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House GOP Retreats ... to the Eastern Shore

Capitol Briefing is on the move this morning, heading down to Maryland's Eastern Shore for the House Republican Conference's retreat, the first such meeting for most of these GOP lawmakers where they'll be convening as the minority party.

It should be an interesting couple days as Republicans mull over their November losses and try to figure out what went wrong and where to go from here. The big highlight: President Bush's arrival on Friday to speak to the Republican troops, many of whom blame their minority status on Bush's depressed approval ratings and growing opposition to the war in Iraq.

With a nod to The Fix's Wag the Blog feature, what do you, dear reader, expect Bush to tell House Republicans in Cambridge, Md., on Friday?

While the president's opening remarks will be public, the question-and-answer session with Republicans afterward will be in private. What single question would you pose to Bush, assuming you could be in the room along with all the House Republicans?

Best questions/comments will be picked up and run in Capitol Briefing on a future post or two.

By Paul Kane  |  January 25, 2007; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  GOP Leaders , House  
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Next: Out of the Majority ... And the Spotlight


Bush's opening remarks will echo his SOTU address. It is wildly unlikely that he'll contradict himself in public. More platitudes about working across the aisle, reducing our foreign oil dependence etc.

The Q&A afterwards should be interesting. At this juncture, within the GOP, what are the long-term political repercussions of asking Bush tough questions? If I was a relatively brave GOP representative and I was concerned about my seat in 2008 I'd be asking some polite variation of "what if you're wrong about the surge?" The problem they face is that Bush is a short-timer. A corporate exec about to bail out of a struggling company. He will be totally insulated from any decision-making beyond 2008. He has already indicated that he plans to pass this particular mess (along with many others) onto the next occupant of the White House. This guarantees that, unless this mythical GOP rep shows some backbone and goes his own way, he will likely lose his seat to a strong Democratic opponent with good funding and a middle-of-the-road message.

I'd expect a fairly one-sided exchange: specific questions from the Representatives and unsatisfying, non-committal, mumbling responses from Bush. The Representatives will leave thinking that the more political distance they can get from Bush, the better off they'll be. And although Bush will leave the podium with the same gait he used to get to it in the first place, the lame duck will be even lamer.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | January 25, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

What solutions do we propose for the leading issues of the day that will resonate with the growing ranks of non-partisan, moderate, centrist and independent voters?

Why should they vote for the GOP unless we can demonstrate that we can govern more honorably and efficiently than the Dems?

Posted by: Paul Silver | January 25, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

crouch, tuck and kiss your a...goodbye

Posted by: crouch and tuck | January 29, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Although President Bush mentioned global poverty in the State of the Union, he failed to mention how his administration plans on eliminating the problem. Instead of spending so much money on the Iraq war ($340 billion), we should be spending at least some of this on global poverty in order to discourage more terrorism and wars. In reality only .16% of our federal budget is spent on development assistance, the least among wealthy nations.

Posted by: Renee | January 30, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

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