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White House Cheat Sheet: Republican Recruiting Recovering

From left to right: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, Nov. 8, 2006 (AP Photo by Ron Edmonds) and former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, September 4, 2008. (Photo - Toni L. Sandys/ The Washington Post)

Republicans, out of power in Washington and struggling badly to find new leaders to match President Obama at the national level, are on the verge of a series of recruiting successes in the early days of the 2010 election that suggest their electoral prospects may be -- slowly -- improving.

On the Senate front, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is an all-but-announced candidate while former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge is seriously considering a bid. Rep. Mark Kirk (Ill.) is leaning toward a Senate run (and will decide VERY soon) and Rep. Mike Castle (Del.) appears to be leaning in the "run" direction as well -- spurred by new polling that shows him well ahead of his likely Democratic opponent.

If all four run (a possible if not probable scenario) they would join a mix of young rising stars (former Florida state House speaker Marco Rubio) and capable alternatives (former Connecticut representative Rob Simmons) already in races -- all of which would add up to the strongest Senate class since the heady days of 2004.

House Republicans have seen similar success -- lobbying Manchester (N.H.) Mayor Frank Guinta to pass up a Senate or gubernatorial bid to challenge Rep. Carol Shea Porter, and luring Springfield (Ore.) Mayor Sid Leiken into a race against Rep. Peter Defazio.

What explains the early recruiting successes for Republicans?

"Now Republicans have a foil," said Carl Forti, a former communications director at the National Republican Congressional Committee and now a GOP consultant. "In a center right country with a Democrat[ic] president and Congress, candidates can now oppose something or be against the liberal policies."

Several other GOP strategists acknowledged that the presence of President George W. Bush -- and his prolonged unpopularity among voters -- as the titular head of the party kept a number of candidates out of races in 2006 and 2008. Freed of that burden at the top of the party, Republican candidates are more free to run their own individual campaigns.

History is also working in Republican recruiters' favor as the president's party traditionally loses seats in the first midterm election. In all but one of the midterm elections held in the first term of a president since 1970, the party out of the White House has picked up House seats.

"Historically, 2010 should be a strong year for Republicans," said Sara Taylor, a former political director in the Bush White House. "If you look at the issue landscape as it's shaping up today, by election day, these candidates' odds are it's likely to better than historical averages."

A third critical factor is that the losses over the past two elections -- 15 Senate seats and 54 House seats -- have opened up a number of enticing targets for Republican candidates who have been eying the possibility of a run for federal office for years. Many Democrats hold House seats or represent states where the electorate is closely divided, meaning any slight change in the national environment could give a GOP candidate a real pickup opportunity.

Does the fact that recruiting appears to be looking up for Republicans mean that they are on their way back to the majority in 2010? No.

Particularly in the Senate, a number of Republicans' "star" candidates are not yet announced and if three of the four mentioned above take a pass, a recruiting class with promise could morph into a disappointment in short order.

And, while candidate recruitment is a major factor in determining electoral outcomes but so is money, national mood and the nuts and bolts of campaigning.

Still, for a party decimated at so many levels following the 2008 elections, it's hard not see the interest of top-tier candidates as a positive sign in the rebuilding process.

What To Watch For:

Wednesday's Fix Picks: Alex Ovechkin almost makes hockey watchable on TV. Almost.

1. Fed Chair Ben Bernanke offers some reasons for hope in the economic future.
2. Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa) gives an odd interview to the New York Times Magazine.
3. Souter says goodbye.
4. Was Eric Cantor not really a vice presidential possibility in '08?
5. Dom DeLuise passes. He'll always be "Pizza the Hutt" to us.

Sanford Passes (For Now) on National Council: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, a leading voice for fiscal conservatives within the party and a likely 2012 presidential candidate, was invited to be a part of the National Council for a New America but passed. "Governor Sanford was asked to participate, but declined for the time being due to us being in the home stretch of a fairly contentious legislative session," said communications director Joel Sawyer. "He may participate in the future." Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, another conservative with an eye on 2012 confirmed her involvement in the NCNA yesterday, quieting some chatter that the group was formed by establishment party leaders to keep a movement conservative (Palin, Sanford) away from the nomination in 2012.

