Karen Hughes, the former George W. Bush strategist, predicts a good year for Republicans, calls the Obama oil spill response "almost unbelievably passive" and lauds Texas Gov. Rick Perry skill at surviving a widespread anti-incumbent mood.
At a panel discussion today on the midterm elections, she called the BP spill a good analogy for the political climate. Anxiety about unemployment, deficit spending and the new health care plan "has turned into anger, and it's spilling over in a way that our normal party leaders, from both parties, have really not been able to channel or control."
But incumbents can avoid the backlash if they're careful. "There was a good model in Texas, where Gov. Perry really showed a political tour de force running against Washington. He took a very popular incumbent senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison, and defeated her soundly in the primary by basically turning her strengths - which were to bring Washington dollars to Texas for projects there, and turn that against her. ... Anti-Washington is what is popular and what is selling right now."
Hughes, who advised and supported Hutchison during the primary fight with Perry, made the comments at a panel discussion on the midterms hosted by the George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management.
Not surprising, but it does she she is a good sport and that Rick is consolidating support of Kay's peeps...