“I think she has no ambitions in Kansas electoral politics,” said University of Kansas political scientist Burdett Loomis, who worked for Sebelius when she was governor. “The last small opportunity would have been to run for the Senate against Pat Roberts (R), and that simply wasn’t going to happen.”
Former governors often make good U.S. Senate recruits. But Kansas has not elected a Democratic senator since 1932 and this year’s race has moved too far along for her to conceivably jump in against Roberts. Plus, he’s a family friend. (Faced with a conservative primary challenger, Roberts has been forced to adopt a hostile posture toward Sebelius despite their long-standing relationship. He called on her to resign last year, a testament to how much opposition she inspires among conservative voters.)
The next opportunity, in theory, would come in 2016, when Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) faces reelection. A run then would present Sebelius with deep challenges, not the least of which is rehabilitating her image with the decidedly conservative Kansas electorate. A recent poll showed the majority of Kansas voters held an unfavorable opinion of her.