Speaking of Palin...: Backers of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin borrow the bear from Ronald Reagan's famous ads in 1984 to call former Gov. Mitt Romney a coward -- or something.

The Macker, the Frontrunner?: A new survey conducted by Public Policy Polling -- an auto-dial firm based in North Carolina -- shows former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe with a double digit primary lead over former state Del. Brian Moran and state Sen. Creigh Deeds. McAuliffe took 30 percent to 20 percent for Moran and 14 percent for Deeds in the survey, which was conducted from May 1-3. Not coincidentally, McAulliffe also had the highest name recognition in the PPP poll thanks to his television blitz. Only in one in three voters didn't know enough about McAuliffe to offer an opinion while half of the same couldn't offer an opinion on Moran and 56 percent weren't sure of their opinion on Deeds. Clearly concerned about the potential impact of the PPP poll, the Moran campaign released a survey of their own late Tuesday that showed McAuliffe at 31 percent, Moran at 29 percent and Deeds at 18 percent. "What is striking is that so far [McAuliffe] has been unable to translate his name recognition into a significant trial heat advantage," read the polling memo from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. The primary is a mere 34 days away . . . .

Click It!: We are opposed in principle to writing about Web ads -- they are nothing more than video press releases -- but every once in a while one comes along for which we break our rule. The new web ad from the Democratic National Committee, which portrays the leadership of the Republican Party as cast members on "Survivor", is one of those exceptions. A great idea, well executed.

Tauscher Formally Nominated, Special Election On: President Obama nominated California Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D) late Tuesday as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, setting off a special election to replace Tauscher in her 10th district. Although the nomination was only made official on Tuesday, the race to replace Tauscher is well underway with Lt. Gov. John Garamendi switching from the governor's race to the House special two weeks ago and state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, whom Tauscher has endorsed, and state Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan also running. In a newly released internal poll done for his campaign, Garamendi leading the field with 27 percent -- more than double the total of DeSaulnier. The district was once competitive but the Democratic-controlled redistricting following the 2000 Census made it solidly Democratic; Obama won 65 percent there in 2008.

Republicans Alive in Alexandria!: National Republican strategists were falling all over themselves last night to note that yesterday's Alexandria (Va.) city council elections produced two GOP victories: Frank Fannon and Alicia Hughes who, as a government employee, couldn't run under a party label.

Best iPhone Apps: Running low . . . have good suggestions we haven't mentioned? Post them on "TheFix" Twitter feed. Today's trio: Stanza, Yelp, Unit Converter.

Say What?: "Good God, he wants to run everybody." -- Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning on his home state colleague and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 6, 2009; 5:35 AM ET
Categories:  Cheat Sheet Share This:  E-Mail | Technorati | Del.icio.us | Digg | Stumble Previous: Huntsman Rising, Weaver Advising
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Darling baby!! Nice to see Daddy Fix include little guy in his posts!

Posted by: meg2 | May 7, 2009 5:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey Chris you left off my vote for the new face of the GOP, Rep Michelle Bachmann of MN.


Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | May 6, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"National Republican strategists were falling all over themselves last night to note that yesterday's Alexandria (Va.) city council elections produced two GOP victories:"

WOW! City council! That's huge! Did they pull off dogcatcher too?

Posted by: drindl | May 6, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Go Maine!

Having spent a lot of time in that state, I'm happy to report that this is very much in keeping with their "live and let live" philosophy. Mainers are as independent as Americans get.

While many of them might startle you with their unabashed political incorrectness, the Mainers I've known really do judge people by their worth as persons, and not by the kind of ridiculous, hate-based litmus tests favored by many so-called "conservatives".

That, to me, makes Mainers a real, authentic, and respectable kind of conservative. That's why they elect reasonable Democrats like George Mitchell, and reasonable Republicans like Olympia Snowe.

And people like that have no use for the troglodytes running the modern-day GOP. (here's a stumper: if the USA really is a "center-right" country like the wingnuts keep insisting, then why are they so adamantly opposed to "center-right" politicians like Susan Collins?)

As long as the whackjobs run the GOP, it will be no mystery why a state like Maine has gone reliably blue.

