Thursday, April 05, 2007


The Accidental Strategist

My latest column for The Politico, "The Accidental Strategist," looks at how Bush strategist Matthew Dowd's break with the President he helped elect twice could potentially impact the Republican race for 2008.

At a minimum, Dowd has unwittingly done the GOP an enormous favor by calling out the elephant of all elephants in the room and potentially opening up a frank intra-party discussion about Bush’s manifold failures -- not just as a President but also as a conservative -- and his toxicity with swing voters.

But it may turn out that Dowd's unintended influence will go deeper than that. More than just setting the stage for a long-overdue conversation, Dowd’s denunciation has created an opportunity and a strategy for a much-anticipated candidate to change the course of the 2008 nomination race.

Now, not long after The Politico accepted this piece, a friend sent me a press release from the Romney campaign announcing a new TV ad called "I Like Vetoes" -- a thinly-veiled hit on Bush for not standing up to the big spending Republican Congress. Could this be a sign of things to come?

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