Will talk-radio host and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham challenge Tim Kaine in 2018? The rumors have swirled for the past few days, but this morning Laura Ingraham herself confirmed them — sort of. Ingraham told Fox & Friends this morning that she is indeed considering the idea, and that they would get the scoop once she made her decision:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 17, 2017
DOOCY: There was that rumor out there that you might run for US Senate in Virginia, challenging Tim Kaine. Anything to that?
INGRAHAM: I’m considering it.
INGRAHAM: Yeah, yeah. I haven’t made any decisions yet.
DOOCY: Why are you considering it?
INGRAHAM: I think it’s always good to mix things up, and you know, I’ve been in Washington a long time and I have a great respect for Congress and the institutions of government. And I’ve had a great privilege to serve the country in the judicial branch as a law clerk, and at the executive branch for President Reagan, and it might be something I’m interested in. I haven’t made any decisions, but a number of folks in Virginia who are well-connected are very interested in my running, and it’s very flattering. I’ll decide in the future, and Fox & Friends will be the first to know once I make a decision.
The Washington Examiner reported on the stirrings in the Old Dominion over the weekend:
The queen of conservative talk radio, Laura Ingraham, is eyeing a Senate run in Virginia and a challenge to Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine.
Knowledgeable sources said that several party insiders have approached the media giant to run and that she is considering it.
In preparation for a bid, her business partner, Peter Anthony, has begun buying website domains for Ingraham to use should she decide to move forward. It includes: ingrahamsenate.net, ingrahamsenate.com, ingrahamforvirginia.com and ingraham2018.com. …
While it would be considered an uphill fight, Ingraham brings her well-known personality and several influential backers to a race that could translate into immediate media and fundraising opportunities.
It’s not difficult to understand why party leaders in Virginia would want Ingraham in the race. She’s sharp, well attuned to the state’s politics, and most importantly a well-known conservative whose personality would provide an immediate contrast to the current, somewhat-less-than-exciting incumbent. Unlike others who might get drafted into that position through the normal bench in Virginia, Kaine won’t overshadow Ingraham in a straight-up fight.
What’s less comprehensible is why Ingraham would want to do it. Serving in the US Senate is undeniably a historic achievement, and an office with considerable influence on policy. However, Ingraham’s influence at the moment is already considerable; her show is on over 300 stations across the US plus also on Sirius XM satellite radio. She currently serves as a guest host for The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News and contributes regularly. Ingraham wields that influence personally and individually. Running for the Senate would mean giving that up to be one out of one hundred Senators working in rhythms set by party leadership in order to accomplish anything, and would almost certainly require her to give up her media platforms well ahead of the election. That’s a lot of influence to surrender for a shot at the Senate, not to mention the economic considerations of walking away from a lucrative and successful media career.
Ingraham is to be taken seriously, and if she’s confirming her interest, she will have already thought these factors through. It certainly would make the Virginia Senate race a national affair, and that alone would help Republicans in a midterm fight if they can manage to accomplish the biggest parts of their agenda up front in 2017. It certainly won’t be dull. At least, not on the Republican side.