Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008 | 1:43 p.m.
WASHINGTON — As the prospect of a filibuster-proof Senate unfolds under his watch, Republican Sen. John Ensign has already planned his getaway, he told an audience today at the National Press Club.
Ensign, who heads his party's re-election committee, is taking off with his wife post-election for California's Napa Valley (read: wine tasting capital of the nation).
"We'll either be able to celebrate or drown our sorrows, we'll see how it goes," Ensign said.
Republicans could lose as many as five of their 49 seats, Ensign said.
However the Cook Political Report today just updated its outlook for the Senate, putting Republican losses as high as nine. That would give Sen. Harry Reid a 60-seat Democratic majority.
Other notable Ensign remarks:
Whether Republicans hold onto the Alaska depends on the outcome of Republican Sen. Ted Stevens' corruption trial. "If he is found innocent, we will win that election," Ensign said. If Stevens is convicted, not so much."
Ensign said his party would embrace Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Independent Democrat from Connecticut, who has drawn the ire of his colleagues for supporting Republican Presidential candidate John McCain.
"We would welcome Joe, open arms," Ensign said.
"Not just Joe the Plumber," he added, referring to the presidential debate star who has become a darling of the Republican Party, "Joe Lieberman."