Posted by: WaitingForGodot | May 6, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Maine just passed gay marriage and New Hampshire is sending a bill to the Governor. Think Republicans are going to be able to wedge issue their way back into that region anytime soon?

Posted by: DDAWD | May 6, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for old friends of the republican party. You can count on the wp to help you all even when they march down the path of self destruction.

Just when you thought it could not get worst for the rep party, good news come forth. Thanks wp, for all your efforts. We will not forget you.

Posted by: moemongo | May 6, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

finally seem to be getting a hang of the biz Cazilla... it is a 50/50 prospect. The reugnots so devastated the economy that Obama really would be the second coming of Roosevelt were he to turn around the economy. What are those chances though. Slim. So as Nixon so devastated the economy with Wage and Price Controls, and handing Carter zippo, laying the foundation for Reagan, who continued Carter's economic policies (Volkker) and as the pendelum swung, reaped the savior image.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | May 6, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Cool yea whatever. So the Republicans are "building" out of their massive negative recruiting hole? Which is next to impossible to tell right now, but it requires a conversation so people will comment on it.

Republicans are at an all time low for self identifying and after loosing well over double digits of these people it isn't a prize to get back 1%. It's still a major net loss.

Just wait until the Republicans come back for the 2010 elections with their fire brand candidates who are "conservative" enough for the silent majority, the center-right nation, the other ludicrous labels that Gingrich gives to figments of his imagination so he doesn't feel like the pariah he is. Getting back to values means repeating the same garbage that's been parroted for 30 years and throughly disproven after putting theory to practice. They'll stomp moderates out of the primaries and get absolutely demolished in the general elections.

I'll save this page and bring it up again for 2012. 2 more cycles like this and Republicans are gone like the Whigs.

Posted by: theobserver4 | May 6, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Like most of the respondents to your article on the recruitment class, I am of the opinion that these recruits are far from cinches in the general election. Because of all the unfavorables George W
has saddled his party with, it will take a few more election cycles for the recovery of the fractured and regionalized R party.
The shift in the electorate is very great,
and republican moderates are perceived as
republicans first and therefore not easily
electable except in the south. I don't
expect a republican to win in the northeast
for some time to come. The primary process
that republicans use to defeat moderates
in their party by running ultra rightists in the primaries will continue to prevent moderates from beeing elected in the general election. Watch out Ms. Snow and Ms. Collins.
I appreciate your attempt to try to make a republican comeback just over the horizon. You were lucky to break the
the Specter switch story (congratulations)
but wishful thinking on your part, seeing
the beginnings of a republican comeback is
far-fetched. I know that this kind of speculation is what pays the bills for you.
But, keep it up and your columns will be
published as fiction. Mark Kirk? Is it
that he is young and resembles Eric Cantor
that qualifies him as a possible US senator
from Illinois? Blago's escapades have been
held up to ridicule by the press so that the seriousness of the charges he is facing
are being overshadowed by the reality show
business, and his appearances on the talk
shows have trivialized his alleged crimes.
Roland may try to run, but he will be a sad footnote in Illinois politics. Who
will the dems run? Its a pretty safe bet that in Illinois, whoever the dem is, he/she will be called the winner. Ridge in Pa.? Maybe Specter; just count on whoever
the dems run, the democrats will field the winner. In your speculation about the
republican recovery, you forgot to mention Senator Bunning. Is he part of the great
republican recovery?
How many open senate seats on the republican side of the aisle? And so on and on. Last time I heard, President Obama has the approval of close to 70% of the country. And finally, I believe Senator Dodd faces an uphill battle, but in the end the same people who returned Joe
Liebermann to the senate will do the same for Dodd. If you were talking 2018, I could buy into your theory. Nice try; you are just doing your job trying to make it more interesting to follow politics.

Posted by: 85thstposter | May 6, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse


That was one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. You are not qualified to comment on the black community what so ever. You think the religious right likes Jews? Think again... they are only interested in the rapture which in the end means the destruction of Israel and all non Jews ant that means you!

You are silly already

Posted by: ukangitmynutz | May 6, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Republican Recruiting Recovering"

Sounds like more 'whistling past the graveyard to me.'

Here's just a few examples:

* Charlie Crist and Tom Ridge are being mentioned.
--- Two problems with that: Crist and Ridge don't come from the ideological wing of the party. And how can Crist 'run against' Obama? There's all that videotape of Crist saying how great the stimulus bill would be. These are Specter Republicans.

* "Historically, 2010 should be a strong year for Republicans," said Sara Taylor.
--- Historically, the Republicans should have won the 2008 presidential election. They ran an old, white politically moderate male with military and Senate experience. That man lost. Big. In an era of unprecedented politics, 'historical' expectations seem mighty useless.

* Republican "candidates can now oppose something or be against the liberal policies."
--- Apparently this person didn't read Frank Luntz's memo yesterday. Republicans will again taste staggering, ignominious defeat if they are perceived as merely the 'foil,' merely the 'no' to Obama's 'yes.'
The Republicans have to be for reform, which means being with the Democrats and Obama on some issues if they want to return to power sometime before Jenna Bush is eligible for Social Security.

It's an interesting post, if your threshold for interesting is so low you consider any lame attempt to keep up the fiction of Republican-Democratic parity is interesting.

This is journo-blogging stoking the fires of fiction -- that the contest between Democrats and Republicans is between equals and the myth that American is an evenly divided nation.

Nice try. What else you got?

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | May 6, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

LOL Yea on the rise....

Wait until they torpedo the Credit Card bill because it helps the common Joe.

I don't think they are done imploding

Posted by: ukangitmynutz | May 6, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Gee the absolute abject performance of Ridge as Secretary of HOmeland Security makes him a ??WONDERFUL?? republican candidate..

Gee when oh when will the republicans join America...probably never.

Posted by: msealock | May 6, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow, katem1. Nicely said. And, once again, mark_in_austin has summed up the reality of the whole "center-right" nonsense succinctly.

I have never bought into the whole "GOP is dead" mindset. First off, it isn't true -- if Watergate didn't kill them, nothing will. Plus, nobody should even want that -- a viable two-party system requires two viable parties. Otherwise, we have a one-party state, and that's no formula for democratic success.

I'd love to see the GOP come up with qualified, intelligent, capable candidates. People like that would be a legitimate challenge, intellectually and politically, to the present Democratic majority, and that keeps the system honest (well, as honest as a political system can be, anyways.)

But as long as they keep kowtowing to their lunatic fringe, and paying obeisance to loudmouth cranks on red-meat radio and wingnut TV, I don't see the GOP being successful on a national scale. They will score their victories in those places where that sort of idiotic gasbaggery is popular with the mouth-breathers, but the GOP won't get another whiff of national power until they finally put a muzzle on the rabid-dog branch of their party.

Will that happen? One can only hope -- but don't hold your breath waiting......

Posted by: WaitingForGodot | May 6, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Go Baby Fix!! :)

Posted by: JonSM99 | May 6, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse


Go replay that film, "Enemy of the State." It is time to again save the nation.

And I will bet you that local law enforcement, which is waking up and smelling the coffee, will be right there with you.

The "intelligence-based policing" tactic sold them some bad intel -- draining their resources, distracting them from their primary mission, and making "the locals" unwitting accomplices in the destruction of many thousands of unjustly targeted citizens and their families.

-- from comments section, "Gestapo USA," by Vic Livingston



OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):


Posted by: scrivener50 | May 6, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

They may have found a few candidates to run for office but they are still selling the same old snake oil they always have and the voters have seen way too much of republican incompetence and failure to buy it again.

What do they think we are, stupid? Oh I guess they do assume 'the base' is. The rest of us, however, are not.

Posted by: cfeher | May 6, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

wow, so apparently I'm not the only one who latched on to the "right center" comment. I was about to post on it, but was beaten to the punch.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 6, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

JRM2 --

Look at the comments following the article about Obama meeting with the prime minister of Israel.

The sad thing about anti-semitism on the WP message boards is that neo-nazi and hamas propaganda slogans containing the most vile slurs are posted and the WP does nothing to remove them and block the racists that posted them.

The worst kind of anti-semitism is "casual anti-semitism"

Its rampant on the WP comment boards, and sadly, even more rampant in the Black community at large.

