Rich Galen

There has been very good news for the GOP over the past few weeks, which has gone unnoticed in the laser focus on the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

You may have noted a recurring theme in the Popular Press: How the disillusion, disappointment, disenchantment and dissatisfaction among Republican voters with the GOP is likely to lead to the end of the Republican Party as we know it.

The PP looks at the five major candidates in the Republican Presidential race being within 10-or-so percentage points of one another as evidence that Republican voters don't like any of them.

How about this as an alternative theory: ANY of the five will be acceptable to the overwhelming percentage of Republican voters in a race for President against Hillary.

As to that conventional wisdom that Republicans are so unhappy with their lot in life that they will sit on their couches watching the Fox News Channel 24/7 rather than getting out to vote let me present to you the following bits of good news.

Last week there were two special elections for Congress - one in Virginia and one in Ohio. You may remember that Ohio has become the toxic waste dump of Republican politics.

The Thompson campaign (to which I am a paid advisor) rolled through Columbus, Ohio about 10 days ago and Fred Thompson recorded a "get out and vote" video at the behest of the Ohio Republican Party.

We were told that the GOP candidate - in a district which has been in Republican hands since shortly after the Big Bang - was behind by about five percentage points.

Bob Latta came back to win that election keeping the seat in Republican control.

In Virginia, Rob Whitman won the special election in another Republican district. Virginia is not Ohio, but the loss of a US Senate seat and the election of a Democrat for Governor has put Virginia in play in the Presidential contest.

If either race had gone to the Democrat the Popular Press would have used it as a harbinger of bad things to come next November.

Here in Louisiana, Republican Congressman Bobby Jindal won the election for Governor. NPR noted that when Jindal (whose parents were born in India) is sworn in next month he "will become Louisiana's first non-white governor since Reconstruction."

Wait a minute, there Bobalouie. You mean to tell me that a non-White candidate in a Southern state was elected Governor and he was a Republican?

Where's the Time Magazine cover for the "New Face of the Republican Party?"

In Louisiana, the Republican Party has gone from one state-wide office holder to, I believe, five. They have picked up seats in the State House and State Senate. I noted that Louisiana has gone from "Laughingstock to Leadership in American politics in the past four years."

I also pointed out that, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Governor-elect Jindal has "tapped a top aide to Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu to be the new executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, the state agency responsible for guiding hurricane recovery." The name of the top aide? Paul Rainwater.

I said I thought it was mildly amusing that a guy named "Rainwater" would be running the program to fix the problems caused by hurricane flooding.

The crowd didn't think it was nearly as funny as I did.

Republicans in the US House and Senate got fired for malfeasance leading to the Democrats' take-over of both Houses in 2006. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco's nonfeasance in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita set the stage for the GOP resurgence here in 2007.

According to RealClearPolitics.com, a recent CBS/NY Times poll has Congressional approval at 21 percent - well below President Bush's approval ratings.

Competence counts.

Before Democrats begin measuring for drapes in the White House and Cabinet Department offices, they may want to stop and take another look.

It appears that voters may well be doing that exact thing.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.