"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you”

Pericles



Saturday, April 18, 2009

The GOP's Tar Heel Troubles

Richard Burr, already suffering anemic approval numbers as he approaches his 2010 reelection campaign appears to be positioning himself to challenge Arlen Specter and Jim Bunning as this cycle's most vulnerable Republican incumbents.

Following on their success in knocking off Liddy Dole, the DSCC has this put together this ad attacking Burr:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nobody Likes a Sore Loser

It looks like two closely contested elections are going to be decided soon in favor of the Democrats. In Minnesota and Upstate New York, Republicans hopes of grasping an electoral victory on which to pin their "we're on the rebound" talking point are rapidly evaporating. But the news is worse than the simple loss of a Senate and House seat. Republican strategists "win at all costs" approach have been dangerously short-sighted, threatening to undermine their future viability in critical swing regions.

Former Senator Norm Coleman's stubborn insistence to continue fighting for a seat even conservatives now believe has been lost is alienating voters. Will his inability to "do the right thing" have repercussions for current and future Republican candidates in the North Star State? Beyond the local ramifications, his intransigence has put the squeeze on Gov. Tim Pawlenty's presidential aspirations. One of the more moderate voices in the modern Republican Party, Pawlenty is forced by Coleman's refusal to throw in the towel into a difficult political dilemma as to whether or not to sign the looming election certificate. Refusing to sign (and ignoring state law) would delight the conservative base but undermine his moderate credentials.

In New York state, the bizarre and desperate attempts to challenge multiple absentee ballots shines the spotlight on the ugly reality of bare-knuckled political fighting. While both parties always look bad in tight tussles, the tactical blunder of challenging the legitimacy of Sen. Gillibrand's ballot scars the Republicans most deeply. If a Republican resurgence is possible in the northeast, it is in the traditionally conservative regions of Upstate New York. At this point, it looks like that renaissance is a remote possibility.

The Irrelephants by the Numbers

Pew Research provides more statistics revealing just how far Karl Rove's Permanent Republican Majority has sunk.
Among registered voters, 28% call themselves Republicans, a decline of five points since 2004 and only a point above a record low level of Republican self-identification in 16 years of polling by the Pew Research Center, found in March 2008.

It gets worse for the party of no solutions:

Among voters who now identify as Republican or Republican-leaning, roughly two-thirds (68%) identify themselves as conservative, and of the conservatives, three-quarters think the party should turn further to the right. While a majority of moderates and liberals within the party advocate a centrist approach (66%), they make up fewer than a third (31%) of Republican voters overall. As a result, 60% of all Republican voters support a more conservative direction for the party.



As the country shifts toward the left, the opposition party hurtles to the right. Will a moderate voice emerge within the Republican Party?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dana's New Gig

Could this be a sign the economy may have bottomed out? Former SpinMaster Dana Perino lands a job as a "chief issues counselor" with Hillary's Microtrends mastermind, Mark Penn's firm Burson-Masteller.

Not sure what a "chief issues counselor" does, but apparently Perino's experience on the frontline defending the Bush administration's endless string of second term fiascos and tragedies prepared her for the new gig:

"She's been through some incredibly difficult experiences at some of the
highest levels, and comes out of that an extremely skilled practitioner," Mr.
Penn said in an interview.



So, we've come to this. Perfecting the Press Secretary Sidestep - stonewalling the press, protecting elected officials from scrutiny and defending inept policy implementation - all while looking kinda "hot" in a Sarah Palin-like manner makes Perino an "extremely skilled practitioner" worthy of joining a Democratic pollster's global PR firm. One might be tempted to view this as a sign of the new era of bipartisanship, but uber-Bush insider Karen Hughes has been a "Burson Person" since last summer.

As to whether this signals an end to the Bush recession, perhaps we should look to another Bush alum; last I heard Gonzo was still looking for work.