Jews fought for Blacks civil rights before anyone else did, and fought and sometimes died for their rights.

Jews pulled out all the stops to get President Obama elected.

In return, a small subset of the Black community has turned into the new Hitler Yammen.

And the overall Black community does nothing to stop or disown them.

There's a real danger of a backlash.

Jewish Americans feel betrayed and disgusted with the failure of the Democratic Party to disown its anti-semites ande throw them out of Democratic Party.

Posted by: PoliticalCommentator | May 6, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The "center right" meme the Republicans keep trying to push is hysterically funny. Say it all you want, Republicans, your party is electoral toast. It is a party of losers now, a right wing, eliminationist freak show.

Posted by: PutDownTheKoolaid | May 6, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the Center-Right argument, I recently saw a poll of U.S. citizens that supports the center-right position, economically anyway.

Don't quote me because I don't remember the source, but given the choice between having the opportunity for individuals to achieve success economically verses having a guarantee for a minimum level of economic stability via wealth distribution, Americans overwhelmingly chose the former, by a margin of over 50% to just 20%, with the balance being undecided.

I think this is what makes America unique, and would predict more even results if the same poll was conducted in certain other countries such as France.

Of course this deals with economic issues, and many will argue that the country's laissez-faire history is a big reason why it has become the wealthiest country in the history of the world. Certainly unbridled capitalism has its faults, and we do live in a mixed economy with some aspects of socialism (social security, welfare, medicare, medicaid, etc.), but you can't throw out capitalism altogether and I believe American's would reject a sharp move to socialism.

But with regard social issues as several posters have addressed, I'll hand it to you that the country is becoming more thoughtful and progressive.

Center right economically, center left socially? Third party, anyone?

Posted by: RambleOn | May 6, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Dear PoliticalCommentator:
Funny, I haven't seen any anti-Semitic comments here at WAPO, fear for your life?, Nazi Germany?, I think you are either overreacting or are perhaps a republican trying to discredit democrats.

Are you of the ilk that Israel is beyond reproach?, because last time I checked, they've been doing some pretty brutal things to the Gazans, admittedly the Palestinians are also fueling the fire. My point is it takes two to tango.

Posted by: JRM2 | May 6, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

But who will vote for these more moderate candidates? Certainly not the raw meat base. And registered Republicans are getting scarce as hen's teeth. So recruit away, but you're recruiting people that the base (which owns you, btw) are vociferously AGAINST. And so long as the GOP is controlled by its extremist wing, moderates are not going to do well in the Republican Party.

Posted by: windrider2 | May 6, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

The only way Democrats and Obama can lose is if Democrats continue to let their lunatic fringe of anti-semites run rampant on chat rooms.

I'm a Jewish-American, a Democrat, and an exremely strong supporter of President Obama.

Since the election, I've been called, I've personally been called every racist slur there is by other Democrats, expecially, sadly, by Blacks, who appear to have some of the worst anti-semites since Hitler's Nazi's and specifically the Waffen SS.

For the first time in my life, I feel frightened for my safety and that of my loved ones.

The Republicans, to their credit, have stood up for American Jews, and for Israel, even though most of us Jews are Democrats, and have always strongly supported the Democratic Party.

As a Jew, every time I read the comments in the WP posted on an article involving Israel, it feels like I'm reading a neo-nazi or islamic terrorist web site, with people calling for death to Jews and to Israel, and the Washington Post does nothing.

I guess the Washington Post has decided that they don't care about their Jewish readers, or that they feel that we aren't entitled to the same decency that every other ethnic group is.

To the Washington Post, Jews are second-class citizens.

I makes me want to vomit.

Is this America 2009 or Germany 1930?

Read the comments in the chat rooms.

See how little the WP does about anti-semitic hate speech.

Its disgusting, and sickening.

Posted by: PoliticalCommentator | May 6, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that all of these candidates (except for Rubio) are moderates. If all five of these guys somehow won (Kirk, Simmons, Crist, Ridge, Castle) though I think it is likely that only two of these five will ultimately win - it would give the GOP seven (add Collins and Snowe) moderates that could really help Obama achieve the bi-partisanship that he really wants. He could probably advance abortion and gay rights bills with this block of GOP Senators.

