Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ari Fleischer for Congress

Human Events reports that New York politicos are talking about the possibility of Ari Fleischer running for Congress in 2008:

Will Ari Run?

The Westchester-county-based 24th District could be a focus of national attention if one Republican in particular makes the race: Ari Fleischer, one-time press secretary to George W. Bush, left the White House in 2003 and returned to his home county to do communications consulting (at one point, he advised major league baseball teams on public relations matters), write his memoir of the Bush White House and take on speaking engagements and TV commentary.

Friends of Fleischer note that the Westchester native has done just about everything congressional—managed campaigns, worked as a press secretary in both houses of Congress and served as a field operative for the National Republican Congressional Committee—except run for Congress himself. Kelly’s defeat at the hands of Hall now opens up that opportunity for him.

Fleischer isn’t saying anything about any political plans, but fellow New Yorkers who know him well bet that he will make the House race in ’08. As Larry Casey, onetime top aide to former New York Republican Rep. George Wortley and a canny political operative, told me: “Ari is the natural and best candidate for Congress from Westchester and, if he chooses to run, the obvious Republican candidate.”

Would this be unprecendented? I can't think of any former White House Press Secretaries who went on to run for Congress.

Fleischer is comfortable in front of the cameras and his name and connections guarantee that he would have all the money he needed to run. At the same time, the district only has the slightest Republican edge ('+1 Republican,' according to Charlie Cook). If Bush is as unpopular in November 2008 as he is today, Fleischer could have a hard time shaking the association of him with an unpopular President.

Further, if Hillary or Giuliani lead the ticket (or both do), it could have a significant effect on coattails in New York State.

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1 comment:

Fenstemaker said...

Pierre Salinger, who was press secretary for JFK & LBJ, resigned from the White House to run for a vacant Senate seat in California. He lost the race, but served a few months by appointment.