Joe Scarborough Weighing Senate Run

As reported yesterday, former U.S. Representative and current talk show host Joe Scarborough has been approached to run for a U.S. Senate seat in 2006. He is apparently seriously considering doing so.

TV Show Host Scarborough Weighs Senate Bid (AP)

Congressman turned political talk show host Joe Scarborough has a choice to make: renew his contract with NBC or challenge Katherine Harris for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Scarborough said Wednesday that he has already talked with Sen. Elizabeth Dole, who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and plans to meet with Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman and White House officials next week about whether to get into the race to unseat Democrat Bill Nelson.

“I’ve told everybody I’ll keep an open mind. I’m happy with NBC, NBC is happy with me. They’ve offered me a new contract. That’s sitting on the table,” Scarborough said.

Scarborough, who spent seven years in Congress, said Republican leaders are concerned about Harris’ electability because of the role she played in the 2000 presidential recount. She was Florida’s secretary of state then, and Democrats say she fought recounts that could have jeopardized President Bush’s 537-vote victory. “Everybody I’ve talked to in the party likes her personally, it’s just the numbers. You look at any public poll and the numbers are not positive for her simply because she’s identified with the dustup in 2000,” Scarborough said.

Harris began her campaign last week. Her political strategist, Adam Goodman, said Wednesday: “We think ultimately, whether we have a primary or not, Katherine will be the nominee and the party will unite behind the nominee.” Harris’ strength in the Republican primary is her ability to raise money, her name recognition and her popularity among party activists.

Scarborough would have some of the same strengths. “You go into their homes every night about 300 times a year for an hour, that tends to help your name ID across the state and the country,” Scarborough said.


Scarborough, 41, resigned from Congress four years ago to spend more time with his sons. One son heads to college this fall, the other is 14, and Scarborough said they and his wife ultimately have veto power over his decision. Since he left Congress, Scarborough has been a conservative voice on MSNBC’s “Scarborough Country” and has hosted a radio show. “There is certainly nothing romantic about being a congressman or a senator,” he said Wednesday. “The price of admission is being kicked around every day.”

Getting the Republican nomination is nice but winning the election is the goal. Harris is not the ninny she was portrayed as during the 2000 “dustup” but she is permanently damaged from that ordeal. Scarborough is probably a better general election candidate but, as I noted yesterday, has a long video/audio trail owing to his current vocation.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Katherine is the best to be elected Senator from Florida. She deserves to win the primary. Katherine is heading toward a victory: people have to know her and they’ll see she is a kind and inspiring person. Katherine, I wish you well !

  2. R Miller says:

    Not to mention, there’s the little problem of Joe Scarborough’s aide, Lori Klausutis, who was found dead in his office with a smashed skull (multiple fractures, front and back). It was Joe who personally spread the false story of her “history of health problems” in order to throw the media off the murder.

  3. Mark says:

    So “R Miller,”

    Are you suggesting that Scarborough killed this woman, and that he told everyone of her mental problems to cover it up? Your comment certainly reads that way to me.

  4. Mario Sarafraz says:

    My letter to Sean Penn

    Letter to Sean Penn 23 August 2005

    Shame on you Mr. Sean Penn for glorifying and justifying the terrorist government of Iran out of your blind hatred for President Bush. You dare compare a terrorist government who is led by a master terrorist and so called Supreme leader who is un-elected, absolutely despotic and with zero toleration for dissent to a democratic nation such as the United States. You, Mr. Sean Penn do not deserve to live in the USA, as an Iranian who is now a naturalized United States citizen I am ashamed to call you a fellow citizen.

    Are you aware what would happen to you if you made the slightest derogatory remark about any of the corrupt and terrorist ruling clergy in Iran if you were an Iranian ?? The next time you spew your anti President Bush remarks just stop for a moment and remember that doing the same thing in present day Islamic Republic of Iran will cost you at best a chopped off hand, gouged out eye and at worst, decade long prison sentences with daily torture and even execution. This is a country that tortured, raped and killed a foreign journalist for taking photos of the outside of a political prison. Are you ignorant enough to think the so called elections in that country is actually real or that the so called president can make any difference, when the real power openly lies in the hands of the Supreme Leader and his un-elected so called Guardian Council ??

    Your harshly criticize Mr. Donald Rumsfeld for once dealing with Iraq more than a decade ago. Why is it so strange that the defense secretary once dealt with Saddam ? Is it so hard for you to understand that at the time it served the purposes of the United States to choose the lesser evil and support Saddam Hussein against the wildly hostile and corrupt regime of the terrorist mullahs in Iran ? A government that had attacked the embassy of the United States and taken it’s employees hostage for more than a year. Is it hard for you to comprehend that you could be friendly with an entity at one point in time and hostile at another ?? You of all people should be able to understand as you supposedly loved Ms. Madonna enough at one point to marry her and then later on hated her enough to divorce her. No one questions your integrity for doing that, so why is it hard for you to understand that nations also can be friendly at one point in time and unfriendly at others. As an Iranian who’s country has been occupied by a group of un-elected terrorist mullahs who are ruling the country by force I commend president Bush for having the courage and vision to recognize that corrupt murderous dictators such as Saddam Hussein, The Taliban and the terrorist un-elected rulers of Islamic Republic of Iran can only be removed from power by force.

    As for Iran’s nuclear program, let there be no doubt, the terrorist regime is and has been trying to develop nuclear weapons for years. Once again the Bush administration has clearly seen through this regime’s lies. They aspire to have nuclear weapons for one reason and one reason alone. They perceive nuclear weapons to be an effective deterrent to anyone who tries to remove them from power by force. They intend to threaten blowing up the strait of Hormuz rendering it impassable hence immediately putting the world in a chaotic energy crisis. Mr. Rafsanjani the powerful political figure and an indicted criminal has already threatened blocking the strait of Hormuz in case of any attack on them by an outside force.

    We have seen the results of the European solution which suggests endless negotiating. Why didn’t they try negotiating with Hitler ?? Left alone these ruthless dictators will end up like Fidel Castro of Cuba, where one dictator does whatever he wishes to his hapless citizens forcing them to risk life and limb and drowning by taking to the sea in the hope of reaching freedom on the shores of their neighboring country to the north. The country you seem to hate so much despite all it’s given you.

    I challenge you to not just visit the present day Iran, but actually to live there for a while, like a year or so. Try to see what it’s like to live in constant fear and to have every freedom taken away from you right down to your choice of clothing. Try going on your alcohol binges over there Mr. Penn !!

    You think you know about Iran just because you interviewed a series of pre-selected corrupt dictators and their corrupt off springs ???

    I have traveled to 77 countries and know far more about world politics than you ever will in the next 500 years. First you shame your country by visiting Iraq and glorifying a murderous dictator who put his political opponents into mass graves and then you go to the biggest terrorist menace on earth, Iran and compare them to United States. You cannot even compare the so called Islamic Republic to it’s Arabian neighbors in terms of the freedoms they provide their citizens, yet you dare comparing them to the United States where
    ignorant movie actors like you can say whatever they choose about their democratically elected president and not only keep their limbs but to have their worthless, ignorant comments printed in biased newspapers such as the New York Times . What is next on your list of destinations, North Korea, Cuba or Myanmar perhaps ?? Who is the next leader you are going to choose to glorify out of your personal vendetta against president Bush ? Mugabe of Zimbabwe perhaps, or maybe Bashar Assad of Syria ??

    I thank god you and your like lost on November 4, 2004 and I truly dread the day when someone you approve of ends up in the Oval office.

    May that day never come.

    M. Sarafraz