The Spectacle Blog

Running Against Health Care

By on 8.20.09 | 9:29AM

This YouTube video, which links liberal Kansas Republican Jim Barnett with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, has been making the rounds on national and Kansas blogs. Jim Barnett is a liberal Republican who lost a gubernatorial bid against Sebelius by a landslide, only to then team with her in 2008 in an attempt to pass a big government health care plan in Kansas. 

The video strikes me as interesting for two reasons:

1.  Kathleen Sebelius, the once popular Kansas governor, has finally entered "Nancy Pelosi territory." Clearly, her support of ObamaCare has made her a radioactive figure whom candidates -- in Kansas, at least -- are attempting to "run against." You can tell you have become unpopular when you become the focus of these types of videos and candidates begin asking you not to come to the district and campaign for them...

2.  Kansas-1, the Congressional seat Jim Barnett is hoping to represent, is one of the most Republican seats in the nation.  Clearly, this is a chance to elect a solid conservative Congressman like State Senator Tim Huelskamp, for example. Huelskamp has a solid ten-year conservative voting record, whereas Barnett is part of the moderate GOP establishment in Topeka.

... Last quarter, Barnett donated $100,000 to his own campaign.  It will be interesting to see whether or not conservative groups sit on the sidelines and allow a liberal Republican to buy this race.

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