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Leak Investigation: Danger for House Republicans?

As rumors fly in Washington regarding the potential indictment of high-ranking Bush administration officials for leaking the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame to the media, The Fix offers a glimpse into what effect (if any) the constant media coverage of the probe is having on the reelection races of a handful of targeted House Republicans.

The Fix checked with two of the most vulnerable House Republicans to gauge whether the possible indictments of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove or Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was a hot topic of discussion last week when House members were back in their home districts.

Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays (R) said Wednesday that he "heard some concern from constituents about the Valerie Plame leak, and I have some concerns myself."  Shays also praised special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's "aggressive investigation."

Shays, who has represented southeastern Connecticut's 4th District since 1987, won a narrow victory last cycle -- his toughest race in more than a decade. Shays's opponent in that race -- Westport First Selectwoman Dianne Farrell -- is running again.  Shays has made a career out of bucking the Republican leadership, a smart move given the current political climate and the generic Democratic tilt of the district.

Pennsylvania Rep. Jim Gerlach (R), by contrast, did not hear word one about the leak investigation during recess, according to a spokesman. Gerlach held "four or five" town halls on Medicare over the past week and "not once did that issue come up at all," said the spokesman.

Gerlach, like Shays, faces a rematch from his 2004 opponent next November, and Democrats see the seat as one of their strongest turnover opportunities. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (D) won Gerlach's suburban Philadelphia district with 51 percent last year.

Two other targeted House members -- New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson and Connecticut Rep. Rob Simmons -- did not return calls seeking comment on what they may have heard from constituents regarding the Plame investigation.

John Hishta, a political consultant and former executive director of the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, called the leak story "sexy" but said "it's not meaningful to someone in real America."

Republican pollster Whit Ayres said "for the most part voters are not going to base decision on whether to reelect a House member on inside baseball stories involving staff in the White House." He added, however, that the leak investigation does have some impact on Republican prospects in that "it affects the general political atmosphere in that intangible way."

Another prominent Republican consultant, who was granted anonymity so that he could speak freely, said that while "it's difficult to say that White House indictments will have a major, direct impact on a specific race ... it will make our problems with the national political environment even worse -- [like] upgrading a hurricane from category three to category four, it takes bad news and makes it worse."

Several Republicans also noted that the last time a second-term president was waylaid by controversy in the lead-up to a midterm election, the president's party picked up four House seats. That was none other than the 1998 cycle when President Clinton was impeached for lying about the Lewinsky affair.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 19, 2005; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  House  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Pa. Senate: Is It Curtains for Santorum?
Next: The Fix Hits Virginia

Comments

Posted by: Online casino | April 14, 2006 7:50 PM | Report abuse

patricia madrid is attorney general of new mexico. not secretary of state!

Posted by: teresa | October 27, 2005 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Dennis,

Nice launch for a public relations pitch - hijack a tiny internet forum with 4 long copies of your bizarro plan to start an undefined Independent Party. Good Luck with that approach. I'm sure it will go over big. Maybe 6 or 8 or 10 copies will do it next time.

Why do I get the feeling you are just another Repug forum bully just trying to squash this little discussion?

Posted by: DumbDumbDumbya | October 22, 2005 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I am an announced Republican/Ind cand for Congress who has been calling for impeachment of Bush/Cheney since last year.
In addition to running in Vermont myself, i am trying to recruit good but fed-up people to rubn with me for Congress in '06 as Independents. We the people need to BECOME the Congress and all those incumbents need to go home. Here is how we can do it. (email me at dmorso@netzero.net):

[ 2nd letter from a Gonzo Republican]

THIS IS NO JOKE.


HOW TO TAKE POWER


I would like not to. We would all like not to I guess. But that's not going to work anymore.
We have to. There is no other option. No one presently in power is going to help us even though some of them say they will and say they can. They're lying. So here's how:

Keep in mind the meteoric rise from nowhere to "front runner for the Presidency" of Howard
Dean little more than a year ago. This is the new political paradigm. That he failed at the end
is beside the point. He failed due to personal mistakes. The power and speed of his rise, and
how it was done, must be kept in mind. We can do that again, and we must, in the upcoming
'06 Congressional elections. My proposal is that dozens of us, hundreds of us "outsiders" launch a unified national campaign to take control of Congress.

