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Pressler lacks values and substance

by Greg Belfrage

Why do defeated Washington politicians find it so difficult to stay out of the Beltway?

Former Republican Senator Larry Pressler says he's now 90 percent confident that he'll run again for the U.S. Senate. Except this time, he'll run as an Independent.

Pressler changed his voter registration this week from Republican to Independent. He's been adamant that an independent voice is needed to break the gridlock between Democrats and Republicans in Washington.

Pressler fears many may think him too old to run for office. He's 71.

However, Pressler's age is the least of my concerns.

Washington isn't the same place it was when Senator Pressler served in the Senate. The place is corrupt and full of power mongers and special interests. Pressler's belief that Washington can be changed by a few independent voices is naive.

Pressler is no catalyst for change. He doesn't have the strong leadership skills needed to inspire and bring people together. It was excruciating to watch his last campaign. Pressler stumbled and bumbled his way through debates with challenger Tim Johnson.

And Larry has gone downhill rapidly from there. 

Pressler endorsed Barack Obama for president...for a first and second term!  The following is from Pressler's news release endorsing Obama:

This decision is not easy for any lifelong Republican. In 2008 I voted for Barack Obama, the first time I ever voted for a Democrat, because the Republican Party was drifting toward a dangerous path that put extreme party ideology above national interest. Mitt Romney heads a party remaining on that dangerous path, proving the emptiness of their praise as they abandon our service members, veterans and military families along the way. 

What is he talking about?? Democrats led the charge in throwing veterans under the bus with this week's budget agreement by slashing pensions for disabled veterans. Republican Senator Jeff Sessions was one of the few who fought against the cuts.

Pressler once told Politico that the Republican party he knew in the 1970's no longer exists. "We have to be a moderate party,” he said.

Again, what is he talking about? The GOP is full to overflowing with moderates.

Pressler is just one more rudderless ship... floating and adrift without any clear direction. "Moderate" is not a value.

I suspect Pressler's run for office has more to do with his desire to recapture the prestige and power of the Senate than with serving the people of South Dakota.

Greg Belfrage is heard mornings 6am-9am on KELO Newstalk 1320 AM / 107.9 FM. Greg can be contacted at greg.belfrage@mwcradio.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.