler can see the writing on the wall, Blue Dogs don’t have a home in [Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi’s party and voters are fed up with his fake moderate breed,” NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said in a statement.

Mr. Shuler was recruited to his position by former President Bill Clinton who also campaigned for him.  The Dismal Political Economist is not certain that Mr. Shuler’s potential quitting is what is meant by “the third way”.

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