- Vladimir Putin orders military to boost presence in Arctic
- Brooklyn, N.Y.: ‘Lesbian capital’ of the Northeast
- Elian Gonzalez: It’s America’s fault that my mother died
- India top court rules homosexuality is illegal
- Aaron Hernandez, ex-Patriot, on prison life: ‘I’m way less stressed in jail’
- Man pulled from water believed to be disgraced D.C. cop
- Kabul airport hit by suicide bomber who targeted NATO gate
- Space probe on course to land on mile-wide comet
- New budget accord saves $23 billion — after $65 billion spending spree
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
Allen, McCain seen as GOP favorites
CARLSBAD, Calif. — Virginia Sen. George Allen and Arizona Sen. John McCain are most frequently mentioned as front-runners for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination by officials and campaign advisers attending the annual Republican Governors Association meeting.
The consensus here is that Mr. McCain, though a maverick despised by some conservatives, is so popular with voters that Republicans may well choose him to carry their banner against New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democrat they say is the hands-down favorite to be her party’s standard-bearer.
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the RGA chairman, is talked about as a dark horse, but several campaign advisers and party officials said they doubted his Mormon religion would play well with some evangelical Christian voters.
In mostly private discussions, party officials said public distrust of Republican leadership on the war in Iraq and the growing number of stories about legal and ethical issues are threatening to set back the Republican majority-party status in next year’s congressional and gubernatorial elections.
“Trust in government — and that means lack of public trust in Republicans — and the Iraq war are the top concerns of the Republicans at this meeting, and back home,” said South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, a former three-term congressman who is well-liked by conservatives.
Voters in 36 states will elect a governor next year, with Republicans defending 22 seats, including the four most populous states: California, Texas, New York and Florida. Fifteen Republican governors are eligible to seek re-election. Seven governorships held by Republicans will be open.
Historically, Americans usually put a governor or former governor in the Oval Office.
“The reason Allen has so much going for him is that he was an effective governor in Virginia, no question, an effective senator who headed the Senate GOP campaign committee that got us a Republican majority in the Senate,” said Craig Berkman, former chairman of the Oregon Republican Party.
“And people underestimate him the way they underestimated Ronald Reagan,” Mr. Berkman said. “Like Reagan, he’s tall, wears cowboy boots, is relatively unassuming, has a young family and is a lot smarter than people think — just as Reagan was a lot smarter than people gave him credit for.”
Mr. Berkman said Mr. Allen “made a big impact as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and he was very much involved in [South Dakota Sen.] John Thune’s victory over [former Senate Minority Leader] Tom Daschle, and a lot of people remember that — important people in a Republican presidential: givers and political activists.”
The administration’s views were represented here by Ken Mehlman, one of President Bush’s most trusted spokesmen. In an address, Mr. Mehlman yesterday emphasized the progress being made in fashioning Iraq into a self-governing democracy and, on the domestic front, in balancing the needs of U.S. employers who rely on foreign-born labor with a national imperative to secure America’s borders against illegal aliens.
Mr. Mehlman, the Republican National Committee chairman, said the “election climate” for members of his party would vary from state to state but that “voters clearly want change,” which he interpreted to mean not change in which political party is dominant but rather in providing more of the tax and education reforms that a Republican administration and Congress have brought.
“The fact is, the challenge we faced in the 21st century, Washington hasn’t been able to deal with the way it should,” Mr. Mehlman said.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Teen thugs in DC run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- New budget accord saves $23 billion -- after $65 billion spending spree
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Gov't Motors: Obama fudges math on auto bailout, $15 billion loss for taxpayers
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- EDITORIAL: The shake that shook the world
- LAMBRO: The dark lining to the silver cloud of Obamanomics
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Helping the YOUniverse conspire on your behalf.
A column dedicated to discussing politics, national security, civil liberties, and education.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
The “Silver Tsunami” created by aging Baby Boomers is hitting America. Let’s explore how we adjust to it, enjoy it and defy negative expectations about age.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow