Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Running Uphill

As Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist (R-TN) should be in a great position to mount a Presidential campaign in 2008. He should simply be sheparding President Bush's wants and needs through a Republican controlled Senate. And that should make for good press all around.

But Sen Frist has had three major setbacks -- in just the first quarter of this Congress:
  1. The Terri Schiavo debacle: Sen Frist seriously misread public opinion in the case and championed a wildly unpopular bill to allow the federal government to intervene. Then there's the "video diagnosis" he made -- criticized by doctors at the time and thrown back in his face after the autopsy report came out
  2. The Filibuster Compromise: After threatening to use the "nuclear option" and shut down filibusters of judicial nominees, a handful of Senate moderates -- led by potential GOP nomination rival Sen John McCain (R-AZ) worked out a compromise that's held together and taken away Sen Frist's thunder
  3. The Bolton Nomination: After making John Bolton's nomination to the UN his latest priority, Sen Frist was stymied by the Democrats opposing it on two occasions -- he's scheduling a third vote, but some Republicans have urged him to simply give up and let the President make Mr Bolton's postition a "recess appointment." That would be admitting defeat -- not good if you're trying to raise money for a new campaign
These may be the biggest three opponents Sen Frist has going into a Presidential race. But the Senator is assemling the resources he needs to get into the race. (NPR - Audio)

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