The Senate, of course, is a deathtrap for presidential ambition in the current atmosphere. It has tons of negatives -- you make a lot of enemies, you need to compromise so you can be flip-flopped, there are so many votes that one can always find some nasty piece of legislature to hang around your neck, it reeks of professional politician "them"-ness, and most importantly ... you never DO anything.
What? That's not true, Senators vote on a million bills, and introduce legislation, and back .. blah. blah. blah. What did YOU do, Senator? Did you get more armor for the troops? Did you revamp the educational system? Well, maybe you and nine other guys did that and now it's off for approval by the President, but saying you "voted for" something isn't the same as you "did" it. You take the heat for bad voters, and get no credit for victories in the public eye. You do a lot of ... government stuff. Committees. Wow.
This is why governors (and mayors) do so well in presidential politics. Governors can claim they ran their state. Was there a state legislature, etc? Sure, but ads for Governors can read "HE blanced the state budget", or "HE installed universal health care" or "HE got more money for schools and cops." This is why Eliot Spitzer's running roughshod over Pataki right now. His narrative is: "Spitzer puts rich fucks in jail." Christ, he's almost a superhero with that story, never mind a candidate. He's the class war equivalent of Batman. (Oh, and don't miss lecture 10 in the series: "Class war, class war, class war, it's all about the class war, that's why they squeal and accuse you of using it, because it's your most potent weapon, it's the class war, idiot, oh hey look at my shiny class war.")
2008, progressives should lean heavily on a governor or outsider. Just my opinion. But that's what the blog's for.
Next: Less political theory, and more on effective speechwriting. Or, "In the name of Christ, STOP TALKING."