Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Post Watergate Campaigning

I cut my political teeth in the mid 70's building lawn signs for then State Representative Bill Luther's successful State Senate Bid. several years later he would later go on to become a multi term Congrssman.

The one thing this naive kid noticed was that the Democratic candidates proudly displayed their DFL endorsements. If you saw a sign that did not bare a party endorsement on it, you could be pretty sure it was a Republican candidate. This race away from their party identification, thanks to President Nixon's shenanigans, was rampant. The local party even abandoned their own name by masking it with the word 'Independent' back in 1975. It took 20 years before the MNGOP had the guts to stand behind their given name.

So now after almost 8 years of Neo Con leadership, it looks like the Right is running from their brand again.
Smith, the lone Senate Republican on the Pacific Coast, is trying to keep his seat in a state that's been tilting toward Democrats. Polls show him running ahead of Merkley, the Oregon House speaker, but with less than a formidable lead.

Smith has studiously avoided any mention of his GOP credentials in his ads and campaign literature. A recent ad featured two Democrats, including former Oregon Rep. Elizabeth Furse, praising Smith for speaking out against the Iraq war in December 2006, after Republicans lost control of Congress.

Tim Hibbitts, an independent pollster in Portland, said the ad shows Smith is "legitimately, seriously concerned about this year." He said Smith runs the risk of alienating GOP voters, but that he apparently has concluded the greater risk is to be seen as a steadfast conservative.
This is just one example that I stumbled upon today, but something tells me there are many more out there.

Why are they hiding? (rhetorical question, those of us with enough common sense left in our minds know the answer)


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