Outgoing North Dakota Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan predicted on Thursday that MSNBC host Ed Schultz would not run for the seat he will soon vacate.
"Ed is not going to run for the Senate," Dorgan said during an appearance on The Bill Press Show. "He is a good guy. I like Ed. He is a friend. He has a great show. I'm proud that he is on MSNBC. I understand that [North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party leader Merle] Boucher from state legislature called him. But I don't think Ed is going to be running for the Senate."
Press asked why not. "He is not going to leave his MSNBC show to go out and run for the Senate," said Dorgan, who announced his retirement from office on Tuesday evening.
Talk of a Schultz run for the soon-to-be-open seat erupted on Wednesday after the MSNBC host relayed that Boucher had approached him about running for the post and that Dorgan, too, had suggestively asked how old he was.
But the speculation has outstripped reality. Schultz says he hasn't even begun to seriously ponder the process of jumping into the campaign. And he readily admits that his heart is tied to his current cable news gig.
"I feel good about my position," he told the Huffington Post on Wednesday. "I feel good about who I am and what I advocate for. I'm a strong believer in building the middle class. And to put that in terms of the Senate race I'm just not there yet."
"If I was running for Senate, I would have answered a lot of phone calls in the last 24 hours and certainly emailed people in a different fashion than I did," he told the cast of Morning Joe on Thursday. "I've been put in an untenable position here. I have a great deal of passion for what takes place in this country. I was cast into this without even thinking about it, and I'm expected to come up with an answer in 24 hours?"
Progressive groups are intrigued by the idea. Dorgan insisted that there are other promising Democrats who will jump into the race, which now is deemed a likely loss for the party.
"I think there may be some surprising candidates out there," said Dorgan, "so stay tuned."
LISTEN TO DORGAN ON BILL PRESS: