- The Washington Times - Friday, January 7, 2005

Shadegg’s bid

Conservative Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona announced yesterday that he is seeking the chairmanship of the House Republican Policy Committee, the fifth-ranking post in the party’s elected leadership.

By late yesterday, Mr. Shadegg had accumulated more than 115 signatures on a ” ‘Dear Colleague’ letter supporting him for the post,” an aide told reporter Ralph Z. Hallow of The Washington Times.

That would be more than enough votes to ensure Mr. Shadegg’s election.

“Shadegg rated an ‘A’ from us for his voting record last year and in 2002,” said Paul J.Gessing, director of government affairs at the National Taxpayers Union.

Mr. Shadegg would succeed Rep. Christopher Cox, California Republican, who left the policy committee chairmanship to lead the new Homeland Security Committee. The policy committee post ranks after House speaker, majority leader, majority whip and Republican conference chairman.

Noonan’s advice

“No one wants to be head of the Democratic National Committee. This is bad but understandable,” Peggy Noonan writes at www.OpinionJournal.com.

“A fractious party has been further fractured by a hard year. What you need for DNC chairman is a man or woman of some stature who can make the case for your party day in and day out in big media. Fund-raising expertise is secondary — hire someone to do it. So is organizational skill — hire organizers. You need someone who makes the Democratic Party look nonsleazy, nonmanipulative and nonweak on TV. He doesn’t have to be nationally known, but he must be — how to put this? — good-natured, moderate in manner, and normal-seeming. That would mean not Howard Dean,” Mrs. Noonan said.

“There is much to build on. You hold 44 Senate seats, 202 House seats and 22 governorships. You have been on a losing strain for a while, but you can turn that into opportunity. Now, in the depths — or what you frankly hope are the depths — you can move for change within the party. Nothing sobers like defeat. Use the new sobriety to shake off the mad left. This is the best chance you’ve had all century. Seriously, this is the best chance you’ve had in a long time. …

“The Groups — all the left-wing outfits from the abortion people to the enviros — didn’t deliver in the last election, and not because they didn’t try. They worked their hearts out. But they had no one to deliver. They had only money. The secret: Nobody likes them. Nobody. No matter how you feel about abortion, no one likes pro-abortion fanatics; no one likes mad scientists who cook environmental data. Or rather only rich and creepy people like them. Stand up to the Groups — make your policies more moderate, more nuanced, less knee-jerk.”

Dangerous issue

“No issue, not one, threatens to do more damage to the Republican coalition than immigration,” David Frum writes in National Review.

“There’s no issue where the beliefs and interests of the party rank-and-file diverge more radically from the beliefs and interests of the party’s leaders. Immigration for Republicans in 2005 is what crime was for Democrats in 1965 or abortion in 1975: a vulnerable point at which a strong-minded opponent could drive a wedge that would shatter the GOP,” Mr. Frum said.

President Bush won re-election because he won 10 million more votes in 2004 than he did in 2000. Who were these people? According to Ruy Teixeira — a shrewd Democratic analyst of voting trends — Bush scored his largest proportional gains among white voters who didn’t complete college, especially women. These voters rallied to the president for two principal reasons: because they respected him as a man who lived by their treasured values of work, family, honesty, and faith; and because they trusted him to keep the country safe.

“Yet Bush is already signaling that he intends to revive the amnesty/guestworker immigration plan he introduced a year ago — and hastily dropped after it ignited a firestorm of opposition. This plan dangerously divides the Republican Party and affronts crucial segments of the Republican vote.”

Odd man out

“You knew someone in the media would do it: Complain that President George W.Bush illogically overlooked Jimmy Carter in picking former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush to spearhead private fund-raising efforts for tsunami relief,” the Media Research Center’s Brent Baker writes at www.mediaresearch.org.

“MSNBC’s Chris Matthews fulfilled the expectation on Tuesday’s ‘Hardball’ when he pressed Wesley Clark about whether he found it ‘odd’ that ‘the former president who’s had the most role to play in the last 20 years in terms of helping poor nations with disease and problems of, like this, smaller versions of it, Jimmy Carter, was not asked to participate?’ Though Clinton is a Democrat, Matthews nonetheless, asked: ‘Do you think it was partisan knocking Carter off the list?’ ”

Mr. Clark, a retired Army general and former Democratic presidential candidate, said it was “a terrible thing” that Mr. Carter was overlooked, adding: “I don’t know if it was partisan or not, but I’ll tell you what, Jimmy Carter’s held in very, very high esteem around the world.”

Winners and losers

Arizona, Florida, Texas and Utah each would gain one seat if congressional districts were reapportioned right now, Roll Call reports.

Citing a recent analysis of new U.S. Census Bureau data, the newspaper said that, based on population growth from 2000 to July 2004, the four fast-growing states would each qualify for one extra House seat and potentially would be in line for even more additions by the time the next apportionment occurs after the 2010 census.

The same data indicated that Iowa, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania each would lose a seat. The U.S. Constitution mandates that the number of people living in the United States be counted once every 10 years.

Keep dreaming

A survey released yesterday by pollster John Zogby and the Center for the Study of the Presidency finds the public weary of partisan politics.

According to the poll, 98 percent of respondents agreed with the following statement: “I want my elected officials to work towards the good of the nation, rather than the good of their party.”

Eighty-nine percent felt it was in the country’s best interest “for our leaders to set a less partisan tone so we can move forward.”

The poll of 944 likely voters was conducted by Zogby International from Dec. 12 to Dec. 21. The margin of error is three percentage points.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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