Saturday, August 05, 2006


"Most people don't care if you're red or blue." Ahhhhh I wouldn't take that one to the bank.....

On Capitol Hill, U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy (Minnesota) and Sen. James M. Talent (Missouri) are known as loyal Republican soldiers, reliable votes for President Bush on tax cuts and the Iraq war. In elections past, they have aired advertisements featuring the president and have stumped with him at public rallies.

This year, both are running for Senate seats, but their television ads have made no mention of Bush - and have been conspicuous in distancing the candidates from their partisan affiliation. "Most people don't care if you're red or blue, Republican or Democrat," Talent's ad states. A recent ad from Kennedy says, "He doesn't do what the party says to."

For months, political analysts have waited to see how GOP candidates would navigate the challenge of running in the face of what polls show are dismal approval ratings for Bush and the Republican-led Congress. The ads give an answer: Endangered candidates are presenting themselves as independent-minded problem solvers who are not part of Washington's partisan wars.

Even Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, who heads the National Republican Congressional Committee, has run TV ads in his Buffalo, New York, area district that do not identify his party affiliation.

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