Thursday, 15 May 2008
A Slight Problem With The Republican "Brand"

The Republican congressional candidate lost in a special election in Mississippi Tuesday leading to some soul searching among Republicans and raising fears about November. They are looking at ways to distance themselves from Bush mainly on the economy while ignoring immigration and Iraq - the twin millstones McCain willingly placed around his own neck. Here's New Duranty:

But Mr. McCain’s advisers said the Mississippi race underlined his intention to distance himself as much as possible from Congressional Republicans. Mr. McCain has already been openly critical of some of President Bush’s strategies.

The level of distress was evident in remarks by senior party officials throughout the day.

“This was a real wake-up call for us,” Robert M. Duncan, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in an interview. “We can’t let the Democrats take our issues. We can’t let them pretend to be conservatives and co-opt the middle and win these elections. We have to get the attention of our incumbents and candidates and make sure they understand this.”

Representative Tom Davis, Republican of Virginia and former leader of his party’s Congressional campaign committee, issued a dire warning that the Republican Party had been severely damaged, in no small part because of its identification with President Bush. Mr. Davis said that, unless Republican candidates changed course, they could lose 20 seats in the House and 6 in the Senate.

“They are canaries in the coal mine, warning of far greater losses in the fall, if steps are not taken to remedy the current climate,” Mr. Davis said in a memorandum. “The political atmosphere facing House Republicans this November is the worst since Watergate and is far more toxic than it was in 2006.”...

“The Republican brand is down, and it is going to be hard to get it back,” said Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California....

Scott Reed, a former chief of staff to the Republican National Committee, said the defeat would dampen fund-raising. “Republican leadership needs to really take a good look in the mirror,” Mr. Reed said. “They’re taking the party off the cliff.”...

Obama is looking less like George McGovern and more like Jimmy Carter all the time.

Posted on 05/15/2008 7:37 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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