- The Washington Times - Monday, March 10, 2003

What's your flavor?
It's not as easy as being Republican, Democrat or independent.
Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to align themselves with a political party, given the myriad messages, policies and platforms.
Enter William T. Endicott, a Harvard grad who for three decades worked for three congressmen, the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton administration as director of research and analysis in the White House Office of Political Affairs. (Mr. Endicott, who climbed to the rank of captain in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, also found time to coach the U.S. Olympic team in kayaking and white-water canoeing.)
Now he's author of the new book "An Insider's Guide to Political Jobs in Washington" (John Wiley & Sons, $19.95), which helps us identify our political stripes.
First, we have "liberal Democrats," who make up 10 percent of registered voters. This group is "consistently liberal" on economic, social and environmental issues.
Then there are "socially conservative Democrats," who make up 14 percent of registered voters.
"Think of them as latter-day New Dealers," writes Mr. Endicott, a group that holds conservative opinions on freedom of expression, homosexuality and immigrants but has strong ties to unions. More financially satisfied than other Democrats, they've been known to vote Republican. These were the Reagan Democrats.
Next is Bill Clinton's base, the "new Democrats," who make up 9 percent of registered voters. This bunch, three-quarters of whom almost always vote, have less compassion for the disadvantaged than other Democrats.
Finally, there is the "partisan poor" wing of the Democratic Party: racially mixed social-welfare loyalists who look to the government for solutions. They make up 10 percent of voters.
Republicans, similarly, "come in a variety of flavors," Mr. Endicott writes.
You've got the "staunch Conservatives," white male hard-liners, who make up 12 percent of registered voters. Ninety percent of this group always or nearly always vote.
Then we have "moderate Republicans," who are affluent centrists and generally pro-environmentalist. This group is less critical of Uncle Sam, makes up 12 percent of the voting bloc and is less loyal to the Republican Party.
"Populist Republicans," meanwhile, are often characterized as the Republicans' "poor cousins." This group makes up 10 percent of voters, and is highly religious and socially conservative. Members "would consider voting for a Democrat."
Independents, finally, can't be dismissed as bystanders.
Eleven percent of U.S. voters are identified as "new-prosperity independents" young to middle-aged Americans whose affluence, Internet savvy and investments "lead them to strongly endorse the status quo."
"Disaffecteds," or so-called disaffected voters, make up 10 percent of registered voters. This group is working-class and described as alienated, and votes less than any other group, except for "bystanders."
"Bystanders make up zero percent of registered voters," Mr. Endicott concludes, calling them "democracy's dropouts."
Political indoctrination
The two major political parties are wasting little time recruiting one young lad into their folds.
Two weeks after he was born, pint-sized politico William Russell Arundel received a letter from President Bush welcoming him into the world (it hangs framed in his Old Town Alexandria nursery).
In his four short months of life, young William has huddled with two of the Senate's most powerful men Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and John W. Warner of Virginia and Democratic Rep. James P. Moran, his congressman.
Not that William had a choice in the matter.
His mom, teacher Christine Dempsey Arundel, volunteered for George W. Bush in the last campaign. His dad, Smith Barney/Citigroup Vice President John Arundel, was vice chairman of the Saxophone Club, President Clinton's fund-raising arm for young professionals.
His maternal great-grandfather, the late John J. Dempsey, was a two-term Democratic congressman and two-term governor of New Mexico in the 1940s. His paternal great-grandfather, Russell Arundel, was a lobbyist and Harry Truman confidant who played poker with Truman every other Friday night.
William's encounter with politics began after a recent morning nap. With a blizzard brewing outside, he was bundled up by his dad, and the two trudged through near-whiteout conditions to keep the elder Arundel's appointment with Mr. Warner.
It wasn't your typical Capitol Hill meeting. William peppered the senator's reception area with his morning meal. Regardless, Mr. McCain soon arrived and declared, "I hope he's a Republican."
To help settle his son's stomach, Mr. Arundel ducked into the congressional cafeteria and fed William a bowl of Senate bean soup.

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