Republicans Put Immigration On Hold. Hillary To Put White House Run On Hold?

This is a rumor that just won’t go away – which means it is probably true. The Times Online reported Sunday that, despite her status as the runaway frontrunner for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president, some of her closest advisers say she might opt out of the White House race and seek to lead Democrats in the Senate.

“I would not be surprised if she were to decide that the best contribution she can make to her country is to forget about being president and become a consensus-maker in the Senate,” said a leading Democratic party insider. “She believes there is no trust between the two political sides and that we can’t function as a democracy without it.”

As senator for New York, Clinton has forged alliances across party lines with leading Republicans such as Senator John McCain and Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives. In the eyes of the electorate, however, she is a potentially divisive figure.

She does have Janet Jackson’s vote, though.

And Susan Estrich contends that if it isn’t Hillary, there are many other strong women who deserve consideration for a place on the Presidential ticket. Names include Governor Janet Napolitano in Arizona and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius

Looking ahead just a few weeks, the Republicans have postponed any action on Immigration.

As they prepare for a critical pre-election legislative stretch, Congressional Republican leaders have all but abandoned a broad overhaul of immigration laws and instead will concentrate on national security issues they believe play to their political strength.

With Congress reconvening Tuesday after an August break, Republicans in the House and Senate say they will focus on Pentagon and domestic security spending bills, port security legislation and measures that would authorize the administration’s terror surveillance program and create military tribunals to try terror suspects.

“We Republicans believe that we have no choice in the war against terror and the only way to do it is to continue to take them head-on whether it is in Iraq or elsewhere,” said Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the majority leader.

I believe this is a well they’ve gone to one time too many. They don’t have a real sterling record to point to in this regard. Iraq is a failure and the murderer of 2000 Americans is still on the loose.

E.J. Dionne has an intriguing piece on what he calls “Lincoln Democrats.”

If Democrats win control of the House of Representatives in November, that inversion of an old slogan is likely to be a central factor in their victory.

Although no one anticipates a Democratic sweep in November on the order of the Republicans’ 1994 triumph, the forces that were at work 12 years ago are in play this year — but in reverse.

One key to the Republican takeover of the House under Newt Gingrich was the completion of a long-term realignment to the GOP in the South. White Southerners started supporting Republican presidential candidates in large numbers as long ago as 1952, but many of them did not bring their congressional voting habits in line with their presidential votes until 1992 and, with a vengeance, 1994.

But a quiet counter-realignment has been under way in the Northeast and Midwest. Post political writer Dan Balz was one of the first to notice after Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection that longtime Republican suburban bastions in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New York and New Jersey were moving the Democrats’ way.

If Democrats take the House this fall, it will be the culmination of this trend. To put it in historical terms, if Democrats have suffered in the states of the Old Confederacy, many of their best opportunities in November are in states carried by the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, in the 1860 election.

Indeed, Donald Lambro at the Washington Times contends history favors the Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections.

The race for Congress and the nation’s governorships bolted from the Labor Day starting gate yesterday, with voter-preference polls tightening between the parties in an election that both sides said will be even closer by November.

Historically, the party that holds the White House usually loses seats in Congress in a second term, and campaign strategists in both parties expected Democrats to make gains in the House and Senate — while two top election forecasters predicted they will win 15 or more seats that will give them majority control of the House.

If “the political climate remains as it is today — a very big ‘if’ — Republicans will likely lose the House and their dominance of the nation’s governorships, but hang on to the Senate by a thread,” veteran analyst Charlie Cook said last week in his National Journal report.

Analyst Stuart Rothenberg predicted that Democrats would gain between 15 and 20 additional House seats, “which would translate to between 218 and 223 seats — and a majority — in the next House.”


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