Posted by: robbygtx | May 6, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

If there's anyone whose neck George Bush can be wrapped around, it's Tom Ridge. I know he is remembered fondly (why?) as PA Gov., but a couple nice ads full of color-coded terror threat alerts (accompanied with quotes from memos about the political nature of those threat assessments) should serve as a quick, distasteful reminder of the Bush years for PA voters. Now, if only the Dems had a suitable candidate...

Posted by: jonfromcali | May 6, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, the "center right" thing amuses me as well. By definition, the country is "center". The center may shift one way or another, but center is by definition a measure of where the middle of the country is at any given moment.

To call the country "center right" is essentially the Republican excuse for continuing to push the radical right agenda. They wouldn't want to upset their base, now would they?

Posted by: jackrussell252521 | May 6, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"Things go up and down but they always return to the center, like the bubble in a level ('level,' as in the hand tool)."

You hear this a lot, but it's pretty much meaningless. Folks like Broder have made a career of words like "balance" and "center" and "bipartisan" as though there is some sort of Platonic ideal of centrist governance.

There's not.

Politics is a constellation, not a linear spectrum. I can't think of anything more fatuous than the idea that the "center" is a point exactly halfway between the formal policies proposed by the two main US political parties.

Posted by: icoleman | May 6, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Welcome to the party of torture.

Pick up your electrodes as you enter the room. And by the way.... praise Jesus.

Posted by: artmann11 | May 6, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"Recruiting Successes"? Wow, you really can put lipstick on a pig.

Unless I am mis-interpretting this, these "recruiting successes" are no more than the GOP getting some warm bodies (Ridge is questionable) to run for office. These all seem to be warmed over Bushies lucky enough to have kept their names off the radar for 12 months or more. The hope would seem to be that voters would NOT recognize them as GOP.

Am I missing something here? Is there anything else to this? I am honestly interested ... because it sounds like NOTHING happened.

Posted by: free-donny | May 6, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Of course, GOP will rebound, because there are still plenty of white Americans who are for racial stratification of America, white privileges, Christian dominance, military build-up, and American imperialism.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | May 6, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm wondering how much of a fight the Republicans would be able to put up over the Supreme Court pick. If they fight too much, would that reinforce their label as the party o' no?

If you like wacky letters to President Obama, check out: www.knockoutlit.org/brett.html

I'm writing (and sending) one a day.

Posted by: Brett | May 6, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

You need to "fix" your spellchecker... Recuriting?

Posted by: Degenerate | May 6, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

America is not a "center right" country. And, sorry progressives, it's not a "center left" country, either.

America is a "center left right" country, or a "left center right" country, or a "right center left" country, however you want to phrase it.

We're all here. We've all always been here. Things go up and down but they always return to the center, like the bubble in a level ("level," as in the hand tool).

You want an all-encompassing Conservative America? It's never gonna happen. Liberals aren't going away. You want a utopian Liberal America? Uh-uh. Conservatives will always be here.

As Chris wrote, a "president's party traditionally loses seats in the first midterm election," and why is that? It's probably because the party in power got too cocky. Make mistakes and the other side (which, again, never goes away) is there and is ready to take advantage.

Posted by: dognabbit | May 6, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The GOP doesn't have to do much, really- just sit back and watch Obama drive the country straight into the ground.

When all this pork and welfare fails to create any real economic gains, we are humiliated overseas, and/or Rezko and Blago start singing...the Democrats face a bloodbath in 2010.

By 2012, people will >wince< at the very mention of the name "Obama"- and the GOP could take 40 states running Gilbert Gottfried.

Enjoy it while it lasts, libs.


For aother 20 years, at least.

Your post is what is wrong with your party.

Reagan this, Reagan that, yada, yada, yada.

The man was as stupid as Bush but it didn't come across as much because he was at least coherent, even if the message was that he was going to screw the middle class. And he did an excellent job of that.

He was a criminal, or at least criminally stupid, and that set the bar so low that morons like Bush could slide under it (even if it did take a Supreme Court to give him a boost). Reagan is the one that started the downfall of teh Republican party and for that I thnk him.

