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Tom Cole Deathwatch Thread, No. 9

by: DavidNYC

Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:00 AM EDT

Tom Cole dead? Not quite, but John Boehner definitely just took some advice from Bob Barker and spayed his NRCC Chair:

  • The NRCC will now wade into competitive GOP primaries when appropriate. This is a significant shift, as Cole's policy has been to stay out of such contests even when the party believes one candidate would clearly be the best general election bet. In Illinois and Louisiana in particular, Republicans suffered because they fielded a poor nominee. The race to replace retiring Rep. Vito Fossella (R) in New York, which could draw several GOP contenders, could be the first high-profile test of the new policy.

  • There will be an "audit" of the three special election losses conducted by two as-yet-unnamed Republican lawmakers, designed to figure out what went wrong and how to avoid repeating those mistakes in the future. This could be an embarrassing exercise for Cole and his top staff, but they agreed to it, likely because they didn't have a choice.

  • The party will step up its efforts to establish special fundraising committees for seats with contested GOP primaries occurring late in the season, which will raise cash that will automatically go to the eventual nominees. This fairly common practice will prevent those nominees from starting the general election race at a financial disadvantage after a costly primary. This effort will be led by Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas), who lost to Cole in the race to chair the NRCC for this Congress. (Emphasis added.)

Oh, and one of the two "auditors" will be Tom Davis, who just wrote a scathing memo about the GOP's problems as a party. I'd be surprised if his report on Cole is any less harsh.

Cole is in denial mode, though, flatly contradicting Boehner by announcing that, with regard to primaries, NRCC "policy hasn't changed. There seems to be some confusion about that." And just to prove he's utterly delusional, he invoked Lou Gherig:

I feel like I'm the luckiest guy in the conference to have this job.

And we feel lucky to have you, too, Tommy.

DavidNYC :: Tom Cole Deathwatch Thread, No. 9
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It appears to me as though this is the un-deathwatch thread.
A number of changes are being made to appease party members' concerns, and they are going to hold off giving him the boot till next congress.  

It is a deathwatch thread because they are cutting Cole's knees out from under him by changing the rules he set.

More contested GOP primaries = more division and rancor in the party, especially when their party establishment steps in...

[ Parent ]
This is too bad... This might actually HELP republicans in the fall. lol maybe in the end it will be a bad thing we won these specials... lol if we wouldn't have Republicans would never have realized that anything was wrong! lol

I initially was concerned about this too
The Cole "spin" afterward in fact seemed well-grounded in reality, as did the Davis memo.  But Boehner announced that they plan to keep using Obama/Pelosi scare tactics in ads, and I breathed a sigh of relief.  

The inclusion of Davis into the leadership is a bit worrying, but I think they're still very tied into the old way of doing things.  

John McCain: Healthcare for kids?  Not for a Bush-McCain America.

[ Parent ]
Sessions and 'special fundraising committee'
What jumped out at me in the quote above was the appointment as the head of the 'special fund-raising committee' of Pete Sessions, "who lost to Cole in the race to chair the NRCC for this Congress."  Ouch!  

What more pointed rebuke to Cole could be made?!  Clearly Boehner is saying, "Yeah, we got it wrong the first time (with Cole) and we're trying to correct our error."  Let's just hope it's way too late to repair this train wreck.

Why do I think that Cole won't be taking a victory lap?

An audit to figure out what went wrong?!?!
What went wrong isn't exactly rocket science.  People are fed up with their entire agenda.  Sick of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.  Sick of endless wars costing countless lives and billions of dollars.  Sick of the privatized healthcare.  Sick of shyrocketing oil costs.  Sick of far-right demogogary on social issues.  Sick of republicans obstructing and vetoing popular legislation like SCHIP, the new GI Bill, the farm bill, etc.  Sick of republicans continuing to vote lockstep with the worst President in U.S. history.

Anotherwards what went wrong is republicans acting like republicans.

Legal and accounting costs: $210 K in April
The Washington Post is reporting that the "NRCC spent more than $210,000 on legal and accounting bills in April ... bring(s) the total to $355,000."  The Post speculates that the total bill could come to more than the amount stolen from the NRCC with an eventual cost of up to $1 million.

Just what they need.  Costs to date, apparently are about as much as they spent pn LA-6 (Jenkins-Cazayouz).  Yup, another half million down the drain as the real vultures strip the carcass (or should it be strip the caucus).


I'm glad Cole is sticking around.
I was worried for a bit they'd put Tom Davis in the spot.

People are being far too tough on Cole..
...especially since this is a tough year for Republicans.  I think he definately deserves a second shot at the job in 2010 to prove his prowess.  If not maybe 2012 will work out better for him?

Republicans need to have more patience.

NY-13, Democrat. Blog @ http://infinitefunction.wordpr...

cole needs this job in perputuity........

[ Parent ]
I actually agree to some extent...
No republican or member of any party could effectively sell the republican brand in the current environment.  It's just shaping up as a possible reverse 1994 election.  Everyone knows what's coming, and no republican can do anything to stop it.

[ Parent ]
I also agree
You could replace Cole with any of the Republican Congresscritters and they would fail miserably.  They aren't getting their asses kicked because of Cole, it is because of they are Republicans and their ideology has failed.

[ Parent ]
In all fairness, to lose MS-1, that's bad in any year... Even a BAD Republican year. btw... I would love to take the last Republican Mississppi seat. That would be swell.

[ Parent ]
Had Shows run in MS-03
I really think he'd win this fall.  He did represent a good portion of the district until 2002.

[ Parent ]
that's an open seat
perhaps there is a way for MS dems to get shows on the ballot as a replacement candidate(cottonmouth says the current placeholder on the ballot is kind of weak)

[ Parent ]
Contested primaries
Where are they liking to step in? Hopefully they'll prop Young up, because Parnell would be more of a challenge, but will they be defending Sali and the other morons? Picking a candidate for WY? Where might this happen and how could it help us?

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