Rich Galen

Nothing is a crucial to the future of the known universe to a Member of Congress - R or D - than his or her own re-election so Democrats in unassailably safe D districts think that smooth sailing into election day is just as it should be.

I have been saying for almost a year that high-end programs like Immigration will have a far better chance of being considered in the House when the filing deadlines have largely passed. Members of both parties are not nearly as concerned with the November elections as they are being challenged on their left or their right (depending upon their affiliation) in a primary, so keeping their legislative heads down until mid-summer is a good political plan.

There is no way to know, 302 days out, what the big story going into election day will be. It might still be the many failing facets of Obamacare, but it might be Syria or Russia or Immigration or jobs or any number of hot-button issues.

For the GOP there is the looming specter of the Tea Party and other conservative-or-die organizations.

Mullpal Stacy Carlson is helping me edit 15+ years of MULLINGS into a possible book and she found this bullet point from February, 1999:

"One of the principal differences between the GOP and the Democrats is this: The Democrats understand the nature and use of power. If they have it; they use it. If they don't, they bend every effort to get it.

Republicans remain confused over the differences between a political movement and a political party."

Still true after all these years.

On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to Christine O'Donnell and to Todd Aiken, to's summary of Senate races and to Real Clear Politics' Obama approval polls.

Also the Mullfoto of a sign taped to a street light in Old Town that might be the beginning of a novel.

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