From the 'bizarre' department. Despite the welcome improvements in the condition of Senator Tim Johnson, there is no sign that he will return to his Senate duties soon. Nevertheless he is preparing (or others are preparing on his behalf), for his re-election run next year. Roll Call ($) says:
In what may be the strongest signal yet that Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) will run for re-election in 2008, at least seven of his Democratic Senate colleagues are organizing big-ticket fundraisers in the coming weeks to help him fill his campaign coffers as he continues to recover from emergency brain surgery.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman and Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and five other prominent Democratic Senators are hosting the D.C. events that begin Wednesday and run through March. Sen. Kent Conrad (N.D.) is organizing the Wednesday fundraiser in a private office at 101 Constitution Ave. NW, with Reid holding an event on Thursday at a private home on Capitol Hill.
“A number of Senators are holding fundraisers for Tim,” said Drey Samuelson, Johnson’s chief of staff. “We’ve been really touched by the outpouring of support from different Senators...”
“We are excited about the prospect of him running again, and we are doing everything we can so if he chooses to do that, he will be in an excellent position to do so,” Samuelson said. “We’ve gotten calls from different folks who said, ‘Anything we can to do to help, we’re happy to host a fundraiser for you.’”
A Democratic operative with ties to South Dakota politics said the upcoming rash of Johnson fundraisers is a clear indicator that he is preparing to run for re-election and that he understands he cannot afford to waste any time filling his campaign accounts. “This is essentially what Tim would be doing himself if he were able to,” the source said. “It is absolutely right to view this as a pretty strong signal to everyone that he is operating under the assumption he’s running for re-election...”
I guess it's the nature of American politics today that supporters and allies are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the anticipated re-election of a candidate who is uncertain to be able to resume his duties.