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"Should Democrats Focus on GOP Congress Instead of Bush?" That's the question posed by NY Times columnist Adam Nagourney.
The simple answer is, "Well, yeah! Bush is like, so quack, limp, quack, limp."
However, turns out Decider I is getting more space in Democrat ads than Republican ones. As has been noted widely, there is a virtual stampede as Republican candidates scramble to put distance between themselves and their fearless leader.
In their individual and combined effort to turn full attention to the failed invasion of Iraq, Democrats have made this election a referendum on Bush. DCCC leader, Illinois Senator Rahm Emanuel, says, "I tell all the candidates: Him and his agenda are on the ballot this year." Oh, Rahm. Such grammar.
One Republican pollster suggests that this attack strategy is working against Democrats. That they/we are breathing life into the moribund Republican base in ways Republican leadership has been unable to do. Nice try.
Personally, I think the Bush focus is a good thing.
Here in Minnesota, we have Bush's boy, Mark Kennedy, running for U.S. Senate. Kennedy's lackluster record as a U.S. Congressman is due in large part to his lockstep allegiance to George. He is not an original thinker, nor a gifted intellect. Which is what makes him such a good fit with Bush, I suppose.
When things started to sour for Bush in a big way, Kennedy tried to reinvent himself as someone separate and apart from him. In his ads, he morphed into a gosh-darn, aw-shucks, down-home guy.
Recently, the Kennedy campaign hired an immensely vicious local GOP pol. I'll just call him Little Rove-Wannabe. Since Kennedy's record cannot easily be separated from Bush, Little Rove has put Kennedy on the attack. It's absolutely clear they know they must divert attention from Kennedy's tight ties to Bush. Let the snark-fling begin!
If I were Kennedy's opponent, Amy Klobuchar, I think I'd be tempted to run an ad, streaming photos of Kennedy and Bush/Kennedy and Cheney/Kennedy and Rove as background while outlining Amy's considerable strengths. Heck, she might as well wear a Kennedy/Bush T-shirt. Or not.
See, here's the thing. Bush's image evokes a strong reaction in people. Some of us run screaming from the room. Others simply turn off the TV or turn the page. Still others turn bilious green.
I suppose there are some for whom George's image triggers happy-dance joy. I don't know who they are. There's a dwindling number of vehicles out there with Bush/Cheney stickers, and almost all of them have darkened windows. If I couldn't scrape the darn sticker off, I guess I would, too.
Finally to my point :Go with Bush as poster boy for failure. He's worked hard for that distinction.