We are celebrity addicted and have been seduced time after time into fake contests for the
fake power of the Presidency. Congress writes the laws, collects the taxes, and writes the
checks that fund all government actions, even war. Congress can choose to fund or not fund
whatever they wish. A president has virtually no say in these matters. What does that tell you?
It should tell you that Congress calls the shots; and I am telling you that. My degree is
in political science and I am not kidding. All those Democrat and Republican Congressmen
are happy to have us think they are just a bunch of warring doofusses. They love it
when we focus our attention and hopes on Presidential elections. And when things go wrong--
their things that they set up--they shove that cardboard cutout "President" out in
front of us to absorb our anger. Presidents come and go, but Congress and their hidden
backers and agendas have so far stayed with us. Congress is responsible for the Iraq war
and what may be coming soon in Iran. Congress is responsible for everything you see that
is wrong with our government and our politics and our posture in the world. So we need them
gone. We need TO BECOME Congress.

This way: I have already announced as an Independent running for Congress in Vermont. I'm
looking for a second Independent candidate anywhere in the country to also announce linked
to me. If that doesn't impress the mainstream media, we two will find a 3rd Independent candi-
date, and we'll stage a 3 person announcement. If that doesn't impress, we three will find a
4th Independent and the 4 of us will announce/reannounce together--and so on. All of this is
unprecedented in American history, so I am convinced that by the time we get to 3 or 4 or 5
of us linked Independents, ordinary decent citizens not Dems and not Repubs, the media WILL
NOTICE and so then will the country. From there we will reach 8 or 9 or 10 Independents a lot
easier than we got the first few. Somewhere in there the "Dean phenomena" will occurr and WE
WILL LEAP TO 100, OR 200 OR MORE. [And at that point, a few months from now and long
before the "06 elections, we will already be able to govern. We will be able to control THIS President and move THIS Congress around, because everybody will see by then what is coming.
They will see, "we the people" coming and they will know that their time is up.]

Posted by: Dennis Morrisseau | October 21, 2005 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I am an announced Republican/Ind cand for Congress who has been calling for impeachment of Bush/Cheney since last year.
In addition to running in Vermont myself, i am trying to recruit good but fed-up people to rubn with me for Congress in '06 as Independents. We the people need to BECOME the Congress and all those incumbents need to go home. Here is how we can do it. (email me at dmorso@netzero.net):

[ 2nd letter from a Gonzo Republican]

THIS IS NO JOKE.


HOW TO TAKE POWER


I would like not to. We would all like not to I guess. But that's not going to work anymore.
We have to. There is no other option. No one presently in power is going to help us even though some of them say they will and say they can. They're lying. So here's how:

Keep in mind the meteoric rise from nowhere to "front runner for the Presidency" of Howard
Dean little more than a year ago. This is the new political paradigm. That he failed at the end
is beside the point. He failed due to personal mistakes. The power and speed of his rise, and
how it was done, must be kept in mind. We can do that again, and we must, in the upcoming
'06 Congressional elections. My proposal is that dozens of us, hundreds of us "outsiders" launch a unified national campaign to take control of Congress.

We are celebrity addicted and have been seduced time after time into fake contests for the
fake power of the Presidency. Congress writes the laws, collects the taxes, and writes the
checks that fund all government actions, even war. Congress can choose to fund or not fund
whatever they wish. A president has virtually no say in these matters. What does that tell you?
It should tell you that Congress calls the shots; and I am telling you that. My degree is
in political science and I am not kidding. All those Democrat and Republican Congressmen
are happy to have us think they are just a bunch of warring doofusses. They love it
when we focus our attention and hopes on Presidential elections. And when things go wrong--
their things that they set up--they shove that cardboard cutout "President" out in
front of us to absorb our anger. Presidents come and go, but Congress and their hidden
backers and agendas have so far stayed with us. Congress is responsible for the Iraq war
and what may be coming soon in Iran. Congress is responsible for everything you see that
is wrong with our government and our politics and our posture in the world. So we need them
gone. We need TO BECOME Congress.

