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Tom Cole Deathwatch Thread, No. 7

by: James L.

Fri May 16, 2008 at 12:13 AM EDT

Depending on who you talk to, it sure sounds like John Boehner and crew want to send Tom Cole's sorry ass packing -- and fast.  From The Hill:

Speculation continued to swirl that some members of the leadership team want to remove Cole and install Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), a former NRCC chairman, as his replacement. One former senior GOP leadership aide close to the leadership team said there have been  "quiet conversations" with Davis about taking the NRCC chairmanship, and that GOP leaders believe he will do so if asked.

Finding an appropriate way to get rid of Cole, though, remains the primary obstacle, the source said.

"Leadership can't fire Tom Cole," the former staffer said. "If they could, yes, they would. It doesn't appear that the conference wants to self-initiate, but people at the leadership table think he needs to step down and he needs to step down soon."

Thursday afternoon, the source said, leaders were trying to find a way to pressure Cole to make several changes at the party committee that he may not be able to stomach, such as firing staff and accepting new hires of the leaders' choosing. Leaders want the change at the top to occur before the Memorial Day recess, sources said.

You may recall that, last September, Cole threatened to resign after Boehner attempted to force some personnel changes at the NRCC.  So this would be a roundabout way of showing Cole the door.

How long do you give Cole?  Two weeks?  Or another six months?

James L. :: Tom Cole Deathwatch Thread, No. 7
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I think Cole is a masochist
He'll stick it out until the bitter end. Either way, I'm having fun with the Republican drama so let it continue.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!

I would prefer Cole stay on
Davis is one of the very few political minds I respect among congressional Republicans and he would be a strong improvement over Cole.  That being said, the head of the NRCC really is going to have minimal impact here besides fundraising.  The GOP is going down because of years of empty, corrupt "leadership" in Congress and the worst President in modern history around its neck.  

I find it amusing that members of the House GOP caucus think that a small band-aid fix in the way of a new slogan or two will erase their record and President Bush's presence.  Davis would assuredly try to hammer these points home, but I don't think he could do that much.  Still, I would prefer Tommy Cole to stick around.  

I love the idea of an NRCC chair (Davis) who can't even keep his own seat in the R column come November.

I wonder why Davis is considering it?
I fully expect Cole to be history as soon as they can persuade Davis (or anybody else) to take his place.  But why would Davis bother at this point, I wonder?  I can't imagine wanting such a thankless job under any circumstances, but especially not if I were retiring anyway.  And then there's the reason why Davis is retiring instead of running for the Senate - the screwing he got from the VA GOP on the primary.  If he has any self-respect, he shouldn't care what happens to the Republicans in general at this point.

Then again, I've been following Davis' career since 1991 and I've never had any reason to believe he had any self respect.

One Possibility
The same thoughts crossed my mind as well.  But, perhaps Davis wants to keep his options open to come back at some later date?  A 2012 run against Webb might be appealing--he's a weaker candidate than Warner and the national mood is bound to have changed for the better for a Republican candidate.

[ Parent ]
I thought the same thing, if by chance he were able to leave Congress on a high note by potentially saving a few Republican incumbants and maybe limiting the GOP's losses this fall, it would give Virginian Republicans something to look up to him for, and perhaps he might not be passed up for the Senate then like he was this year. Everything a polititian does is always political. lol

[ Parent ]
Davis as masochist?
I'm with RamblinDave.  I too have read all the speculation that Davis would take the job but remain mystified why he would want to do so.  Having been knee-capped by the wing-nut VA GOP, Davis strikes me as unlikely to bust his ass in a thankless job--and probably not be able to achieve much--in his remaining months in office.  I think the ONLY reason me might consider it might be if he planned to return at some point to run for gov.  Based on his dog-food comment, it seems to me he wouldn't be too keen now on doing any favors for Repub yahoos.

On one hand, this would only make sense if he was 1) running for governor, or 2) angling for a sweet appointment in the McCain administration (where he'd actually fit in very well).

It's hard to see how he could run for governor with... shit, is it Bolling or McDonnell still in the race?  But there's nothing else out there... except Webb's race, four years from now.  Which is admittedly a much more promising race than challenging Mark Warner.

28, gay guy, Democrat, CA-08

[ Parent ]
Considering how badly Davis got screwed by his own party
in the Senate race nomination process if I were in the repub leadership I'd be worried that Davis only wants the job to sabotage his party in the congressional races.

[ Parent ]
isn't it going to be embarrassing...
...if Davis takes over and can't hold his own soon-to-be-former seat?  

[ Parent ]
embarassing, but funny as shit! lol

[ Parent ]
I really love his work!
He did fantastic in both LA-6 and MS-1!

So I hope he will stick it out...

How can you expect
How can you expect Davis to save the House Republicans when he couldn't save his own wife?

Follow the elections in Georgia at the 2010 Georgia Race Tracker.

One argument . . .
. . . as to why Davis would do it is . . . he's got nothing left to lose!

Nothing else to lose?
Not exactly a compelling argument, CC.  I don't think he's channeling Janis Joplin.  His dogfood comment suggests that he would enjoy seeing Repubs get as screwed by the electorate as he was by his own party.

Tongue in Cheek
My statement above was meant to be a brief injection of caustic levity.  I should have specified as much.

[ Parent ]
Yay, coups!
The terrible optics of the process, combined with the inevitable issues with revamping a bureaucracy a few months before the election, should be incredibly demoralizing to the rank and file GOP and members of Congress alike.  That's why I wouldn't bet on Cole being sacked...

That'd be like
firing the captain of the Titanic and appointing a new one after it had already hit the iceberg. (Although I suppose Davis might do a better job of getting people to the lifeboats.)

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