Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Special Interest Boondoggle?

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Note that Senators Baucus and Breaux are Democrats; The President, Senators Grassley and Frist, along with Representatives Hastert and Thomas, are Republicans.

Will this approach impact the 2004 elections? While the Democrats think it could, the GOP is already betting that voters are inured to these sorts of claims:

"A portion of the public believes Republicans are too close to business -- it's in their calculus already," said Matthew Dowd, pollster for President Bush's re-election campaign. New examples of that link "won't affect how people vote," he added. "My guess is, the public is glad there's a bill and won't pay attention to the argument Republicans did this for the special interests." -- WSJ

What's so amazing is that the Democratic Party has overlooked these issues for 4 years. Recall that Enron CEO Ken Lay was the President's largest campaign contributor. The Dems, in a feat of awesome stupidity, failed to capitalize on that strategic advantage in the mid-term 2002 elections.

Here's how the WSJ sees the issue:

"So Democrats, looking for the biggest chinks in Mr. Bush's political armor, have sought to portray him as a tool of special interests. They have highlighted everything from no-bid contracts for big campaign donors in the multibillion-dollar Iraqi reconstruction package to a failure to close tax loopholes for companies involved in scandals."

"The focus on business involvement in Iraq, the tax cuts and budget have strongly reinforced the impression that this president and administration act for big business, rather than people," says a recent memo by Democracy Corps, a group of influential Democratic pollsters and strategists. "Almost two-thirds now say Bush is more for big business than the average person," while "55% say Bush is 'President for the oil companies,' " the memo adds. "These crystallized perceptions may play a bigger role in our framework in the months ahead."

Democrats Take On Business
By Jacob M. Schlesinger and Tom Hamburger
Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2003                       

Posted at 11:52 PM in Current Affairs, Finance, Politics | Permalink


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