This way: I have already announced as an Independent running for Congress in Vermont. I'm
looking for a second Independent candidate anywhere in the country to also announce linked
to me. If that doesn't impress the mainstream media, we two will find a 3rd Independent candi-
date, and we'll stage a 3 person announcement. If that doesn't impress, we three will find a
4th Independent and the 4 of us will announce/reannounce together--and so on. All of this is
unprecedented in American history, so I am convinced that by the time we get to 3 or 4 or 5
of us linked Independents, ordinary decent citizens not Dems and not Repubs, the media WILL
NOTICE and so then will the country. From there we will reach 8 or 9 or 10 Independents a lot
easier than we got the first few. Somewhere in there the "Dean phenomena" will occurr and WE
WILL LEAP TO 100, OR 200 OR MORE. [And at that point, a few months from now and long
before the "06 elections, we will already be able to govern. We will be able to control THIS President and move THIS Congress around, because everybody will see by then what is coming.
They will see, "we the people" coming and they will know that their time is up.]

Posted by: Dennis Morrisseau | October 21, 2005 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I am an announced Republican/Ind cand for Congress who has been calling for impeachment of Bush/Cheney since last year.
In addition to running in Vermont myself, i am trying to recruit good but fed-up people to rubn with me for Congress in '06 as Independents. We the people need to BECOME the Congress and all those incumbents need to go home. Here is how we can do it. (email me at dmorso@netzero.net):

[ 2nd letter from a Gonzo Republican]

THIS IS NO JOKE.


HOW TO TAKE POWER


I would like not to. We would all like not to I guess. But that's not going to work anymore.
We have to. There is no other option. No one presently in power is going to help us even though some of them say they will and say they can. They're lying. So here's how:

Keep in mind the meteoric rise from nowhere to "front runner for the Presidency" of Howard
Dean little more than a year ago. This is the new political paradigm. That he failed at the end
is beside the point. He failed due to personal mistakes. The power and speed of his rise, and
how it was done, must be kept in mind. We can do that again, and we must, in the upcoming
'06 Congressional elections. My proposal is that dozens of us, hundreds of us "outsiders" launch a unified national campaign to take control of Congress.

We are celebrity addicted and have been seduced time after time into fake contests for the
fake power of the Presidency. Congress writes the laws, collects the taxes, and writes the
checks that fund all government actions, even war. Congress can choose to fund or not fund
whatever they wish. A president has virtually no say in these matters. What does that tell you?
It should tell you that Congress calls the shots; and I am telling you that. My degree is
in political science and I am not kidding. All those Democrat and Republican Congressmen
are happy to have us think they are just a bunch of warring doofusses. They love it
when we focus our attention and hopes on Presidential elections. And when things go wrong--
their things that they set up--they shove that cardboard cutout "President" out in
front of us to absorb our anger. Presidents come and go, but Congress and their hidden
backers and agendas have so far stayed with us. Congress is responsible for the Iraq war
and what may be coming soon in Iran. Congress is responsible for everything you see that
is wrong with our government and our politics and our posture in the world. So we need them
gone. We need TO BECOME Congress.

This way: I have already announced as an Independent running for Congress in Vermont. I'm
looking for a second Independent candidate anywhere in the country to also announce linked
to me. If that doesn't impress the mainstream media, we two will find a 3rd Independent candi-
date, and we'll stage a 3 person announcement. If that doesn't impress, we three will find a
4th Independent and the 4 of us will announce/reannounce together--and so on. All of this is
unprecedented in American history, so I am convinced that by the time we get to 3 or 4 or 5
of us linked Independents, ordinary decent citizens not Dems and not Repubs, the media WILL
NOTICE and so then will the country. From there we will reach 8 or 9 or 10 Independents a lot
easier than we got the first few. Somewhere in there the "Dean phenomena" will occurr and WE
WILL LEAP TO 100, OR 200 OR MORE. [And at that point, a few months from now and long
before the "06 elections, we will already be able to govern. We will be able to control THIS President and move THIS Congress around, because everybody will see by then what is coming.
They will see, "we the people" coming and they will know that their time is up.]

