For GOP Senators elected in 2002 on Bush’s pro-war platform, it’s a different world in 2008

Political irony. The crop of Republican Senators running for re-election in 2008 are the same Senators who rode to victory on the pro-Iraq wave that Bush and Rove created in 2002. How times have changed. That same crowd of GOP Senators includes Norm Coleman from Minnesota, John Sununu from New Hampshire, Susan Collins from Maine and Gordon Smith from Oregon. They couldn’t have tied themselves any closer to Bush for years. They never challenged him. Never questioned him. They don’t even want to debate the war in the Senate this week. The war that helped get them elected in 2002 is their worst political nightmare as the Washington Post explains:

The historic showdown to begin today represents the first bipartisan confrontation between Congress and the White House over the Iraq war since the invasion nearly four years ago. While the resolution will test the mettle of every member of the chamber, none will be challenged more than Sununu and the 19 other Senate Republicans facing reelection in 2008 — many from states where voters are angry with Bush’s war policy and want the troops to begin heading home.

Democrats won control of the Senate and House in November largely because of widespread opposition to the war, and the issue remains dangerous for the GOP heading into the 2008 campaign. Senate Republicans are torn between home-state voters eager for them to take a stand against a conflict that has claimed more than 3,000 U.S. troops and has cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and Bush and other Republican leaders who warn that passage of the resolution would undermine chances of a successful conclusion to the war.

What a choice: Their very unpopular president or their very angry constituents. The GOP members of Congress usually chooses Bush — and this week, most of them will do that again.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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