Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

GROWING NUMBER OF GOP SEATS IN DOUBT

Vulnerability seen in unusual places

VIRGINIA BEACH---When some of the country's top political handicappers drew up their charts of vulnerable House incumbents at the beginning of the year, Rep. Thelma D. Drake (R-VA), was not among them. Now she is.

President Bush carried her district with 58% of the vote in 2004, byt strategists say his travails are part of the reason the freshman lawmaker now has a fight on her hands. He swooped into town briefly Friday for a closed-door fundraiser for Drake but made no public appearances.

Drake, who won with ease two years ago, is not alone. With approval ratings for Bush and congressional Republicans at a low ebb, GOP strategists see signs of weakness where they least expected it---including a conservative, military-dominated suburb such as Virginia Beach---and fear that their problems could grow worse unless the national mood brightens.
***If Bush had a fund raiser for her, then he backs her and she backs him. People just don't like this liar anymore. They are starting to see right through him! The White House "WILL NOT" back anyone that doesn't back the White House. That's just how it is with Bush and Rove!

Some Republican veterans of the 1994 GOP takeover of Congress see worrisome parallels between then and now, in the way once-safe districts are turning into potential problems. Incumbents' poll numbers have softened. Margins against their Democratic opponents have narrowed. Republican voters appear disenchanted. The Bush effect now amounts to a drag of five percentage points or more in many districts.

The changes don't guarantee a Democratic takeover by any means, but they are creating an increasingly asymmetrical battlefield for the fall elections: The number of vulnerable Democratic districts has remained relatively constant while the number of potentially competitive Republican districts continues to climb.

Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of a political newsletter, now has 42 Republican districts, including Drake's, on his list of competitive races. Last September, he had 26 competitive GOP districts, and Drake's wasn't on the list. "That's a pretty significant increase," he said. "The national atmospherics are making long shots suddenly less long."

At the Cook Political Report, Amy Walter has revised an analysis of the battle for control of the House, factoring in the sour mood toward Republicans nationally as a potentially significant factor in races that might otherwise turn on local issues, candidate performance or the size of campaign war chests.


Unexpected election twists

"In a nationalized election, the typical laws of gravity get thrown out the window," Walter said. "Under-funded candidates beat better-funded candidates, and entrenched incumbents lose to first-time challengers."

Republicans said these trends in recent polling data are an early alert, not a cause for panic. Their strategists argue that their incumbents will not be caught by surprise, as many Democrats were in 1994, when they were swept from power in the House after 40 years.

House Republican campaign officials are taking steps to protect their vulnerable candidates with money, opposition research, negative television ads and campaign messages designed to fly below the worst of the national turbulence. But they know there is only so much they can do if Bush's approval rating stays below 40% and voters continue to say they want a change in direction.

***The Republicans are taking the wrong approach with this negative ad and opposition research issues. "The people" finally realize that the Republicans can take one little issue and blow it way out of proportion! The voters "are' going to take this into consideration and think exactly how I am thinking right now. They'll be saying, "Oh....this guy must be taking lessons from the President. What a liar." Don't you people get it? The Republicans are now the Party of the Unbelievables!

Drake, a first-term representative, isn't yet among the most endangered GOP incumbents. But she is one of the many---and not just inexperienced lawmakers---who could ba at risk if there is an anti-Republican wave in the fall. Among House incumbents added to some GOP watch lists in recent months are veterans Reps. Nancy L. Johnson (Conn.), Deborah Pryce (Ohio), Charles Bass (N.H.), J.D. Hayworth (Ariz) and Richard W. Pombo (Calif).

***The House Republicans that need to be at the very top of the list is the House Leadership like Hastert (IL), Boehner, etc., etc., etc. They are the ones that decide what is going to come to the floor of the House and they only bring what the White House wants them to bring! Nobody believes the show that they have been putting on lately either!

''DON'T JUDGE THEM FOR WHAT THEY TELL YOU ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL THIS ELECTION SEASON. JUDGE THEM FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE IN THE PAST! MIDDLE CLASS AMERICA, OR SHOULD I SAY, WHAT IS LEFT OF IT, IS THE WAY IT IS NOW, BECAUSE OF THIS LEADERSHIP! BUSH DIDN'T BRING ALL OF THESE RADICAL CHANGES ON AMERICA ALL BY HIMSELF, YOU KNOW! SURE, THE IDEAS CAME FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, BUT IT WAS THE LEADERSHIP THAT BROUGHT IT TO THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE. IT'S THEIR DECISION WHAT GETS TO THE FLOOR!

The National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, Thomas M. Reynolds (R-NY), acknowledged Tuesday that the national mood has accelerated campaign planning by many incumbents. While vowing that Republicans will maintain their House majority in the fall, regardless of the national climate, Reynolds said, "Members [are] paying much more attention and putting together campaigns earlier."

Virginia's 2md Congressional District, home to the U.S. Navy's Atlantic Fleet, generally is solid Republican territory. Bush won the district with 58% of the vote in 2004, and Drake was elected with 55%. But Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine won the district in his victory last November, and the fact that Drake, a 56-year old former ral estate agent and state legislator, is in her first term adds to the list of GOP worries about her race.


Hopeful arounf Virginia Beach

Around Virginia Beach, Republicans believe the race is Drake's to lose but say she nonetheless faces a long six months. "I think Thelma is going to have to campaign hard, and she will," said state Del. Leo C. Wardup Jr., who helped recruit Drake into Congress.

Her opponent, Democrat Phil Kellam, Virginia commissioner of revenue, believes the most effective line of attack is to paint Drake as a loyal vote for the president at a time when Bush's popularity has declined even in red states he carried in 2004. "She is grafted to this president," Kellam said.

Drake did not attend Friday's fundraiser luncheon with the president, but her aides said the reason had nothing to do with Bush's political standing. They said she was in Washington for a vote on legislation affecting military families.

***Yeah! That was the vote where all of the Republicans voted to take the money that was already appropriated for military construction AWAY FROM THE MILITARY FAMILIES TO GIVE IT TO THE RICH FOR THEIR TAX-BREAKS! So, that proves Kellam's point, doesn't it? "SHE IS GRAFTED TO THIS PRESIDENT!"

White House officials acknowledge that the president's time is too valuable to waste on safe incumbents. In some cases, the boost from a presidential fundraiser can turn a potentially competitive race into a relatively safe seat, but that was not the expectation Friday. "She's got a real competitive race," a Bush adviser said of Drake, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to give a candid assessment.

***Don't you just love that condition of anonymity?

After helping Drake pick up about $475,000, Bush flew to Kentucky to raise money for another embattled Republican, Rep. Geoff Davis, who is being challenged by former Democratic representative Ken Lucas.


Democrats attacking Drake

Democrats do not yet consider Drake among their best targets, but they hope to make her one. The national party began running radio ads here this week, attacking Drake for backing Bush's plan to revamp Social Security, The liberal group MoveOn.org says it has spent more than $100,000 running television ads attacking her ethics.

Drake sid the Democrats' strategy of trying to use Bush against her won't work. "I would much rather think like George Bush than to think like Senator Ted Kennedy, [Democratic Party Chairman] Howard Dean or [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi," she said in an interview from her Capitol Hill Office.

***I don't think that "that" statement is going to help her any! We all know that G.W. doesn't know how to think. He is incapable with his handicaps. The boy tunes the world out three-quarters of the time and the rest of the time he's sleeping!

Although Drake quickly earned a seat on the House Armed Services Committee, a coveted spot for a district with some of the world's largest military bases, Kellam hopes to turn the district's large military presence to his advantage.

In an interview, he said he does not support a rapid pullout of troops from Iraq, but he criticized Drake, saying she has failed to ask tough questions about the conduct of the war. "Can you tell me that the Congress has scrutinized the Department of Defense as much as is necessary?" he asked.

Kellam also has seized on the fate of the huge Ocena Naval Air Station, targeted for possible closure by a congressional commission. He accused Drake and other Virginia Republicans of failing to do enough to keep the stations jets in the area.

Drake responded angrily, saying that Virginia's Democrats and Republicans have worked together to protect the base. She also said she has worked hard on Iraq, visiting troops twice since taking office, and called Kellam's criticisms "absolutely false, untrue [and] deliberately misleading."

Drake's goal will be to rebut Kellam's criticisms and prove to constituents that she has delivered for them. Kellam's hope is that factors beyond Drake's control will overwhelm the customary political leanings of the district.

Drake has already proven herself to be an extension of the White House by letting Bush came to her district and have a fund raiser for her, while she stayed in Washington to do the preseident's bidding. VOTING AGAINST MILITARY FAMILIES AND GIVING TO THE PRESIDENT SO HE CAN GIVE MORE TO THE WEALTHY. OUR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE NOT WEALTHY BY FAR!


Source: MSNBC
By: Michael D. Shear and Dan Balz
May 19, 2006

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