Posted by: Dennis Morrisseau | October 21, 2005 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I am an announced Republican/Ind cand for Congress who has been calling for impeachment of Bush/Cheney since last year.
In addition to running in Vermont myself, i am trying to recruit good but fed-up people to rubn with me for Congress in '06 as Independents. We the people need to BECOME the Congress and all those incumbents need to go home. Here is how we can do it. (email me at dmorso@netzero.net):

[ 2nd letter from a Gonzo Republican]

THIS IS NO JOKE.


HOW TO TAKE POWER


I would like not to. We would all like not to I guess. But that's not going to work anymore.
We have to. There is no other option. No one presently in power is going to help us even though some of them say they will and say they can. They're lying. So here's how:

Keep in mind the meteoric rise from nowhere to "front runner for the Presidency" of Howard
Dean little more than a year ago. This is the new political paradigm. That he failed at the end
is beside the point. He failed due to personal mistakes. The power and speed of his rise, and
how it was done, must be kept in mind. We can do that again, and we must, in the upcoming
'06 Congressional elections. My proposal is that dozens of us, hundreds of us "outsiders" launch a unified national campaign to take control of Congress.

We are celebrity addicted and have been seduced time after time into fake contests for the
fake power of the Presidency. Congress writes the laws, collects the taxes, and writes the
checks that fund all government actions, even war. Congress can choose to fund or not fund
whatever they wish. A president has virtually no say in these matters. What does that tell you?
It should tell you that Congress calls the shots; and I am telling you that. My degree is
in political science and I am not kidding. All those Democrat and Republican Congressmen
are happy to have us think they are just a bunch of warring doofusses. They love it
when we focus our attention and hopes on Presidential elections. And when things go wrong--
their things that they set up--they shove that cardboard cutout "President" out in
front of us to absorb our anger. Presidents come and go, but Congress and their hidden
backers and agendas have so far stayed with us. Congress is responsible for the Iraq war
and what may be coming soon in Iran. Congress is responsible for everything you see that
is wrong with our government and our politics and our posture in the world. So we need them
gone. We need TO BECOME Congress.

This way: I have already announced as an Independent running for Congress in Vermont. I'm
looking for a second Independent candidate anywhere in the country to also announce linked
to me. If that doesn't impress the mainstream media, we two will find a 3rd Independent candi-
date, and we'll stage a 3 person announcement. If that doesn't impress, we three will find a
4th Independent and the 4 of us will announce/reannounce together--and so on. All of this is
unprecedented in American history, so I am convinced that by the time we get to 3 or 4 or 5
of us linked Independents, ordinary decent citizens not Dems and not Repubs, the media WILL
NOTICE and so then will the country. From there we will reach 8 or 9 or 10 Independents a lot
easier than we got the first few. Somewhere in there the "Dean phenomena" will occurr and WE
WILL LEAP TO 100, OR 200 OR MORE. [And at that point, a few months from now and long
before the "06 elections, we will already be able to govern. We will be able to control THIS President and move THIS Congress around, because everybody will see by then what is coming.
They will see, "we the people" coming and they will know that their time is up.]

Posted by: Dennis Morrisseau | October 21, 2005 3:14 PM | Report abuse

J. Cronier learned how to copy and paste, pretty good.

NewFlash: Clinton is not president.

They spent $40 million investigating a lie about a consentual sex between adults. You could have bought a lot of porn for yourself with that cash.

Posted by: DumbDumbDumbya | October 20, 2005 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Who worry, Me? Fumes, no that's smoke you're smelling. We're in a tail spin, Becky. Dumbya's borrowing $1 billion a day (>$365 billion/yr), mostly from the Chinese. But that's okay, cuz we're sending them our jobs.

He's asking our kids to pay our taxes for us, with interest. With 100 mill households, that's about $4,000 /yr of borrowing per household. How much are you Red State Rednecks saving in tax cuts? Do some math people, he's screwing this country. And that's just the Red Ink. How about the no-bid contracts. If you thought Katrina was bad, imagine what's happening in Iraq - halfway around the globe with virtually no oversight?

