February 8, 2006


Some Democrats Are Sensing Missed Opportunities (ADAM NAGOURNEY and SHERYL GAY STOLBERG, 2/08/06, NY Times)

[D]emocrats described a growing sense that they had failed to take full advantage of the troubles that have plagued Mr. Bush and his party since the middle of last year, driving down the president's approval ratings, opening divisions among Republicans in Congress over policy and potentially putting control of the House and Senate into play in November.

Asked to describe the health of the Democratic Party, Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said: "A lot worse than it should be. This has not been a very good two months."

"We seem to be losing our voice when it comes to the basic things people worry about," Mr. Dodd said.

Democrats said they had not yet figured out how to counter the White House's long assault on their national security credentials. And they said their opportunities to break through to voters with a coherent message on domestic and foreign policy — should they settle on one — were restricted by the lack of an established, nationally known leader to carry their message this fall.

As a result, some Democrats said, their party could lose its chance to do to Republicans this year what the Republicans did to them in 1994: make the midterm election, normally dominated by regional and local concerns, a national referendum on the party in power.

They'd be in even worse shape if they had a national leader to more closely identify the party with being soft on terror, in favor of higher taxes and more spending, and associated with Hollywood "values." Just look across the entire Anglosphere --and to Japan, Germany and Poland -- to see how parties of the Left are faring.

Tory rebranding puts party ahead in poll (Peter Riddell, 2/08/06, Times of London)

THE rebranding of the Tories is working. But Labour should not panic, yet. A Populus poll for The Times, taken over the weekend, shows that the Cameron effect has been worth about five to six points to the Tories. Labour is still hanging on. By contrast, in the mid-1990s when Tony Blair took over, Labour was out of sight of the governing Tories.

For the first time in a Populus poll, the Tories are just ahead, at 37 per cent (up one point since early January), against 36 per cent for Labour (down three). The poll was based on interviews with 1,508 adults between February 3 and 5 (for details see populuslimited.com). The average Tory rating since David Cameron became leader is 38 per cent, against 32 per cent between the May election and December.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 8, 2006 12:34 AM

Do John Kerry and Howard Dean ever listen to themselves or view the media? The media have been carrying the Democrats water for Bush's entire term. They are the Democrats' "megaphone."

Posted by: Steve at February 8, 2006 2:31 AM

It's simple. If the Democrats want to turn the '94 tables on the Republicans, what they need to do is to get the Republicans to pass an "Assault" "Weapons" "Ban." Works like magic, turns everything right around.

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 8, 2006 5:42 AM

funniest line of year, so far:
'..their opportunities to break through to voters with a coherent message on domestic and foreign policy should they settle on one..'


Posted by: JonofAtlanta at February 8, 2006 10:24 AM

Jon: There is an embarrassment of riches, but I would think that funniest line so far is Nancy Pelosi's (I paraphrase) "You can so beat something with nothing, so we're in good shape."

Posted by: David Cohen at February 8, 2006 6:06 PM

"...a coherent message on domestic and foreign policy should they settle on one..."

How about this for a policy idea: "If you kill or threaten to kill Americans, you're dead meat."

Posted by: ray at February 8, 2006 9:23 PM