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Bill Kristol on Censure and Election effects

Reported by Chrish - March 16, 2006

Bill Kristol had an unopposed 4 minutes on The Big Story today to tell us his opinion on Russ Feingold's proposed censure of Bush for his illegal domestic wiretapping, and what the two parties are facing in the mid-terms and 2008 presidential elections.

To set the tone for the fair and balanced interview, Gibson said it was funny yesterday to see Democrats avoiding cameras, and asked Kristol Why are they running and hiding? Because it's a ridiculous idea and it's not going to happen, states Kristol flatly. It's a good move by Feingold because he's running for president as the left-wing anti-war candidate and this will rally the left-wing anti-war Democrats. The rest, he says, figure Bush is unpopular, the war in Iraq is going badly, the Medicare prescription drug benefit is not going well; why give Republicans something to attack ?

Gibson says that Republicans are practically cheering this; isn't it good for them? Kristol, who seems more disenchanted with Bush every day, says that it won't matter in November, Republicans need more than a gimmick. If people think the Republican White House and Congress are doing a bad job on national security, the war in Iraq continues to go badly, prescription drug program is a disaster, they'll take it out on Republicans. (Comment: He is so well-connected; didn't anyone tell him about the voting machines?) He continues, this election in November will be a referendum on the Republican governance of the country, not on some silly efforts by single Senators which make them look foolish for a day or two.

Kristol and Gibson went on to speculate about the 2008 presidential election (Feingold as an anti-war candidate getting "big-footed" by Al Gore, Hillary as the "Democratic establishment" candidate, someone like Mark Warner as the moderate candidate, Kerry, Edwards - it'll be fantastic! Think of those debates - Gore, Clinton, Kerry, Edwards, Bill Clinton sitting in the front row, something to look forward to in 2007-08.)

Gibson says he reads the liberal blogs (everybody say "Hi John!) and there is a left-wing block of voters who will not support any Democrat who was not virulently opposed to Bush. They ponder the Perot/Nader effect of a far-left candidate outside the Democratic party, and Kristol says one way to gauge the power of the left-wing is to watch Lieberman's primary in August.

Kristol says in 2006 it won't really matter who the Democrats put up in Congressional races; if the Republicans continue to govern as they are, people will vote against them or stay home.

Comment: Not very informative, speculation, and a few dismissive jabs at Feingold for his censure motion.

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