Posted by: DumbDumbDumbya | October 20, 2005 8:29 PM | Report abuse

What people seem to forget with all the talk about the "many" scandals of the Clinton administration is that the Republicans controlled Congress at the time.

There have been far, far, FAR more scandals in the Bush administration that just have never been investigated impartially because Republicans in Congress have felt better with sweeping them under the rug for the good of the party rather than actually doing what is right for the country.

By contrast, Republicans during the Clinton administration could not appoint a special prosecutor fast enough for every little thing.

Posted by: J. Crozier | October 20, 2005 5:01 PM | Report abuse

What people seem to forget with all the talk about the "many" scandals of the Clinton administration is that the Republicans controlled Congress at the time.

There have been far, far, FAR more scandals in the Bush administration that just have never been investigated impartially because Republicans in Congress have felt better with sweeping them under the rug for the good of the party rather than actually doing what is right for the country.

By contrast, Republicans during the Clinton administration could not appoint a special prosecutor fast enough for every little thing.

Posted by: J. Crozier | October 20, 2005 5:00 PM | Report abuse

What people seem to forget with all the talk about the "many" scandals of the Clinton administration is that the Republicans controlled Congress at the time.

There have been far, far, FAR more scandals in the Bush administration that just have never been investigated impartially because Republicans in Congress have felt better with sweeping them under the rug for the good of the party rather than actually doing what is right for the country.

By contrast, Republicans during the Clinton administration could not appoint a special prosecutor fast enough for every little thing.

Posted by: J. Crozier | October 20, 2005 5:00 PM | Report abuse

If all of the rats are caught, I just hope it isn't too late for the country. Sad to see it go down hill so fast. All of the safety nets set up after the "big" depression will have been gone. Just go back to before, 1929. So many people believe that the "stocks" fell and caused the depression. That was only the results, the truth: foreign countries pulled in their loans. Sound familiar? Our economy is running on fumes......

Posted by: Becky | October 20, 2005 3:22 PM | Report abuse

He's not returning calls now, but he's completely flip flopped on this Plame thing. Check out what this blogger uncovered:

http://2cd.lonseidman.com/?q=node/610

Posted by: Rob Simmons | October 20, 2005 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Heather Wilson has been a lackey on Defense and Intelligence related matters here in New Mexico. So has Steve Pearce. Many of us will work very hard to unseat both. They have their constituencies, for sure. Pearce is a slave to the oil and gas industry in Eastern New Mexico. Wilson, a former miltary officer, has her support based on that view. However, in her case, Patricia Madrid, who is Secretary of State here in NM, is well-liked, well-known, and may have the credentials to walk a fine line on abortion, stem cell research, etc.
Bush LOST in New Mexico in 2000 by 366 votes. He won by 1000 or so votes this time. In the meantime, however, GREENS and Natural Law Party voters made a switch and carried Kerry in although in not as large a proportion as we would have liked, North, and East, where Heather Wilson is incumbent.
Nonetheless, Patricia Madrid would be a good choice against Wilson. It is still possible that someone will emerge in Steve Pearce's district.
BOTH are non-independent thinkers. Pearce is the worst. We will go after him on that ... a "yes. boss," kind of guy, he's not independent minded. As such, I hope that he gets heavily assaulted in this district for being a pawn.
Dave Liep's Presidential Atlas shows a spine from northern Colorado to southern New Mexico that is heavily REGISTERED to Democrats and Greens, but many are Reagan Democrats.
However, the potential exists that enough of the Independents and Reagan Democrats will be turned off by the lackluster independence of Pearce and Wilson to say ... they've had their chances.
Hopefully, either candidate's opponents who really kick out a strong message for New Mexico stretching out it's potential for solar and wind energy, as well as biomass and more inter urban mass transit in the Belen-Albuquerque-Sante Fe corridor.
Governor Richardson may be able to help throw some of his influence into THAT part of the picture ... and there ... Pearce, with his complete subservience to the oil and gas industry, will be vulnerable.
We intend to do all we can to unseat Pearce and Wilson!

