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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Not So Special

By W. James Antle III
The American Spectator

While most political aficionados were watching the presidential campaign, another Republican lost a special congressional election. Last week Democrat Travis Childers beat Republican Greg Davis in Mississippi's First Congressional District. The seat was previously held by Republican Roger Wicker, who is now in the Senate, making this a Democratic pickup.

Score one for the Democrats. Or three, actually -- this is the third time the Democrats have won a special congressional election this year in a traditionally GOP-friendly district. Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's seat fell to the Democrats when political neophyte Bill Foster defeated Republican Jim Oberweis in an Illinois district that voted 54 percent for George W. Bush in 2004. Democrat Don Cazayoux edged out Republican Woody Jenkins in Louisiana, picking up a seat formerly held by Republican Russell Baker in a district Bush carried with 59 percent. The district that elected Childers voted 62 percent for Bush.

Does any of this matter? In terms of the Republican brand's overall weakness, these special elections are just a drop in the bucket. Abysmal candidate recruitment and even worse fundraising are likely to make this fall's congressional elections a GOP bloodbath. Even so, those who say these three races aren't terribly representative have some solid arguments on their side.


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