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Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
Topic - Mark J. Rozell
Northern Virginia faces a major loss of clout on Capitol Hill as Democratic Rep. James P. Moran Jr. confirmed Wednesday that he will join GOP Rep. Frank R. Wolf in heading for the exits after this term.
Democratic governors with presidential aspirations have been tacking hard to the left, moving to legalize gay marriage and ban guns — and in the case of Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, ending capital punishment.
Mitt Romney told a Florida crowd Thursday that he — not President Obama — is the real agent of "change" in the 2012 election as the Republican presidential nominee tried to win over voters in a state that's joined Ohio as key bellwethers in presidential elections.
As President Obama is in the middle of a two-day "Betting on America" bus tour across Ohio and Pennsylvania, political analysts said he will have to reassemble the "hope and change" demographic coalition of 2008 that relied on a high turnout of youths and blacks, and winning a larger-than-usual percentage of Hispanics and whites. By most accounts, that will be easier said than done.
With polls showing the movement's popularity sagging, tea party members from across the country are warning that anyone who thinks they are sleeping in 2012 is in for a rude awakening come Election Day, when they plan to pick up where they left off in 2010 by bolstering their voices for limited government on Capitol Hill.
The Virginia lawmaker and self-described Republican "young gun" has emerged as a favorite foil.
Two years after he dramatically expanded the scope of so-called policy czars, President Obama this year quietly scrapped some of the most controversial posts, tamping down what had been a simmering constitutional fight with Congress.
Just as Republican leaders on Capitol Hill are splintered on strategy over the debt limit, so is the party's presidential field, with the tea-party wing saying an increase should be rejected and the more moderate elements taking a wait-and-see approach.
"It's a big loss for Northern Virginia," said Mark J. Rozell, professor of public policy at George Mason University. "These are two members [with] institutional memory, connections to Capitol Hill, seniority on appropriations — all of these were used by these two members to benefit Northern Virginia, and it's going to be hard to replace."
"Public opinion trends on these issues may have emboldened liberal governors to push certain issues more strongly in the current climate," said Mark J. Rozell, a political-science professor at George Mason University. "In so doing they can burnish their credentials nationally with the liberal wing of the party, which of course is so hugely influential in the presidential nominating process."