Thursday, July 21, 2005

Well, the lead of this Washington Times article is heartening:

White House political strategist Karl Rove and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have been trying to talk Florida Rep. Katherine Harris out of running for the Senate next year, but have been unsuccessful thus far.

... "I know I can win this," she has told doubting party officials.

...Polls show Mrs. Harris, who is popular with the state's conservatives, would be the clear front-runner in a party primary contest, but they also show she runs particularly poorly among independents and draws virtually no support among Democrats. A Quinnipiac University poll last month showed Mr. Nelson leading her in a head-to-head matchup 50 percent to 38 percent....

But I'm also delighted to read this:

...Meantime, Rhode Island's [Lincoln] Chafee, a liberal party maverick in a heavily Democratic state, faces a conservative challenge from Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey, who would be favored in a Republican Party primary. State Republican officials say they, Mr. Rove and the NRSC have also tried to talk Mr. Laffey out of running, urging him to run for lieutenant governor and then seek the governorship.

"Right now, it looks like Laffey is going to run and that means we could lose this seat," a party official said....

If that's accurate, that's great news.

I've been saying for a while that Rove is going to get away with his involvement in the Plame leak -- but if I'm right, that doesn't mean it's having no impact on Rove and Bush and the GOP. Maybe some Republicans are now bucking Rove because they see him (and the president) as weakened. If so, I'm delighted.

Another possible explanation could have nothing to do with Rovegate -- it may just be that the far right thinks it's driving the bus now and can defy even the White House on those occasions when the White House tacks toward the center. The right's rejection of a Gonzales Supreme Court appointment is one example of this; defiant candidates are another.

To tell you the truth, I'm not 100% sure Harris would lose -- she'd collect massive amounts of money from far-rightists all over the country, who accord her victim status because of the way she became a laughingstock in 2000. Then again, she may have, er, other liabilities.

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