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Empty Wig Dole being slammed for lackluster GOP Senate candidates

The Joker, er, Liddy Dole (NC), is taking heat for the lack of worthwhile GOP candidates to field.

As I’ve said many times before, is there are more empty, meaningless, ineffective vessel than Elizabeth “Empty Wig” Dole? It looks like the Repugs are saying the same thing, although they need to look at the vapid figure sitting in the White House as well if they are assigning the blame for the malaise in the party. (WaPo):

Republican politicians in multiple states have recently decided not to run for Senate next year, stirring anxiety among Washington operatives about the effectiveness of the party’s recruiting efforts and whether this signals a broader decline in GOP congressional prospects.

Prominent Republicans have passed up races in North Dakota and West Virginia, both GOP-leaning states with potentially vulnerable Democratic incumbents. Earlier, Republican recruiters on Capitol Hill and at the White House failed to lure their first choices to run in Florida, Michigan and Vermont.

…These setbacks have prompted grumbling. Some Republican operatives, including some who work closely with the White House, privately point to what they regard as a lackluster performance by Sen. Elizabeth Dole (N.C.) as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the group that heads fundraising and candidate recruitment for GOP senators.

But some strategists more sympathetic to Dole point the finger right back. With an unpopular war in Iraq, ethical controversies shadowing top Republicans in the House and Senate, and President Bush suffering the lowest approval ratings of his presidency, the waters look less inviting to politicians deciding whether to plunge into an election bid. Additionally, some Capitol Hill operatives complain that preoccupied senior White House officials have been less engaged in candidate recruitment than they were for the 2002 and 2004 elections.

I love how Katherine Harris is getting dumped on by her own party, given all she’s done for the Chimperor. It’s lovely watching them all squirm over her electability.

Perhaps no state has frustrated the GOP elite more than Florida, where Sen. Bill Nelson (D) is trying for a second term after winning his first with 51 percent of the vote. After failing to persuade Rep. Katherine Harris to stay out of the race, GOP leaders began a public search for an alternative candidate. State House Speaker Allan Bense was courted by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) before bowing out. Dole took a private plane to New York in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade conservative commentator and former Florida representative Joe Scarborough to make the race.

[More on the Scarborough fallout here and here.]

Many Democrats and some independents revile Harris for the role she played, as Florida secretary of state, in favoring George W. Bush in the 2000 recount process. But she has enough hard-core conservative fans to scare away other Republican Senate hopefuls, and Democrats are gleefully watching the dispute roil their rivals.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding