Posted at 10:48 AM on May 11, 2006
by Bob Collins
Craig Westover is reporting that Dan Coleman, the Democrat-turned-Libertarian-turned-Republican campaign manager for Sue Jeffers... is out.
The theory is that the Jeffers camp will now play nice with the GOP bosses.
Haven't had much time to post anything today. I had to rush to get a Flash presentation put together in support of All Things Considered's tour of the Body Worlds exhibit tonight.
I've had half-an-ear (which is about all I have left now) cocked to the House and Senate and while the debate is passionate, I'm not finding it particularly interesting. (It's not that I don't like the idea of 20% renewable energy targets by 20-something, it's just that I'm at the stage of my life when I can't afford to spend precious time listening to the same debate again). In fact, there's nothing out there today I'm finding especially fascinating. I know this because the only thing that interests me is why Mark Kennedy voted not to adjourn the House. I'm guessing there's something he wanted taken up. Maybe later.
Tim Pugmire has a piece running in the morning profiling the two DFL candidates in the 6th District who may be whittled down to one by the end of the weekend. He's provided two extended interviews with the candidates which you're welcome to listen to if you wish. Patty Wetterling and Elwyn Tinklenberg are in RealAudio (of course).
Posted at 3:25 PM on May 11, 2006
by Bob Collins
Seems like only yesterday when health care dominated politics. That was before apples and stadiums took over.
The Boston Globe takes a look at the GOP's "health week," and the legislation that's been filed in Congress.
Better eat those apples.
I'm still trying to figure out just what these various Bush job approval numbers have to do with the '06 elections. It's not that I'm stupid (although that may play a role), it's just that I'm not a political scientist, number one, and, number two, I've seen this country's penchant for putting incumbents back into office almost without interruption since I drove my little VW bug home from college in a snowstorm to cast my first vote as an 'adult' (for Mo Udall) on Super Tuesday 1976.
(Update 5/12/06 12:25: Listen to Congressional Quartery Bob Benenson's take on this national vs. local thing at KCPW in Denver)
So I tend to take with a grain of salt the expectation that there's a polarized coat-tail effect happening; at least until I see it for real.
But that doesn't stop the folks with the fancy book learnin' in the way of politics, as a Wall Street Journal article points out today (subscription required).
Try as they might to live by the words of the late Democratic House Speaker "Tip" O'Neill -- "All politics is local" -- Republicans are finding that this year that just isn't so.
With their House and Senate majorities at stake, Republicans are swimming against a national tide of voter unrest in the presidential midterm elections. Rep. Simmons, for one, says he "felt a kinship" with the salmon fry he had helped some fifth-graders release into a creek Monday, few of which would survive the trip upstream to eventually restock the river.
His rival, former state Rep. Joe Courtney, and other Democrats are running "nationalized" campaigns. They are hoping to capitalize on anger about the Iraq war, gas prices, congressional corruption and a White House seemingly at sea, to unseat enough "Bush Rubberstamps" -- as they call all Republican incumbents -- to recapture a majority. Democrats need to gain 15 seats in the 435-member House and six in the 100-member Senate.
Given the negative national mood, Republicans say they have little choice but to run "localized" campaigns in hopes that enough constituents will make an exception for them. "People are totally comfortable with criticizing Congress but then voting for their congressman," says Carl Forti, communications director of the National Republican Congressional Committee. He cites Mr. Simmons, a moderate who beat an incumbent Democrat in 2000 by painting him as out of touch with the district, and then survived in the Democratic-leaning district in 2002 and 2004 by emphasizing local issues.
But 2006 is shaping up to be different. Stuart Rothenberg, a nonpartisan election analyst, says there is no doubt 2006 is a nationalized election year that threatens a wipeout for the party in power. Republican pollster David Winston argues that in an Internet age of Web blogs, talk radio and cable news, all politics henceforth are national, not local. "We are going to play in a national arena this fall, not a local sandlot," he wrote recently in Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper.
It was interesting -- to me -- that last week a candidate for governor -- I think it was Steve Kelley -- sent out an e-mail newsletter about the Iraq war. So perhaps the "nationalized campaign" strategy is taking place in "local" (i.e. not Congress) races too.