DOWD: George, to me, that is an amazing ad that an incumbent Democratic senator as part of the majority would run in their home state?
WILL: It's cognitive dissonance on a grand scale. Until recently it was said the Republicans are wicked because they're the party of no. She just put up an ad saying I said no to bail outs, this, this, this, and this. No is a lovely word.
Except for that last line, almost any Republican could run that ad this year.
DOWD: Well Donna --
BRAZILE: The lieutenant governor in Arkansas is going to challenge her. Within the last five days, he's been able to raise over $1 million online from liberal and progressive groups that believe that Senator Lincoln no longer stands for progressive ideals. So she's fighting for her political survival. It is going to be a very interesting primary, similar to what's going on in the Republican Party right now in terms of their primary process. But at the end of the day, the senator like Senator Hutchison and others, must demonstrate what is she doing for the people in Arkansas, what is she doing in terms of service to the country.
REICH: Exactly. There is always a strong anti-incumbent, anti- establishment current in the country, against Washington. It is not new, it's been here for over 200 years. But what's complicated for Democrats this year is you have such high unemployment. You've got that anti-establishment feeling coupled with some -- a lot of deep anxiety and you run the risk of not losing the House and Senate, but you run the risk of really having some major inroads. But the direction of the economy may, and I think, will improve by the midterm elections.
CLARKE: There's something different about this though. Candidates for years have always said, yes, I'm a good conservative or I'm a good moderate Democrat. But here's the one issue on which I bucked my party, kind of demonstrate their independence. She lists several issues. And I wonder how much heartburn does that create for the campaign committees, for the Democratic leaders in Washington going, on top of everything else, all the challenges we have.
REICH: Aren't we seeing it on "This Week?"
CLARKE: Well, I think you'll see a lot more after that.
BRAZILE: But Torie, you saw the Republicans do that in 2006. They ran from Bush and Cheney. They ran from the deficits. They ran --
REICH: It wasn't very effective.
BRAZILE: Right, but the rate that that's -- again, I agree with the secretary. This is part of how people run their campaigns. They try to establish their independence from their political party.
DOWD: Well a lot of us have watched politics for many, many years, and normally people from Washington come back to their district and say, here's everything I have done. Kay Bailey Hutchison tried to do it and she lost badly in the primary. Now you have an incumbent senator in the spot not saying here's everything I've done, but here's everything I've tried to stop. It is a big difference from what I've seen before. Usually I go back and say here's all my stuff I should do. George, isn't this like a totally different kind of messaging when you're coming from Washington?
WILL: It's a beautiful message.
DOWD: Highly successful.