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Growing Pains

May 10, 2005 The Senate fight over filibustering President Bush's judicial nominations and, before that, the congressional intervention in the Terry Schiavo case expose a large and growing rift between the "sacred" and "secular" factions of the Republican Party. The "seculars" are primarily concerned about how government affects business. The "sacreds," while they ...

A Date With 2008

May 3, 2005 Only in a place as obsessed with politics as Washington could an election more than three and a half years away dominate so many discussions. But, heading into the first presidential campaign in 80 years without an incumbent president or vice president running, the possibilities are fascinating. On the Republican ...

Start Your Engines!

April 25, 2005 Just as everyone was trying to divine the meaning of the selection of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to be the 265th pope, a different and unexpected puff of smoke became visible -- a puff that signaled independent Sen. Jim Jeffords's decision not to seek a fourth term. Jeffords, 70, who served ...

Paths to Glory

April 19, 2005 One way to look at the 2006 Senate races is to consider each party's objective. For Democrats, it's winning the six seats they need to take the majority. For Republicans, it's netting the five seats that would give them a filibuster-proof Senate on strict party-line votes. So how would either ...

Power Shift

April 12, 2005 In a fascinating and provocative analysis of the 2004 elections, Michael Nelson, a political scientist at Rhodes College in Memphis, makes a strong case that last year's election was a clear departure from recent elections. In a just-released book with chapters from eight other distinguished political scientists -- including the ...

Which Way Will the Wind Blow?

April 5, 2005 While the controversies surrounding House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, have not yet jeopardized his leadership position, he does appear to be nearing an important fork in the road. If no additional allegations of ethical transgressions or new controversies crop up, DeLay's troubles may all blow over. In that case, ...

Deja Vu

March 29, 2005 The strategies that both Republicans and Democrats employed to handle the case of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman, were clearly driven directly by what happened in the 2004 elections. For Republicans, the strategy of growing their social- and cultural-conservative base rather than reaching for the middle was successful last ...

Jostling For A Seat

March 22, 2005 Washington-area political junkies may reside at the epicenter of the political universe, but opportunities to watch interesting and trulycompetitive Senate and House races in our own backyard have been few and far between. The 1994 Senate race in Virginia between Democratic incumbent Chuck Robb and Republican Oliver North was great ...

An Uphill Battle

March 15, 2005 It's the time in the election cycle when the House campaign committees beat the bushes for top-flight candidates to run for the handful of seats that ought to be competitive next time around. And, like Christmas presents that get repackaged year after year, the same old districts get billed as ...

Cut Your Losses

March 8, 2005 The slow, public death of President Bush's Social Security proposal validates the view that the 2004 election was not a transformational one, and that any mandate that Bush received from it was meager indeed. The 2004 election in a nutshell: Thanks to his fabulous campaign organization, Bush, whose stature was ...