Tuesday, June 8

Fat Chance, You Little Maniac

This morning's L.A. Times confirms that the GOP is hoping to do their own twisted version of their interpretation of the Wellstone Memorial - by using Reagan's death as a way to bolster their pale imitation. Our take is that once you compare Bush to anybody well-liked, he's still going to come out looking like the sick little maniac he is - maybe more so.

A Week That Could Bolster Bush
Unofficially, GOP insiders hope nostalgia for Reagan will reap political dividends.

WASHINGTON - Can Ronald Reagan's political magic work in one last election - this time for President Bush?

Republican strategists acknowledged Monday that they hope the nation's week of mourning for Reagan, who died Saturday, will turn into a boost for Bush's reelection campaign.

Officially, GOP leaders said it would be unseemly to talk about the political impact of Reagan's death. "We just want to make sure that Ronald Reagan's legacy is honored," Republican Party national chairman Ed Gillespie said.

But unofficially, several Republican strategists said the nation's outpouring of nostalgia and respect for Reagan may have offered Bush an opportunity to improve his flagging popularity - if he can find a way to don the mantle of his well-loved predecessor.

Even before Reagan's death, Bush and his campaign deliberately borrowed some favorite themes from the Republican revolution of 1980: optimism, national confidence, military strength, tax cuts, economic recovery.

This week, trying not to sound overtly political, Republican spokesmen again looked for polite ways to remind voters that Bush is, in many ways, Reagan's ideological heir.
UPDATE: Donna brings this to our attention: The big fat splash page at Bush's official campaign site. Shameless. If anyone with a brain goes there, they'll see firsthand that Bush is no great communicator.

UPDATING THE UPDATE: When you finally do navigate your way to the main campaign page, you'll think you logged on to the wrong campaign. There are more pictures of Kerry than Bush there. Pretty remarkable for an allegedly confident incumbent leader. Wuss.