So Laura Bush is coming to campaign for Ray Meier. Big whoop. Sure, the move will bring in some money for Ray Meier, with two thousand dollar tickets for a couple to have their picture taken with the President's wife.
But why aren't they sending George W. Bush himself?
The race for New York's 24th district seat in the House of Representatives is one of the 20 closest races in the country. Typically, a strong President will go out to campaign for the candidates in the districts where the races are tight.
Yet, so far, there has been no indication that Bush will come here to help out Republican Ray Meier.
The reason is pretty clear. Our district's voters overwhelmingly think that George W. Bush has been a failure as President. 63 percent of likely voters in our district disapprove of the job that Bush has done.
Our district's Republicans can read the tea leaves. They see that the Bush Republican policies they've been pushing on us for years now are not approved of our district's voters.
If Ray Meier is regarded as a Bush-style Republican, he loses. If Meier can convince voters that, in spite of his long years supporting failed Bush policies, he'll be an independent, Lincoln Chafee sort of Republican, he can win. Likewise, Michael Arcuri can win if he convinces Democrats here that he's more like Ned Lamont, a Democrat with a spine who opposes Bush's failures, than Joseph Lieberman, a Democrat who will help Bush whenever it's convenient.
It's hard to get 63 percent of our district to agree on anything, so 63 percent agreement that Bush is bad for America shines out as the key to the election. 89 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of independent voters, and almost 40 percent of Republicans disapprove of Bush.
For Democrats, clear victory can come if Mike Arcuri figures our how to communicate the following basic message:
A vote for Ray Meier is a vote for Bush.
Michael Arcuri will stand up to Bush.
All the rest is a distraction.