It’s hard to know exactly why respondents who are generally unhappy towards — and in many cases fed up with — the G.O.P. might still prefer a Republican for President over a Democrat. Much of it has to do with the individual candidates involved.
Democrats also may have a residual disadvantage going into 2008 — a long-standing disposition among voters to view Republicans as stronger on issues involving national security. Without question, Bush has done serious damage to the Republican brand in this arena. But, with the nation waging two wars and terrorism still a threat, that underlying sentiment might be one of the reasons G.O.P. candidates appear competitive at all.
projected his own discomfort with John Edwards staying in the presidential race despite learning that Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer has returned. Carney wrote aMarch 22 article on the topic in which he declared Edwards’ explanation “discomfiting”:
John said that when the two of them were alone, Elizabeth was concerned about everyone but herself — her children, her husband and her country, in that order, but not herself.
He clearly meant it to be inspiring, but there is also something discomfiting about that statement. Even more discomfiting was Edwards’ claim that by soldiering on while his wife has incurable cancer, he would be proving that he could deal with the pressures of being President. I wonder how voters will react to that sentiment.
As a piece of punditry, his point may yet stand: Over time, voters may react negatively to [the] image of a man pursuing the presidency as his wife struggles with an incurable disease. But whether or not that is the image they see is another question, and that creation of that image largely depends on how we in the media frame the Edwards’ decision.
I don’t think it’s inappropriate or unfair (or remotely politically biased) to say that I feel discomfited by the decision and the rationale behind it, or to make the fairly simple point that some Democrats out there might feel the same way.
I don’t think it is a stretch to suggest that, as they learn about Elizabeth’s recurrence and about her and John’s decision to continue his campaign, parents across the country are going to be asking themselves what they would do in such a situation. Surely how they answer that question will affect how some of them see John Edwards’ presidential aspirations — more favorably for some, less so for others.
I am no doubt inviting more criticism for having the gall to feel uncomfortable with the Edwards’ decision, and for suggesting that other Americans might also feel that way. It must be obvious by now that others do, in fact, have similar doubts — especially about the issue of whether a father of two young children whose wife may be seriously ill, and may even die, might be too distracted to be effective as president.
Look, Stengel can say he’s speaking as a “citizen,” but this citizen is also the managing editor of one of the nation’s top newsweeklies, and it’s kinda off-putting to learn that someone with such journalistic influence either:
(a) knows what these polls say but is not letting them interfere with his view that the American public is predisposed to see Congressional oversight in such negative terms; or
(b) uninterested in consulting said evidence to learn what folks actually think about such matters before speaking for them with the authority of, yes, Time magazine’s managing editor.
investigated the White House Christmas card list. Then there was Dan Burton’s carnival freak show of an “investigation,” which involved the Indiana congressman shooting a pumpkin in his back yard in order to “prove” that Vince Foster was murdered. They probed the president’s personal life. By contrast, congressional Democrats are investigating things like whether the Bush administration fired prosecutors because they didn’t indict enough Democrats, and whether they lied to Congress about it. And they’re looking into the false claims the administration made in taking the nation to war.
Giuliani, the leader in polls of Republican voters for his party’s nomination, has been faulted on two major issues:
– His administration’s failure to provide the World Trade Center’s first responders with adequate radios, a long-standing complaint from relatives of the firefighters killed when the twin towers collapsed. The Sept. 11 Commission noted the firefighters at the World Trade Center were using the same ineffective radios employed by the first responders to the 1993 terrorist attack on the trade center.
[Sally] Regenhard [whose firefighter son died on September 11], at a 2004 commission hearing in Manhattan, screamed at Giuliani, “My son was murdered because of your incompetence!” The hearing was a perfect example of the 9/11 duality: Commission members universally praised Giuliani at the same event.
– A November 2001 decision to step up removal of the massive rubble pile at ground zero. The firefighters were angered when the then-mayor reduced their numbers among the group searching for remains of their lost “brothers,” focusing instead on what they derided as a “scoop and dump” approach. Giuliani agreed to increase the number of firefighters at ground zero just days after ordering the cutback.
More than 5 1/2 years later, body parts are still turning up in the trade center site.
“We want America to know what this guy meant to New York City firefighters,” said Peter Gorman, head of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. “In our experiences with this man, he disrespected us in the most horrific way.”