Chris Cillizza notes that in the 2010 Senate races, Democrats are once again trying to use the strategy of tying Republican candidates to former President Bush. Much of the article focuses on whether the practice will get too old and whether Bush’s popularity will improve like other former presidents, but at the end of the day, the effectiveness of such an approach will depend on how Americans view President Obama. If Obama is still broadly popular, the economy has improved, and things are relatively stable on the foreign policy/national security front, then I think Democrats will be able to run campaigns saying, “If you like the way the country is heading now, then don’t vote for Republican X, because he wants to return to the old, failed Bush policies.” However, if Obama’s popularity is starting to wane, the economy is in turmoil, and/or there’s a major international crisis or national security incident, any Democrat who starts in with the Bush bashing will just look desperate, like they’re trying to distract attention from the current administration’s problems.
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