Posted by: Heather Wilson | October 20, 2005 12:46 PM | Report abuse

If there are no indictments, then there needs to be an non-partisan investigation regarding the leaking of the CIA Agent. I hope that this would be made moot by Prosecutor Fitzgerald putting aside his party and the political ramifications and deciding what action he should take based on the merits of the case and the importance of providing incentive for this type of leaking never to occur again.
Remember while President Clinton chose an investigator who was from the opposite party, President Bush chose one from his own party.

Posted by: Jason Platt | October 20, 2005 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey, RED states, HAD ENOUGH.
Bush and his party don't give a damn about
average Americans. Take a look at your cost of living. I don't mean the government statistics; look at your own monthly bills. ask the question:
"Am I better off now than 5 years ago?

Posted by: Joker | October 20, 2005 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The biggest danger posed by the leak investigation is that it will draw attention to the processed used to bring the US into the invasion of iraq.

To this very day the Bush administration and the GOP leadership have not come up with a coherent policy response to the attacks on 9-11. They simply dusted off their pre-existing agenda and called it a response to the attacks.

That Bush and company wanted to invade Iraq was crystal claer from long before the 2000 campaign even began. Rumsfeld and pearlman were calling for and invasion of Irag at the first meeting held at Camp David within 72 hour of the attacks. From the reports of the bitter battle between Cheny's office and the CIA that has come out in the media coverage of the leak case it is clear that there was nothing like support for the claims of the administration regarding Iraq's WMDs. Bush and company manipulated the intelligence in order to justify an invasion they were bound and determined to carry out, no matter the cost to the country, in blood and treasure.

The real exposure of the Republican party in the criminal incompetance of the execution of the War in Iraq. The list of catatrophic mistakes that Bush and company have made are as long as your arm. They went in without the support of the international community, with grossly inadequate force levels, they disbanded the Iraqi army, refused to release crtical intelligence and special forces assets from the search for WMD to gather info on the growing insurgancy for over a year and a half. Most of all they had no plan for post-war reconstruction. They stripped responsibility for post war palnning from the State Department, which had gathered hundreds of experts into a planning process that was over a year old at the time of the invasion, and gave it to the DOD, which turned it over to a group of neo cons with no backgroung in Iraq, the middle east, or nation building or post war reconstruction.

The intervention in Iraq was a long shot from the beginning. The idea that a majority in any Ialamic, Arab county would freely choose a pro-American, pro-Western, libral democratic form of gorvernment in free elections has absolutely no basis in fact whatsoever. Everything social scientist and Mid-east experts know argues against this. However, any chance that the US intervention ever had for sucess ahs been squandered by the criminal incompetance of this administration. The GOP leadership in congress has completely abdicated it's constituional responsibility to provide real oversight to the executive branch. They must be held accountable in the mid term elections.

Posted by: incoming from middle USA | October 20, 2005 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Inetersting comments. We will to wait and see. With all the talk about evil and corruption, my question is; how did these same open minded folks react when ole slick bill himself and his band of crooks was creating mischief in the white house. There were more "gates" in his administration than any before.
Look let's be completely open. It is all about politics and who wants to have control. What all these scandals respresent is that the politics of Washington has gotten out of control. Neither party has a monopoly on scandals.

Posted by: yeahright | October 20, 2005 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Hello Fixer, connect a couple dots here, will ya. It ain't rocket science. We got a pattern of illegal activity from DeLay to Frist to Rove to Libby to Abramoff to ... where does it end?

Remember where these great moral leaders set the bar? Impeachment for lying about consentual sex. Martha's case was less obvious than Fristy.

Posted by: DumbDumbDumbya | October 19, 2005 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Since when is treason "sexy?"

Hate to break it to you John, but average Americans care a great deal about the level of contempt this administration has for the 'rest' of us.

I hope they all go down.

Posted by: Orofacial_Dyskinesia | October 19, 2005 7:36 PM | Report abuse

The main difference in Clinton's 'scandals' and what Bush and Co have today? Clinton's were based on his inability to keep his private parts in his pants. Bush and Co's are all about power, abuse of power, mean-spiritedness, and deception. Even if no one is indicted, any comprehensive probe open to the public makes Bush and Co look very, very mean-spirited, so much so that they'd commit treason (outing an agent is treason) to score cheap political points.

