The Los Angeles Times published a piece today, GOP has uphill climb for cash and candidates, talking abut the difficulties Republicans are facing right now, especially with candidate recruitment for the 2008 congressional elections. Seems that many potential challengers have decided to either stay where they are, or completely sit this one out, because they believe that the GOP brand is so damaged that it will make the task of being elected with an (R) next to their name insurmountable. To say that I read it with glee is to understate the point.
But the really amusing thing to me was this series of quotes:
Moreover, GOP officials say conditions are likely to improve once the party settles on a presidential nominee — who they believe will eclipse Bush in the public eye and diminish his drag on Republican prospects.
‘No question, the president’s gone through a rough patch. But the central figure for the Republicans next year is not going to be George Bush,’ said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Shangri-La*), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Rep. Brian P. Bilbray (R-Fantasyland*) described Bush as ‘a millstone that most members will not have to be carrying around’ once the Republican presidential nominee emerges.
[* edited for reality]
Oh, puh-leeze. This is George W. Bush they’re talking about. The Imperial President. The guy who has been making it all about “Me! Me! Me!” for, well, forever. Bush loves the spotlight. Do they really think that he’ll retire to the Rose Garden beginning in mid-2008? Do they really think that people will forget about the most incompetent president in American history, while he’s still in office, continuing to screw up? Do they think that they’ll be able to prevent the sitting president from being the wrapup speaker at the Republican Convention?
This will be the election that gets rid of Bush, whom the vast majority of the American people intensely dislike and distrust. The GOP candidate will have to, at least implicitly, explain why he’s not like Bush, and why he will do just about everything differently than Bush. This will just get worse as Congress continues turning over rocks and the Bushies’ blind wriggling worms of malfeasance and incompetence come fully to light. And every time the GOP nominee has to distance himself from Bush, he will remind voters what they don’t like about the GOP. I think that we’re looking at another 2006 blowout for the GOP.