Sunday, January 20, 2008
20 Jan 2008 17:52 Africa/Lagos
NEWSWEEK: COVER: 'The Party's Over'
"In early 2008, by nearly every measure, the Republican Party is in trouble," says Former Bush Advisor, Michael Gerson.
Newsweek on: The Future of The GOP in Bush's Shadow and an Exclusive Excerpt of Jacob Weisberg's 'The Bush Tragedy.'
Michelle Obama: 'The Closer' for African-American Votes and Concern for Her Family's Safety.
NEW YORK, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ --
"President Bush has left the GOP in a precarious state. But the party's candidates can learn much from his failures," Editor-at-Large Evan Thomas writes in the opening essay of the January 28 issue of Newsweek. "It is too late to reinvent the party's core beliefs," Thomas writes. "But the GOP candidates can embark on a more humble mission: to show, in effect, some humility. By examining Bush's hubris, his almost willful disregard for annoying counterarguments, the Republican candidates can demonstrate a greater level of critical open-mindedness and self-awareness -- they can show that they are not deluded by wishful thinking and Manichaean narratives." Newsweek reports that a dispirited Republican Party struggles to find its post-Bush path.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080120/NYSU003 )
Michael Gerson, the former senior advisor and speechwriter to President Bush, writes in the January 28 issue "The Party's Over" (on newsstands Monday, January 21) that, "In early 2008, by nearly every measure, the Republican Party is in trouble." He says that, "Republicans in the House and Senate have been exiled from leadership and are retiring in large numbers. Fund-raising -- the most tangible measure of enthusiasm -- is weak. In the first three quarters of 2007, Democratic presidential candidates out-raised their Republican counterparts by $77 million. One adviser to a major Republican campaign recently complained to me that a significant number of wealthy donors on their fund-raising list were giving to...Barack Obama."
Gerson continues, "The party became closely identified with President Bush -- and President Bush became closely identified with Iraqi violence and chaos. The slow response to rising sectarian conflict in 2005 and 2006 left an impression of stubbornness in a losing cause," he writes. "Now the frustrations of the last two or three years -- the resentments of every group that has felt ignored, marginalized, helpless, slighted or unfairly blamed -- are being taken out on the Republican presidential candidates. As each one of them steps forward from the crowd, he is greeted by ideological sniping."
Also part of the cover package, Newsweek excerpts Slate editor in chief Jacob Weisberg's new book 'The Bush Tragedy.' In which he explores all the factors that contributed to President George W. Bush's downfall from his family to his circle of political advisors. "Bush thought his father lacked a grand doctrine," Weisberg writes. "His greatest failures have come from trying to craft one."
And as part of its ongoing election 2008 coverage, Newsweek's National Correspondent Allison Samuels sat down with presidential candidate Barack Obama's wife, Michelle, known within the Obama camp as 'The Closer.' Samuels reports that as the race for the Democratic nomination turns to South Carolina and other Southern states, Campaign Obama is counting on Michelle to become the point person and close the deal with African-American voters.
Samuels reports that as the wife of the first African-American to stand a good chance of becoming president, Michelle Obama is understandably nervous about her husband's safety -- especially since last May, when the campaign began receiving threatening letters and he was assigned Secret Service agents. Michelle says she gets lots of questions from African-Americans -- especially older ones who remember the assassinations of King and Malcolm X -- concerned about the safety of her husband, herself and their two girls, Malia, 9, and Sasha, 6. "I tell people something bad could happen, and I think about that. How could you not?" she tells Newsweek. "But something great could happen as well."
As an African-American, David Mack, a representative in the South Carolina State Legislature who is a Clinton supporter acknowledges that "there's an element of racial pride associated with what he's doing." And as a result, "a lot of blacks are still torn. That's why there's still such a large block of undecided black voters."
Samuels reports that wooing those undecided is a significant part of Michelle's job, especially in South Carolina, where some 10 percent of voters have told pollsters they haven't yet picked a candidate. "She has family there and roots there," says the Obama campaign aide. Michelle believes that "the most important message we can send out is to show that we are a solid family with love and respect for one another. So many times you don't see that in the African-American community." By talking openly about such issues, Michelle Obama may well help that solid family move to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Samuels writes.
Also part of Newsweek's January 28 issue:
-- Senior Political Correspondent Howard Fineman writes that presidential
candidates blew through Las Vegas "like conventioneers" in search of
the big score in the Nevada caucuses. But as "one of America's fastest-
growing metro areas, Las Vegas is now also the leader in mortgage
foreclosures..." he writes. Yet, the question remains "who has the
right cards to deal with it?"
-- Newsweek's political team reports that for the 2008 presidential
candidates, getting elected may be the easy part -- a sluggish economy,
an ailing health-care system, an immigration mess, the environment and
foreign policy -- the next president's got issues. In a series of short
pieces, they lay out the challenges the next president will face.
-- Contributing Editor Ellis Cose writes that "the angry tone of the
campaigns reflected not just the tightening of the race, but also
something considerably more emotional: the feeling of many supporters
of both candidates [Clinton and Obama] that this campaign is about
making history and that the other candidate stands in the way." Cose,
however, adds that few people he has spoken to thought race or gender
would be the determining factor.
(Read entire cover package at www.Newsweek.com)
http://www.newsweek.com/id/96527 - Evan Thomas 'In the Shadow of Bush'
http://www.newsweek.com/id/96377 - Michael Gerson 'Why My Party Lost Its Way'
http://www.newsweek.com/id/96372 - Book Excerpt by Jacob Weisberg
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The January 28 issue of NEWSWEEK (on newsstands January 21), "The Party's Over" examines the GOP's future in the shadow of Bush. Michael Gerson on how the GOP has unraveled, an excerpt from Jacob Weisberg's "The Bush Tragedy," and a series of essays laying out the challenges the next President will face. Plus: Michelle Obama on her role in the campaign and her husband's safety; the annual Oscar roundtable; Moqtada al-Sadr's makeover; a letter to the rich; finding meaning in each mouthful; and tips on how to lead a happy life. (PRNewsFoto/NEWSWEEK) NEW YORK, NY UNITED STATES 01/20/2008