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Monday News


NewsPoliticsMost of the news I find interesting runs on Mondays for some reason. Usually Mondays are a bad day for news. Limited readership means limited ad dollars, smaller papers, and less news. That’s why Sunday papers are enormous. More subscribers means more ads and more space for news.

But really, I find the Monday news to be the most valuable, generally. I guess they have to be picky about what they run, so they run better stuff. Today is no exception.

The Washington Post’s Edsall and Goldfarb (that sounds like a small town law firm) have an interesting take on the decline of Democrat success over the last several election cycles. The basic argument is the Democrats are clustered together while Republicans are spread out. Combined with an increased tendency for party line voting, that dilutes the effectiveness of the Democrat vote nationally. It’s an interesting argument.

In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, about 40 percent of all House Democrats represented districts that voted for GOP presidential candidates. Many were in the South, where local Democratic politicians often disowned the “national” Democratic Party and many endorsed the GOP presidential nominee.

In the 1990s, the number of districts voting Republican for president but for a Democratic House candidate fell to a little more than 20 percent, and in this decade, down to 13 percent.

The fact that the Republican base is so widely cast actually makes GOTV a challenge. It’s much easier to go door-to-door and touch many voters when they’re a few steps away. That’s much more challenging when they’re miles apart. That contributes to GOP mastery of technologies like telemarketing, direct mail, and broadcast messaging. It’s also why our online operation was tied so effective to our offline efforts last year. Anything we can do to move an extra voter needs to be done. It’s one reason I have any confidence at all about our chances of keeping Congress come November.

Hoping to continue playing the race and gender card for political gain, the House Democrats released a study showing the Clinton had more diversity in his political appointees. Wow! The Democrats really do have an agenda to make America safer. I’m sure we’ll sleep like angels knowing that this is the crap House Democrats are spending our taxpayer dollars on. Keep up the good work, guys, and you’ll keep winning… Oh… wait…

Rep. Steny Hoyer takes a good long look at the public financing issue.

Prior to the 2004 election, the system all but guaranteed that the November outcome would rest largely on the appeal of the candidates and their platforms, not the size of their campaign treasuries. Because major party conventions were held within two or three weeks of one another, the nominees started with the exact same bankroll more or less at the same time.

That changed in 2004. To attract the widest possible audience, the Democratic Party scheduled its convention in late July, before the Summer Olympic Games began. In contrast, the Republican Party held its convention in the last week of August. The result was a six-week gap that forced Kerry to finance his campaign with public money while Bush continued to raise and spend money from private contributors.

Let me stress that I no more fault the Republican Party for scheduling its convention as late as it did than I do the Democratic Party for holding its convention in July. Each sought to avoid competing against the Olympics and with one another. But in my judgment, the timing of the conventions should not have had the effect of putting the candidate who was nominated first at a disadvantage.

Actually, the Democrats, figuring they had an advantage, picked the July date hoping the GOP would either a) go earlier or b) be forced to compete with the Olympics. The GOP, however, outsmarted the Democrats and chose to wait until nearly September to hold their convention. It had the unfortunate effect of forcing us to pay for a lot of convention overhead with general election funds, but it still left us ahead.

That also assumes that Kerry was at a disadvantage solely because of the timing. The fact is, Kerry’s was the first convention to get no bump (and in many cases actually scored a negative bump) for the candidate. They should have come out of the convention with momentum, and been able to ride it for a month. Instead, they came out of the convo with no momentum, and paired with the Summer of Swift Boats they were forced to endure because they tried to exploit John Kerry’s non-heroism, they squandered an opportunity.

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at Gore’s political ambitions for 2008.

In 2008, that could mean a once-unimaginable battle for Democrats’ nomination between Bill Clinton’s former vice president and his wife, Hillary Clinton. To some pro-Gore Democrats, worried about Mrs. Clinton’s electability, that is part of the appeal.

Hilary’s unelectability is part of the appeal for a Gore candidacy? How does that work? Hilary is too hated to win, so we’ll pick that guy that only our most rabid partisans could possibly believe will win? It’s that kind of thinking that makes you wonder about the Dems.



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Written by Michael Turk