My God, man, look at what you have as leaders in the damn party - a drug addled fat guy that can't figure out which way to go, whose @ss every one of you kisses, a black guy that you wouldn't let into your club, a spokesperson (governor) who is so dimwitted that she can't answer a simple question about newspapers and then cries about it bewing an ambush.....

Yeah, the list goes on and on and on. It is fun to watch the thieves that stole our country from us killing themselves trying to polish a turd and make it so pretty that we want it. Sorry, guys, it's still a turd.

We've figured that out.

Posted by: dennissuper | May 6, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

may the schwartz be with you chris...

i don't mind young republicans coming up in the ranks.
as long as they do NOT have the mind-set of the "bow ties" and the greatest generationERs who try to shove their conservatism down our throats.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | May 6, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

What a cutie! (Chris' son, I mean.)

Posted by: dognabbit | May 6, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Thanks nbb, I do like to be concise, but even though I can not write them, I enjoy the ride of a good screed, like the lovely one katem1 just posted.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 6, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I think that sometimes we give U.S. voters too much credit.. the voters don't really know much about the candidates.. politics hasn't really changed, it's all about making the masses feel good.. and who knows what will be the next big thing to make them feel good.

The people posting here are not necessarily representative of the typical voter mindset.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 6, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse


Read this account and judge for yourself:


OR (if link is corrupted or disabled):


Posted by: scrivener50 | May 6, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

"The GOP doesn't have to do much, really- just sit back and watch Obama drive the country straight into the ground.

When all this pork and welfare fails to create any real economic gains, we are humiliated overseas, and/or Rezko and Blago start singing...the Democrats face a bloodbath in 2010."


That's what the Dems thought when Reagan was in power; that he would implode and the public would see through him and they would sweep to power. Didn't really happen, did it? And it won't with Obama. The Republicans can think they've had recruiting success but in many of the NE states, it won't matter who they run....

Posted by: RickJ | May 6, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Ahhh Chris. You talk of history, that shows a rebound of the ousted party. But you and other DC established media types are missing the big picture. The history making, changing event that happened on Nov.4/08. No longer will just white old people be deciding who is in power. The diversity of those who voted for the Prez reflects the diversity of the population. And the R word the republicans need to find is respect. Respect for the intelligence of the majority of voters that they aren't going to get sucked in by fear mongering, divisive un-true ads, settled law social issues, and the unrealistic view of small government in a country of 300 million people. Respect for the fact that people didn't vote for you, and to quit disparaging their choice, their vote. But the hypocrisy is what is really going to keep the GOP down. We are all human, we are all flawed, but self rightous judgemental hypocrisy is tied to the greater sin of bigotry. Bigotry, under whose umbrella resides racism, sexism, elitism, homophobia, theocratic bullying. But I understand that it's difficult to recognize those issues when you've never been on the receiving end of them. What would a white guy like Chris know of racism when he's never experienced it, especially on a daily basis. I'll bet his wife, a coach at a university has encountered sexism many times on her way to her position, and has had to fight for semi-equal funding for her sport. There are those Christians who complain about attacks on Christianity, while they are missing the enemy within, cloaked in exclusiveness, self-rightousness, extreme fundamentalists, just like the extremist Taliban. Prez. Obama isn't perfect, doesn't claim to be, but his life experiences give him a deep understanding of what average everyday people are going through, unlike McCain, Romney, good men with good hearts, but they don't know what it's like to wonder how you're going to feed your kids til the next pay cheque. or how you'll be able to afford medical or dental for your family. The Obama's had student loans, they just paid them off like four years ago with his book sales. Did McCain? Did Bush? Did Romney? They can't possibly relate to the average person. And the blatant sexism,hypocrisy and racism seen by the world when the Dixie Chicks get death threats, and Chip Saltzman gets a slap on the wrist. And lastly, if the Republicans want to be taken seriously, then don't make your RNC Chairman apologize to an entertainer for calling him an entertainer. If you worry about the base, then the base is all you'll have. Where's the base going to go if you become inclusive? to the Dems? One election of the base staying home and they'll realize how futile that is. Quit catering to them!

