- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Bush re-election team quietly takes an office
Key White House strategists and top members of the Republican National Committee will move into new offices this week that will serve as headquarters for President Bush's re-election campaign.
The establishment of a physical space to plot a second term for the president is the most visible move to date by a campaign that is determined to keep a low profile for as long as possible.
"It's our strong preference that we not generate any news," said Nicolle Devenish, the campaign's communications director.
That's partly because the campaign is busy with the logistical challenges of setting up new offices in suburban Washington. But there is also a strategic reason for the secrecy.
Campaign officials are loath to portray Mr. Bush as engaging in politics when they can portray him as busy fighting the war on terrorism and working to improve the economy. This keeps Mr. Bush looking presidential at a time when his nine Democratic opponents are overtly campaigning against each other.
By this point in the last presidential election, Mr. Bush had been openly campaigning for months. Now, Mr. Bush is engaged in a sort of stealth campaign.
"He has no need to run an overt campaign right now," said Republican strategist Rich Galen. "He's busy being the only guy that anybody cares about at the G-8 conference, the only guy that can actually mold the Middle East peace process. He is in a different category than every other national leader right now."
He added, "The campaign will still do all the technical and tactical things that are necessary for voter turnout and the other things they want to do."
For example, Marc Racicot, who is expected to be named campaign chairman soon, is using his position as chairman of the Republican National Committee to register 3 million new voters before next year's election.
"We firmly believe that [this efforts] end result will have a direct impact on the outcome of the 2004 election," Mr. Racicot wrote to the party faithful recently.
"It's a continuation of the emphasis on grass-roots politics that began after the cliffhanger 2000 election, when Democrats still enjoyed their long-standing advantage in get-out-the-vote operations."
The near-death experience in the Florida recount wars persuaded the Republican Party to emulate Democrats by turning out large numbers of voters in last year's mid-term elections. It was one of the reasons Republicans swept to historic victories.
According to Mr. Racicot, those gains will be lost if the party doesn't redouble its efforts at registering at least a fraction of the estimated 23 million unregistered voters considered likely to vote Republican by next November.
"If we fail to engage more of our fellow citizens in the political life of our country, we will undoubtedly lose ground in our ability to retain the White House," Mr. Racicot wrote in the RNC magazine, Rising Tide.
He added that it would also cripple efforts "towards solidifying our majority party standing, both at the national and state levels."
Mr. Racicot, who did not return phone calls, is one of many RNC and White House officials heading to the Bush re-election campaign. RNC pollster Matthew Dowd will become the campaign's senior strategist, while RNC regional political director Kelley McCullough will become deputy campaign manager.
She will report to campaign manager Ken Mehlman. Mr. Mehlman worked in the White House as deputy to political strategist Karl Rove, who is expected to direct the campaign from the West Wing.
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Vietnam says it may have found door of missing Malaysian jet as intel look into stolen passports
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- High schooler suing parents for money shot down by judge
- Italy outraged over U.S. gun dealer's 'David' ad
- Why Malaysia Airlines jet might have disappeared?
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again