From NRCC communications director Carl Forti: "House races come down to a choice between the two candidates on the ballot. And that choice comes down to local issues, whether it's a matter of which candidate will keep unemployment at its lowest level in five years and which candidate will raise taxes, or which candidate will vote to continue strengthening our borders and which candidate will give amnesty to illegal immigrants. Now it's all about turnout. Remember, all politics is local."
From DCCC communications director Bill Burton: "We're closing with Iraq in as big a way as possible today. Rep. Emanuel and Sen. Schumer are putting out a joint statement on the issue this morning, Emanuel is going to have a conference call with reporters at noon ET to talk about the issue from Chicago, IL. Schumer is going to have a press conference at 1:00 pm ET in Washington, DC. We'll be sending out an aggressive correspondence via email to our multi-million person supporter list and we'll be working with all Democrats booked on local and national tv and radio today. We're both going to be pushing on the same vital elements: the new, ludicrous Dole comments that Democrats are content to lose in Iraq, the Military Times endorsement of Rumsfeld's departure, the generals who all say Rumsfeld should go, the Republicans who all say that Iraq is moving in the wrong direction and the steadfast adherence of Bush, Cheney, and Boehner to push on "full steam ahead" in the same failed direction. It's the clearest contrast we make with Republicans and that's our final case to the American people today."
With the balance of power in Washington likely to shift toward the Democrats, some suggest President Bush may be preparing to return to his more bipartisan ways as governor of Texas, report Sheryl Gay Stolberg and David Sanger in a New York Times "White House Memo."LINK
Check out the Dan Bartlett emphasis on entitlement reform, and Ted Kennedy's gauntlet throw on No Child Left Behind funding, and recognize that as good a job as the Timespersons did on this must-read, they did not include sufficient scrutiny of the Bush-Pelosi dynamic.
"Time for Rumsfeld to go," reads the header above the Military Times editorial that Democrats will continue to talk about today. As the White House and others are quick to point out, these papers are owned by Gannett - the same folks who own USA Today, which doesn't always publish editorials all that favorable to the Administration. LINK
From the editorial: "Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt."
In a column that foresees a "GOP massacre," Dick Morris asks: "Why the rout? President Bush let Iraq be the major issue of the election. He could have raised worries about North Korea and homeland security to the same level, but he insisted on focusing on Iraq, making changes in tactics and trying to sell them to a cynical America. Thus, he was left defending a failure rather than trumpeting his key successes." LINK
"Plus, the war in Iraq has divided the Republicans - the isolationist Pat Buchanans are abandoning an internationalist president."