Tuesday, July 25, 2006

E.J. Dionne: Stressing Pork, Not The Party: Republican Hopefuls Play Down the Brand

Washington Post Columnist E.J. Dionne pokes at the Republicans' achilles heel:
...It doesn't matter that they [Republicans] claim to be against that very same big government. Faced this year with a choice between running on their party's record and delivering pork, they'll take pork.

That means that some incumbent Republican senators are acting as if they were seeking reelection for governor -- or even mayor.

Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) started running a television spot a couple of weeks ago focusing on "fires, accidents, paramedic calls" and the needs of localities to be prepared for terrorist attacks.

In the ad, Kyle Miller, an assistant fire chief in Cedarville, Ohio, offers this testimonial: "Senator DeWine saw how stretched our local fire departments have become, and he went to work. He delivered badly needed equipment, training and resources to firefighters and emergency services across Ohio. He saw a problem and he fixed it. He's not flashy, but Senator DeWine gets things done."

If you wonder how attractive the Republican Party label is this year, consider that the tagline on DeWine's ad is "Independent Fighter for Ohio Families." The word independent is underlined, so you can't miss it. For the record, the Democrats insist that DeWine's ad exaggerates his accomplishments. More revealing -- if unsurprising -- is that the role of taxpayers (or deficits) in delivering all those goodies goes without mention in his spot...


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