New Gig for Coleman: Senator-in-Limbo Joins RJC

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

James Besser in Washington

UPDATE: a longtime pro-Israel lobbyist saw the blog item on Norm Coleman and called with this analysis:

“He’s toast. You don’t take a job like this as a kind of temp.  This is the clearest indication yet he knows he’s not going back to the Senate.

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Mn.) may be in electoral limbo – he still trails challenger Al Franken by 225 votes after an official recount and his only hope now is a long shot  court fight – but he won’t have to sit around playing Solitaire.

On Thursday the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) announced that Coleman has signed on as a “consultant and special adviser.”

Coleman, the group said, will “provide strategic guidance on important policy matters affecting the organization and the Jewish community. In addition, Coleman, a tremendously popular speaker, will travel around the country on behalf of the RJC, speaking in Jewish communities across the country on the state of current affairs.”

Coleman was a popular fundraiser on the Jewish GOP circuit in the days before his ties to former President George W. Bush got him in trouble with the homefolks.

RJC director Matt Brooks, in a statement, insisted Coleman’s new role isn’t tantamount to a concession.

“We are confident that in a few months Senator Coleman will return to his seat in the Senate, but until that time, we are eager for him to travel across the country on our behalf and to be an important voice within the organization,” Brooks said.

But with most experts insisting his chances in court are slim, that’s sounding an awful lot like a permanent gig for Coleman. Another tipoff: according to CNN, Coleman packed up his Senate office this week as Senate Democrats worked on ways to seat Franken.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.