Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Adam Nagourney of The New York Times, apparently tired of endlessly writing that the Democrats are doomed, now tells us that the Republicans are doomed:

Republican leaders across the country say they are growing increasingly anxious about their party's chances of holding the White House, citing public dissatisfaction with President Bush, the political fallout from the war in Iraq and the problems their leading presidential candidates are having generating enthusiasm among conservative voters.

Don't believe it. Notice what's missing from the collection of gloomy "Republican leaders" who are quoted in the article: anyone who's currently high-powered, or anyone quoted off the record (presumably out of fear of being ID'd as high-powered and pessimistic). What does that mean? I think it means the big guns aren't pessimistic at all. (And I think they're right not to be.)

Here's who's quoted:

* "Mickey Edwards, a Republican former congressman from Oklahoma who is now a lecturer in public policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton."
* "Rick Beltram, a Republican county leader in Spartanburg, S.C."
* "Fergus Cullen, the New Hampshire Republican Party chairman" (who, as it turns out, isn't pessimistic)
* "Katon Dawson, the party chairman in South Carolina" (who isn't either)
* "Shawn Steele, the former Republican Party chairman in California"
* "Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., a former head of the Republican National Committee"
* "Representative Jack Kingston, Republican of Georgia"
* "Alan K. Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming"
* "Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York"
* "Representative Adam H. Putnam, Republican of Florida"

A lot of "former"s in there, plus a couple of back-benchers. And no one anonymous?

Remember the polls: Unnamed Democrat is kicking Unnamed Republican's butt in '08, but actual Republicans are tied with actual Dems, or beating them. And, as Gallup notes, John McCain's favorable-unfavorable rating among Americans overall is 57%-26%, while Rudy Giuliani's is even better, 61%-27%.

I still say this race is the GOP's to lose -- unless Democrats get a clue and start tying the Republican front-runners to Bush, and I mean starting now.


UPDATE: Regarding that last point, I agree with what Atrios wrote earlier this month:

There will come a time, perhaps around a year from now, when the drumbeat will start to sound. All kinds of insiders will talk about how it would be in poor taste to tie the Republican nominee to George Bush, the most disliked person in America, that no matter what the polls say the people just want to move on, blabbity blah.

And remember, McCain is a "maverick," Giuliani is a "moderate" from Sodom, U.S.A., Romney was able to get himself elected governor in Liberalchusetts, and Fred Thompson works in Hollyweird, so it'll be disturbingly easy to make this case.

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