Posted by: katem1 | May 6, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Cillizza, the Post's favorite intern, is at it again, writing superficial articles where work and research is called for. But that's so hard to do, when you can slap together a few paragraphs and hoover up a paycheck much more easily, right Chris?

If you really want to present the "recruiting" of a few wingnuts as a evidence of nation-wide "GOP recovery" you have to do a lot better than this. These people lied us into a war and nearly destroyed our economy. We DO NOT trust them.

In any society, about 25% of the people will cling to old ways and resist progress out of fear and ignorance. Why should America be any different? Here's where the Republican Party fits in...

Posted by: losthorizon10 | May 6, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Well said, shrink2..
not often do we see a concise, balanced eval.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 6, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Republicans will only be able to win at the national level when they find a way to put the mask back on.

When they can convince middle America that Republicans will satisfy their wants and represent their interests, they can get elected again.

Democrats should have an easy time for several cycles exposing the party of plutocrats and bigots for what it is.

Nevertheless, monetizing debt is something that while it had to be done, will eventually bite the Democrats hard...once the middle forgets exactly why it had to be done.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 6, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Wow, it's good to be at the bottom.. particularly if you are a bottom feeder..
just no way to go but up..

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 6, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Carl Forti summed up why these new candidates won't win in places like Conn, Del, Penn, or Illinois when he said "In a center right country with a Democrat[ic] president and Congress, candidates can now oppose something or be against the liberal policies."

The thing is that the Northeast and Illinois aren't center right they're center left and this type of strategy only works if those Liberal policies don't work. By 2010 we will be pulling out of the recesion and anyone who was against the president (ie all of the GOP) will have a serious problem.

Crist is the only one of that group mentioned that was supportive of the President's stimulus package and he will WOOP Rubio because of it. Crist will most likely win the Florida senate seat but I don't see Specter losing, even against Ridge.

Posted by: AndyR3 | May 6, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Whatever the national mood at a given moment, it is by definition "the center". The "center" in 2009 is to the right of where it was in 1963 and to the left of where it was in 1983, so the descriptions we hear are relative in time. Without that caveat, the descriptions have no meaning, and are an exercise in propaganda. Further, the "center" is different in each region. Obvious examples: I live in TX, own a shotgun, shoot wily skeet :-) and am bugged by easterners who think talk about absolute gun restrictions. Easterners here seemed to like taxing auto mileage driven when that trial balloon went up - every western state could have been driven R on that one, even CA.
Most of us find ourselves to the left or right of others we know on an issue-by-issue basis. Posters to this blog tend to be more certain of their positions because they are politically aware; but often more doctrinaire, because they are trying to either persuade or defend. But I gently offer that any suggestion that the "national" mood is other than "dead center" is a definitional and mathematical impossibility.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 6, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

The GOP doesn't have to do much, really- just sit back and watch Obama drive the country straight into the ground.

When all this pork and welfare fails to create any real economic gains, we are humiliated overseas, and/or Rezko and Blago start singing...the Democrats face a bloodbath in 2010.

By 2012, people will >wince< at the very mention of the name "Obama"- and the GOP could take 40 states running Gilbert Gottfried.

Enjoy it while it lasts, libs.


Posted by: ReaganiteRepublican | May 6, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Has the GOP ever thought that maybe voters are giving up on the party because of is ideals and principles, not a lack of outreach?


Posted by: parkerfl1 | May 6, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Let me try and put to bed a misconception propogated by Mr. Forti and taken as gospel by almost every one in the media.The United states is NOT A CENTER RIGHT COUNTRY! On issue after issue,the people are leaning the other way. Health care,Social Security,War in Iraq,Gay rights,Women's rights,Equal pay,The environment,Abortion rights,etc. Poll after poll shows that the people have shifted to a progressive attitude.Thank God, the Republican base will stay home if any of these candidates stray from the ultra conservative positions they're locked into.

Posted by: hughsie48 | May 6, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

What a surprise that the GOP operative was pushing the fiction that the US is Centre Right.

No surprises from a party who pays lip service to reality and treats fictional anti heroes (Jack Bauer) as a representative of legitimate intelligence techniques.

Posted by: Mikey6 | May 6, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

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