Running against liberal

David Broder and Mike Allen:

"Ask any of President Bush's Washington strategists to size up the Democratic candidates campaigning for Tuesday's New Hampshire primary and they will say they are delighted at the prospect of running against a liberal tax-raiser who is soft on terrorism. They don't know what his name is, but those Republicans say that they can put him in that box, whoever he turns out to be. One Republican consultant said the basic message of ads on behalf of Bush will be that the Democrat is 'liberal, liberal, liberal.'


"The campaign strategists there said after creating that general picture of an ideological liberal, they will add specific attacks, such as tying Edwards -- a former trial lawyer who has won multimillion-dollar verdicts -- to the high cost of malpractice insurance, which has caused some obstetricians to stop practicing. RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie first signaled this strategy last fall when he said that former Vermont governor Howard Dean had pushed the pack leftward. 'They're all Howard Dean, now,' he said.

"Jim Dyke, the RNC's communications director, said Democrats have 'already decided' that their nominee will be for increasing taxes, for repealing legislation on what opponents call 'partial birth' abortions and against extending the law enforcement powers granted under the Patriot Act."


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