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    Bush Seen as Jinx as Republican Candidates Avoid Party `Brand'

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    Bush Seen as Jinx as Republican Candidates Avoid Party `Brand'

    Post by sang_garuda on Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:02 am

    July 23 -- In 2006, Republican Representative Marilyn Musgrave welcomed President George W. Bush to her Colorado district for a rally on the weekend before Election Day. In the run-up to this year's balloting, Musgrave has bucked Bush by voting to override his vetoes of Medicare and farm bills.

    In Oregon, Republican Senator Gordon Smith is running a commercial highlighting his support for federally funded embryonic stem-cell research, which Bush opposes. Even Kansas Republican Pat Roberts, who has been a loyal Bush backer in the Senate, is running ads promoting his work, over White House objections, to expand health insurance for children.

    As Bush nears the end of his presidency with one of the lowest public-approval ratings in polling history, Republican lawmakers striving to save their jobs are proclaiming their independence from the White House on issues from health care to the rescue plan for mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    ``I'm hoping that people will look at us as individuals,'' said Musgrave, whose House Web site last year started promoting a ``Bipartisan Accomplishment of the Week.''

    Bush's Jan. 20 departure reduces White House influence as Republican lawmakers make their own decisions about the political and policy consequences of legislation, said Oklahoma Representative Tom Cole, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

    Thinking About Elections

    ``Members are thinking about elections, and they're also thinking beyond that to next year,'' Cole, 59, said. The president, he said, is ``not doing either of those things.''

    Amid discontent about the Iraq War, $4-a-gallon gasoline and slumping home prices, only 24 percent of voters said they have positive feelings about Bush in a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll of 1,233 adults surveyed from June 19-23. Bush's average Gallup Poll approval rating during 2008's second quarter slid to 29 percent, the lowest of his presidency.

    Musgrave, 59, a three-term member of Congress, said she has disagreed with Bush before, most notably in voting against his Medicare prescription-drug plan in 2003. With the Republican ``brand'' tarnished this year, Musgrave said, it's important to show voters she will stand up to her party when necessary to defend home-state agricultural or other interests.

    In Congress, scores of potentially endangered Republicans parted with Bush in recent legislative battles.

    Breaking Ranks

    Resisting pressure from the White House, 16 of the 18 Republican senators facing re-election this year broke with the president last month by joining an 80-14 majority to override his veto of a five-year, $289 billion farm bill. In the House of Representatives, where all seats are contested every two years, Musgrave joined 98 other Republicans in rejecting Bush's veto.

    When the Senate last week rebuffed Bush's veto of a measure blocking cuts in Medicare payments to doctors, Democrats were joined by 11 of the Republicans running this year. That group included Smith, Roberts, Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Susan Collins of Maine and Ted Stevens of Alaska. The House's 383-41 override had support from 153 Republicans, including Representatives Randy Kuhl of New York, Steve Chabot of Ohio and Dave Reichert of Washington, all facing tough races.

    Most notable was last week's reaction by House Republicans to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said Bruce Larson, chairman of the political science department at Pennsylvania's Gettysburg College.

    Fannie-Freddie Rescue

    Paulson proposed legislation to let the government make unlimited equity purchases and increase credit lines for both entities. While the secretary is seeking swift action to reassure financial markets, he met resistance from dozens of conservative House members, who insisted on a go-slow approach to examine the proposal's potential cost to taxpayers. After an emergency meeting with wavering Republicans late last week, Paulson said he expects action on the plan this week.

    Conservatives ``are just very naturally opposed to any kind of government bailout, but the opposition is still astonishing,'' Larson said.

    Representative Tom Davis of Virginia, a former NRCC chairman, said the once-unified Republicans had every-man-for- himself conversions after the party this year lost three special elections for vacant House seats in districts that had been represented by Republicans, including that of former Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois.

    Adding to the anxiety are polls showing discontent with Congress, Davis said. In a Gallup poll earlier this month, only 14 percent of the adults surveyed approved of Congress's job performance.

    ``This is one of those years where you're not sure where it's going to come out, because Congress is in such low repute,'' Davis, 59, said. ``You're just not sure how that's going to come back and bite you.''

    Independent Identities

    Some Republicans are looking for political identities independent of Bush's policies and their party's traditional conservative positions.

    Illinois Representative Mark Kirk, who won his last election with 53 percent of the vote, has created a ``suburban agenda'' aimed at less-partisan voters in his Chicago-area district and other suburbs across the U.S. About a half-dozen House Republicans have signed on to the plan, which proposes expanded 401(k) savings accounts for children and mass-transit tax credits.

    Underscoring Bush's dwindling influence, Kirk, 48, didn't mention the president when he talked about ways to expand Republican influence. ``We need a post-Reagan voice,'' he said.
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    Re: Bush Seen as Jinx as Republican Candidates Avoid Party `Brand'

    Post by car0_linex on Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:57 pm

    thank 4 sharing affraid

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    Re: Bush Seen as Jinx as Republican Candidates Avoid Party `Brand'

    Post by sodong on Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:27 am

    thanks 4 info bro garuda rock
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    Re: Bush Seen as Jinx as Republican Candidates Avoid Party `Brand'

    Post by Prodip2007 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:57 am

    ------||------------||------nice sharing bro.Tq u bro...Tq u very much...Keep up bro------||------------||------

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