Saturday, April 14, 2007

Novak: Emanuel to Turn Up Temperature on Bush

Novak has a range of interesting items this morning, including news on Fred Thompson's anticipated announcement of candidacy, and Karl Rove's non-participation in the debate over immigration.

He also report that Rahm Emanuel intends to ratchet up the pressure on the Bush administration over the US attorneys 'scandal:'


Rep. Rahm Emanuel, House Democratic Caucus chairman, plans a major speech in the next two weeks to be delivered at a non-partisan site that will depict the controversy over President Bush's dismissal of U.S. attorneys as a part of a broader pattern of corruption.

Emanuel plans to say that the U.S. attorneys issue, in the public mind, "will be to corruption what Katrina was to incompetence." He will paint a pattern of Bush administration abuses that include the Interior Department, General Services Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Education on student loans.

Such an attack would get lost amid the flood of partisan oratory if delivered on the House floor. Consequently, Emanuel has been searching for a non-governmental site, such as the National Press Club or the Brookings Institution. Emanuel is credited with making the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys a major issue for Democrats.

Frankly, I'm not sure I understand this - politically. The Bush administration is near its end. Weakening him further may damage the Republican 'brand' a little more, but the party will be 're-branded' next year when it selects a Presidential nominee. Since that nominee will have at best an arm's-length association with President Bush, that nominee won't suffer much from the President's unpopularity.

In the meantime, damaging the President further means that it will be harder to work with him. Does that help the Democrats? They'll finish their term of unified control of Congress with nothing to show for it, and perhaps a reputation for partisan attacks and obstruction.

It will help increase the appeal of an outsider candidate who can 'change the tone.' I suppose that benefits Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, and perhaps Barack Obama.

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