Alex's Outlook

Friday, March 12, 2004

National GOP hopes take a beating 


While I was away on our senior retreat (playing Texas Hold'em most of the time), there has been a lot of news on the political front, all of it bad. First off, Democrats have a decent shot at winning Colorado because the state's most popular Democrat, Attorney General Ken Salazar, is running for the seat, and the Dems have cleared the primary field for him. This seat is a genuine tossup, and it would be a definite Lean Democrat if Colorado weren't such a red state. To make matters worse, the state's most popular Republican, Gov. Bill Owens, is not running. He seems to be waiting in the wings as a possible VP replacement for Cheney, or a Presidential nomination in 08. Tom Tancredo could be a good match for Salazar--he is very independent-minded and principled, if ideological. Unfortunately, the national Republican establishment hates Tancredo for his independence, and will probably leave him in the lurch. We'll see.

Secondly, a set of spending curbs pushed by House conservatives (which I expressed hope for earlier) died miserably in the House. Unless the center-right good government coalition digs in its heels and starts voting en masse against the corrupt, pork-addicted leadership on important votes, there will be no respite from continuous Republican spending increases.

Finally, the stock market has taken a heavy beating. The Dow is off about 500 points from its year highs (4.x percent), and the Nasdaq and S&P have suffered similar declines. Not good for the polls. Bush is going to have a hard time convincing the electorate to vote for him if the stock market ends below where it started when he came into office. This week's fluctuation could obviously be reversed next week, but every little bit counts.

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