It's a sad, sad day for decency in government.

Posted by: Reason | October 19, 2005 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I hope that the Republicans lose control over both houses of Congress in 2007. They've proven to be absolutely corrupt, incompetent, and evil while running the country.

That being said, Democrats should be careful of putting all their eggs into one basket. Thus far, the strategy seems to be to stand back, let the Republicans shoot themselves repeatedly in the foot with ethics problems, and then point them out to the American people.

So what happens if the Special Prosecutor decides NOT to press any charges?

Posted by: J. Crozier | October 19, 2005 6:24 PM | Report abuse

You mention the possible difficulties Rep. Heather Wilson might face in her 2006 re-election bid. Speaking as a long-time New Mexico political observer, I think she has good reason to fear the run by Democrat New Mexico attorney general Patricia Madrid. Her usual smear team will be working overtime to convince New Mexicans that Heather, a New Englander with few apparent connections to New Mexico, is preferable to one of their own. A big challenge. That, coupled with the lifestyle choices of her husband, could end her political career.

Posted by: J Callmont | October 19, 2005 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Love your column Chris - but the comment on "the last second term president embroiled in scandal" is typically incomplete reporting from the MSM...

bill Clinton was loved by americans with the exception of the wing-nut right - Bush is abhorred by americans except for the wing-nut right... BIG difference ;)

Of course you didn't make that comparison -your source did - but you should have pointed out the obvious.

Posted by: Long Beach, CA | October 19, 2005 6:04 PM | Report abuse

The major difference between '98 and '06 is not only that "Americans were siding with Clinton." It was the particular dynamic of the House GOP being seen as pushing the impeachment proceedings. Any possible charges in the current case will be coming from the special prosecutor Fitzgerald. Thus, it is much harder to make this appear as a partisan agenda of the Democrats.

Indeed, this is one of the major downsides of Republicans controlling all parts of government: It's much more difficult to blame out-of-power Democrats for this sort of polical crisis.

Posted by: Anthony R. | October 19, 2005 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Even if the public does not connect their House member to the White House it will effect the races. It will effect the President's and VP's ability to stump and raise money for Republican candidates for fear that they will make that connection in the voters minds. That could be a huge factor.

Posted by: Evil | October 19, 2005 4:54 PM | Report abuse


The GOP is in deep, deep doo-doo for 2006, and they have no good choices or options to mitigate their pain. My guess (that's what it is) is that Cheney will be looking for "new and exciting job opportunities" real soon in the private sector -- whatever, Cheney is toast. With nearly every Pug leader under investigation or incarcerated, or soon to be indicted and incarcerated, the GOP stands as the ultimate, the apex of evil and corruption for all America to see. America will flee that party of odd balls, self-abusers and misfits by the millions. Yes, the circus sideshow is about to get even more clownish as the felonies fly. I say, Bring Them On!

Posted by: Hampster Alfie | October 19, 2005 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Republicans shouldn't be pinning too much of their hopes on the example set in 1998. Big difference between that midterm election/political scandal and this one is that Americans were siding with Clinton: only the right wing loons wanted him impeached over a blowjob. Can you make the same assertion vis-a-vis Cheney, et al.? I thought not.

Posted by: Esquire | October 19, 2005 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't think it would have an affect on the '06 elections right now or in the past several months; however, if there are indictments, then I think the American people will start to really pay attention to this serious problem for the White House and the Republican party

Posted by: Political Junkie | October 19, 2005 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Speaking as an "ordinary American" I DO care a great deal about this issue, contrary to what John Hishta says or thinks. And I don't think it's "sexy" at all; I think it's disgraceful and disgusting.

Posted by: Anne Olivia | October 19, 2005 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Forget the republican House and Senate in 2006. If this leak investigation begins seeing a conspiracy at the top levels of the Office of the Vice President, we may be seeing an indicted Vice President. That would send the entire republican party into a panic the likes we have not seen since Spiro Agnew was indicted. And it would be the biggest political story so far this century. What would Bush and the republicans do if we saw Rove, Libby AND Cheney indicted. Hold on to your hats!

Posted by: Sully | October 19, 2005 4:21 PM | Report abuse

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