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Jonathan D. Salant at Bloomberg.com: "Obama Raised More Than McCain, Didn't Outspend Him (Update2)." Does that mean he is fiscally prudent?
Washington Post Staff Writer Chris Cillizza, in a December 11, 2005 article headlined " 2006 Looms as a Test Of National vs. Local Issues," wrote:
As both major parties gear up for the 2006 midterm elections, a crucial strategic divide is emerging in the battle for the House. Democrats -- led by Rep(resentative) Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee -- are insisting that national issues such as the war in Iraq, corruption in Congress and President Bush's approval ratings will be dominant in voters' minds next year. Republicans insist recent history shows that local issues, not national waves, determine who wins. "Who's right?" Cillizza asked. Answering the question, Cillizza said, "That won't be known until next November, but both sides are busy marshaling their arguments for a campaign likely to be watched closely as political scientists and operatives study the effectiveness of "nationalizing" midterm elections.
I think national and local issues are related, especially as they relate to the economy and the Iraq war. Every soldier that has died or been wounded in Iraq has a home town and family members who vote, and may or may not oppose the war. And while there is movement in the economy, the war, which was launched under false pretenses, has created a huge debt for the current and future generations. That debt will continue unless politicians stop spending billions daily on foreign adventures that make a few favored contractors rich.
As the 2006 midterm election year campaigns are about to get underway, columnist are paying attention to Representative Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., who is chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee."
Yesterday, December 11, 2005, syndicated columnist Robert Novak wrote about him in a piece the Chicago Sun-Times headlined "No Sophmore Jinx for Emanuel." Today, Seattle Post-Intelligencer political columnist Joel Connelly discussed Emanuel in an article headlined "Eyeing races for control of U.S. House." He wrote:
As his party's chief strategist for winning back the House of Representatives, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., must evaluate whether there will be a groundswell of support for Democrats in 2006, or just a frost heave.He quoted Emanuel as saying in an interview:
We're trying to spread the field and put 40 to 50 seats in play.Connelly said, "Even that number in the 435-member House is an ambitious goal, given how many districts are drawn to protect incumbents -- Republicans in the big states of Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan."
He's right, but it should be a damn good fight trying to win those seats. Look for some bare knuckle, Chicago-style political campaigning. If you don't know what that's like, just Google "Chicago politics."
On December 3, 2005, "Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean offered a preview of the 2006 elections...with a critique of President Bush's policies on Iraq and immigration and the Republicans' ethics scandals," according to Washington Post reporter Dan Balz. "But he warned Democrats they cannot expect to win next year without offering an agenda of their own," Balz added.
Dean is right. The Democrats must have an appealing agenda and backbone to pick up house seats in 2006. They can't be afraid, or too elitist, to go to small town America and talk to people about religion, abortion, homosexuality and other hot button issues that Republicans take stands on.
The Democrats often refrain from taking positions on such issues, in an attempt to be all things to all people. In other words, the Democrats must stand for something to defeat the Republicans.