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Tim Russert: Port Fight in Best Interest

Tim Russert had an interesting analysis on Imus, this morning.  In short, he believes it is in everybody’s best interest for this port controversy to turn into an all-out fight.

Democrats, says Russert, benefit greatly by outflanking Republicans on the issue of terror. The lesson learned from 2002 and 2004 is that the "weak" party loses. To win, Dems must shake their pre-9-11 image, and this is a golden opportunity to do so.

As I stated yesterday, I am doubtful that Democrats will be able to continue to talk tough on terror. This is due to the lack of having a unified voice, not to mention the number of peacenik’s and Leftists who control the purse strings of their party. But — and this is a big but — if Democrats can find a way to outflank Republicans on national defense and terror, we are in big, big trouble.

Republicans in Congress, also benefit from this controversy.   This allows them to do two things at once: show they are tough on terror — and prove they are not merely a "rubber stamp" for the White House.

According to Russert, even President Bush benefits from this controversy. Russert’s theory is that Bush benefits from talking about the need to bring in allies and build coalitions with other countries. In short, this issue allows Bush to appear to be the one who is nuanced.

To me, this one seems like the biggest stretch. I don’t think the reward of being considered nuanced, justifies the political heat he is taking — and it certainly doesn’t justify endangering our country.  If being nuanced were a political winner, John Kerry would have been elected president. Nope, I believe Bush firmly believes this is in the best interest of America.

Perhaps Russert’s most astute observation is that this port controversy would make his dad, "Big Russ," scratch his head and say, "this just doesn’t seem right."

You’ve got to admit that regardless of where you come down on this issue, on the surface, it just sounds like a very bad idea.

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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 MattLewis.org.

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