October 15, 2009
Could A Wave Be Building?
By George Will
WASHINGTON — Demure Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution, but since then has not made many waves. It might, however, be part of a political wave a year from now, thanks to a direct descendent of Benjamin Franklin.
The great man’s great-great-great-great-great grandson, Mike Castle, 70, a nine-term Delaware congressman, will be next year’s Republican nominee for the Senate seat Joe Biden held for 36 years. This and other candidate-recruitment successes make it reasonable for Republicans to hope that in January 2011 the Senate will contain fewer than 60 Democrats.
Biden’s seat is currently occupied by a former Biden staffer who, in service to the ancient notion that public offices should be family patrimonies, will disappear when Biden’s son Beau, 40, runs. He is the state’s attorney general and has just returned from serving in Iraq with his Army National Guard unit. Delaware has not elected a Republican senator since 1994, but Castle, who has never lost a race, has run statewide 12 times: Once for lieutenant governor, twice for governor and nine times for the state’s only congressional seat. In the last four elections he averaged 65 percent of the vote.