Romney Dethrones Edwards For “Breck Girl” Crown

John Edwards has been subjected to a lot of jokes about his hair, and has been labeled the Breck Girl of politics. At least Edwards himself has tried to avoid the issue, rather than making his looks a part of his campaign. Tapped reports that Romney’s campaign is spreading campaign literature with this material taken from an article in Newsmax:

In this media-driven age, Romney begins with a decisive advantage. First, he has sensational good looks. People magazine named him one of the 50 most beautiful people in America. Standing 6 feet, 2 inches tall, Romney has jet-black hair, graying naturally at the temples. Women — who will play a critical role in this coming election — have a word for him: hot.

Tapped comments, “If Democratic campaign consultants can’t figure out how to have a field day with this, they all ought to just hang up their cleats and go home.” The Carpetbagger Report compares the two campaigns and notes, “In 2004, People magazine named John Edwards one of the 50 most beautiful people in America — and Edwards was embarrassed about it. When reporters would bring it up, he’d laugh it off and quickly change the subject.”

Frank Rich Explains Why The Republican Candidates Do Not Want To Mention George Bush

Frank Rich notes that, at the Republican debate, Ronald Reagan’s name was mentioned nineteen times, and George Bush’s name was only mentioned once. Rich reviews the corruption and incompetence seen while Bush has been in office:

By my rough, conservative calculation — feel free to add — there have been corruption, incompetence, and contracting or cronyism scandals in these cabinet departments: Defense, Education, Justice, Interior, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development. I am not counting State, whose deputy secretary, a champion of abstinence-based international AIDS funding, resigned last month in a prostitution scandal, or the General Services Administration, now being investigated for possibly steering federal favors to Republican Congressional candidates in 2006. Or the Office of Management and Budget, whose chief procurement officer was sentenced to prison in the Abramoff fallout. I will, however, toss in a figure that reveals the sheer depth of the overall malfeasance: no fewer than four inspectors general, the official watchdogs charged with investigating improprieties in each department, are themselves under investigation simultaneously — an all-time record.

Wrongdoing of this magnitude does not happen by accident, but it is not necessarily instigated by a Watergate-style criminal conspiracy. When corruption is this pervasive, it can also be a byproduct of a governing philosophy. That’s the case here. That Bush-Rove style of governance, the common denominator of all the administration scandals, is the Frankenstein creature that stalks the G.O.P. as it faces 2008. It has become the Republican brand and will remain so, even after this president goes, until courageous Republicans disown it and eradicate it.

It’s not the philosophy Mr. Bush campaigned on. Remember the candidate who billed himself as a “different kind of Republican” and a “compassionate conservative”? Karl Rove wanted to build a lasting Republican majority by emulating the tactics of the 1896 candidate, William McKinley, whose victory ushered in G.O.P. dominance that would last until the New Deal some 35 years later. The Rove plan was to add to the party’s base, much as McKinley had at the dawn of the industrial era, by attracting new un-Republican-like demographic groups, including Hispanics and African-Americans. Hence, No Child Left Behind, an education program pitched particularly to urban Americans, and a 2000 nominating convention that starred break dancers, gospel singers, Colin Powell and, as an M.C., the only black Republican member of Congress, J. C. Watts.

Rich attibutes many of the problems to allowing partisanship to decide government policy, regardless of how harmful to the country: (more…)