As a rule, Rep. Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican, has generally been considered a “team player” in his party. He hasn’t always been quite as conservative as some of his rank-and-file colleagues, but on the big issues, Davis has always stood toe to toe with his Republican caucus. It’s why he was rewarded a few cycles ago with the chairmanship of the NRCC.
Davis was preparing a Senate run, right up until he realized he’d lose to former Gov. Mark Warner (D), and he’s now preparing to leave elected office altogether. Apparently, it’s had a liberating effect.
A few days ago, Davis acknowledged, “The House Republican brand is so bad right now that if it were a dog food, they’d take it off the shelf.”
Then he went a little further in describing his party’s troubles.
“It’s no mystery,” said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.). “You have a very unhappy electorate, which is no surprise, with oil at $108 a barrel, stocks down a few thousand points, a war in Iraq with no end in sight and a president who is still very, very unpopular. He’s just killed the Republican brand.”
I mention this, not only because it’s an interesting quote, but because I wonder how many Republicans who aren’t retiring from Congress feel the exact same way.
My hunch is, quite a few.