Thinking About Reelection
In a rather sad sign of today's political reality, House Democrats, having just won a majority in Congress, are already formulating a plan to stay in power after the 2008 elections.
It is the “incumbent retention program,” a detailed plan worked out after Democrats gained control of Congress to fortify the most politically shaky with plum committee assignments, prized bill sponsorship and an early start on fund-raising — all in preparation for their 2008 re-election campaigns.
Not sure why the NYT seemed to think that this is an unusual strategy. This was Karl Rove's trademark. But Dems campaigned as the anti-Rove's, so spending more time on politicking than on actual Congressional work might cause sour feelings among voters. Isn't that why they ditched the Republicans?
Nancy Pelosi is especially involved:
Our focus is to make sure that each member strengthens his or her standing back home by offering strategic advice and help,” said Brendan Daley, a spokesman for Mrs. Pelosi, who is planning weekly breakfasts with this group. “That can be legislative, message or outreach tuned into the needs of their district.”
Between early House campaigning and the looming beast that is the '08 presidential primaries and election, Dems need to make sure that trigger-happy voters do not get the message that political campaigns are more important than the reason they're now in power on The Hill.