Democrats Ding Potential GOP Presidential Candidates
Seeking an early jumpstart on the approaching 2008 presidential race, the Democratic National Committee released a series of reports Friday on some of the Republican politicians most-often named as likely candidates for the GOP nomination.
"With the holiday season upon us, DNC Research keeps our own list of who's been naughty and who's been nice -- and unfortunately, we think most of our GOP 08ers will find coal in their stocking this year," writes DNC research director Devorah Adler.
Eleven potential candidates are profiled. Each document lists some of the more impolitic statements the candidate has made over the past year, where he stands in the chase for campaign cash, and a counter to log how many times each has stopped in the key early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Here's a sampling:
* Arizona Sen. John McCain "swerved to the right this year and there's no turning back," according to Adler. As evidence, the "McCain watch" document details the Arizona senator's positive remarks about conservative Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum ("He represents what is in my view the next generation of GOP leadership.") as well as his advocacy for Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott (R) and Alabama Lt. Gov. candidate George Wallace Jr. during a recent campaign swing through the south.
* Virginia Sen. George Allen takes heat in the document for his decision to reverse course and oppose making hate crimes against homosexuals a federal offense the next time the matter comes up for a vote. "And what will George Allen ask for when he sits on Santa's lap," asks Adler. "He'll be hoping that the right wing will be so busy focusing on [Massachusetts Gov. Mitt] Romney's flip-flops they won't notice his own."
* Speaking of Mitt Romney, who announced last week he would not seek a second term as the Bay State's chief executive, the document bashes him for flying on Pfizer's corporate jet during a recent trip to California to attend a Republican Governors Association meeting, noting that at the time the Massachusetts legislature was considering health care legislation -- a conflict of interest, the Democrats argue. Romney is also hit for his six combined trips to Iowa (2), New Hampshire (3) and South Carolina (1); "Mitt Romney will probably ask Santa for luggage since he's moved from Utah to Massachusetts to Iowa in just three years," writes Adler.
While few people outside the most hardcore political insiders are paying attention to the 2008 presidential jockeying at the moment, the DNC document could have an impact on the race. Since the aspiring GOPers know they are being watched (and watched closely) they may be less likely to take political risks, choosing instead to play it safe rather than stir up a potential controversy fueled by the DNC.
Here are links to the DNC research documents (PDFs):
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