Main Street Journal

Mulling the SRLC


Visitors from 25 states will pour into Memphis beginning tomorrow for the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. Here’s what people are saying:

Rich Galen:

  • The first “cattle call” of the 2008 Presidential election will be held this weekend at a regional meeting of the Republican National Committee in Memphis.
  • National political reporters - like junkies who have been too long without a fix - have been on the phone to people like me straining to tease out the story: How fast and how far will contenders for the GOP Presidential nomination run from George W. Bush this weekend?
  • Two Washington political beings - Grover Norquist and me - agreed, in an LA Times article, that it was unlikely that any serious candidate would attempt to make their mark among these most loyal of GOPers by bashing George W. Bush.
  • But national political reporters being what they are and being who they are, will be looking for any sign of dissatisfaction with the current administration so as to claim a headline like: “Global Cooling Among GOP Faithful Toward Bush.”
  • That is not to say the meeting will be the political equivalent of counselors-in-training at Camp Wauwepex sitting around the Great Campfire, watching the sparks disappear into the night sky, holding hands, and swaying to the strains of Kumbaya.
  • But neither is it likely to be like a band of Vikings attacking, then laying siege to, England in the time of Ethelred the Unready.

And ABC’s The Note has a few items on SRLC in its daily “2008 Republicans” roundup:

Going against the CW grain, Matt Lewis writes of the importance of Saturday’s straw poll (which he sees as a measure of voter intensity) at the SRLC, on Human Events online. LINK

The Washington Times picks up CNN’s scoop that Sen. Trent Lott will have lots of nice things to say about Sen. McCain at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. LINK

In an op-ed in the Washington Times, Cal Thomas writes up his interview with Sen. McCain in which the Arizona Senator speaks of Sam Brownback’s decency, George Allen’s attractiveness, and the need for utmost respect when running against a woman candidate. LINK

Alexander Bolton of The Hill reviews Sen. McCain’s previous efforts on lobbying reform but also points out that some advocacy groups are disappointed with the role he is currently playing in the debate as some see him trying to cozy-up to 2008 big-time donors. LINK

The Washington Post’s Michael Powell and Zachary Goldfarb write up Quinnipiac’s “feeling thermometer,” showing that Rudy Giuliani is the politician whom most Americans feel “warm and cuddly about.” LINK

Be sure to Note that Giuliani obtained his “hottest rating” from white evangelical voters. “What’s not known,” write the Washington Post duo, “is how many of those often-core Republican voters are aware that the once-annulled, once-divorced, thrice-married Giuliani favors abortion rights, gay rights and gun control.”

With his eyes on ‘08, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has, “reorganized his communications operation to acknowledge the more aggressive style instituted by Amy Call, his deputy communications director,” writes Paul Bedard of U.S. News and World Report. LINK