Friday, October 24, 2008

The Dreams of David Broder

From about a year ago.

The day had been full of ominous warnings. Polls showed the Republicans on the losing side of almost every issue and the 2008 presidential race -- and now they're forced to defend a controversial veto of a popular children's health bill.

But Tom Cole, the 58-year-old Oklahoma representative who this year took on the responsibility for running the GOP's congressional campaign, was remarkably sanguine -- considering.


That may seem implausible, but Cole has history on his side. In 1992, as he notes, incumbents were hammered, 24 of them losing in November, 17 others failing in their primaries. The Republicans achieved a net gain of 10 House seats that year, a feather in the cap of the executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Tom Cole. Now, no longer a hired staff man but the chairman, Cole faces a familiar challenge. In 1992, the Democrats nominated Bill Clinton for president -- and he won. But his party, nonetheless, lost House seats. Cole is out to make history repeat itself.