Oh, kids, there’s a fight abrewin’ in the Rethuglican tent! From Bill Pascoe (ex-press secretary at the RNC) at CQ Politics:
These days, whether you’re a conservative activist, or a Republican Party official, saying “New York 23″ out loud leads to a shortening of breath, a quickening of the pulse, and a tightening of the muscles. Heads whip around to see who said it, and in what context — friend, or foe?
The official GOP nominee — Dede Scozzafava, a very liberal New York Assemblywoman — now trails her Democratic opponent, Bill Owens, and the Conservative Party nominee, Doug Hoffman, according to a survey released Monday by the Club for Growth.
[...] the apparatchiks at the National Republican Congressional Committee continue to view Hoffman and his candidacy as some sort of flu-like disease [...]
For more than two months, Hoffman’s momentum has been building, as conservatives of all shapes and sizes and pedigrees — Old Right barons (Mike Long, chairman of New York’s Conservative Party; David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union; Ron Pearson, of the Conservative Victory Fund; Citizens for the Republic), new media conservatives (Erick Erickson of RedState; Michelle Malkin; Patrick Ruffini), social conservatives (Concerned Women for America; the Susan B. Anthony List; Eagle Forum; National Organization for Marriage) and fiscal conservatives (Club for Growth; Steve Forbes; Dick Armey), and political leaders like Rick Santorum, Fred Thompson, Sarah Palin, and Tim Pawlenty — have come together behind his candidacy.
Oops! He forgot Marilyn Musgrave, who lost in Colorado but who has yet to concede the race or congratulate Betsy Markey, who unseated her.
Those few GOP leaders who have dared speak out publicly in support of GOP nominee Scozzafava — like Newt Gingrich — have been roundly criticized by conservatives. (For Gingrich, in fact, the criticism has been especially brutal. Whatever plans he may have had about running for President in 2012 have taken a major shellacking since he dared stand up to the conservatives on this one.)
Not only Newtie, John Boehner has taken some of the time he usually devotes to tanning to endorse Scozzafava.
As the weeks have worn on, and the race has intensified, the campaign has become a proxy war for control of the center-right political apparatus in this country.
Before being elected to the House of Representatives in 2002, Cole served as chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, as executive director of the NRCC, and as chief of staff of the Republican National Committee.
But, more importantly, in the 2008 cycle, Cole served as Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Other Republican members of Congress had endorsed Hoffman — Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Todd Tiahrt of Kansas had previously endorsed Hoffman, while Dana Rohrabacher of California and Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina joined Cole in endorsing Hoffman yesterday — but, frankly, I can think of few who look to them for political guidance in a matter like this. Each has established a reputation, to varying degrees, as a political maverick; no one confuses them with the Republican Leadership.
So Cole’s endorsement represents the first breach of the Hoffman Flu into GOP leadership circles.
Pete Sessions [Chairman of the NRCC, who replaced Tom Cole] didn’t make the choice of Dede Scozzafava, 11 GOP county chairmen in upstate New York made the choice.
Oh, and there’s one other person involved in this farce who doesn’t live in the district for which a rep is going to be elected. That would be Conservative Party candidate himself, Doug Hoffman.