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GOP’s Lack of Moxie

While we’re all thinking about the Supreme Court, the GOP has just lost two credible U.S. Senate candidates: ND Gov. John Hoeven decided against challenging Sen. Kent Conrad and WV Rep. Shelley Moore Capito said today she won’t challenge Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

No doubt, their decisions not to run had something to do with the tough year Republicans have had (Iraq, Katrina, scandals, etc.)  It’s understandable these “rising stars” wouldn’t want to tarnish their invincible reputations by taking a chance (in a tough year) they might lose.  After all, even in a good year, it’s hard to beat an incumbent.

Nevertheless, their failure to step up to the plate has major and far-reaching consequences:  Since Democrats won’t have to “defend” the Conrad and Byrd seats, they can instead spend that money attacking GOP incumbent Senators.  As it stands now, the GOP will constantly be on defense.

Theodore Roosevelt (who spent some time in North Dakota) praised the “Man in the Arena” who “at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.”  Teddy had moxie – a quality that is lacking in politicians these days.

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Written By

Mr. Lewis has managed political campaigns and served as director of grassroots for the Leadership Institute, as well as political director for GOPAC. In 2002, Campaigns & Elections magazine selected him as a "Rising Star of Politics." He is the author of "Teaching Elephants to Talk." His blog can be read at

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