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WHAT LIBERAL ADVICE IS WORTH TO REPUBLICANS | 2000-07-29

As soon as McCain folded, Bush bounced ahead of Gore in the polls. Liberals said it was all because he was "moving to the center."

Liberals told Bush he had to get to the magic "middle of the road." After all, that Magic Center was the way Robert Dole and Bush Senior made themselves such successes in the post-Reagan era.

But let's take a look at reality. Recently, Bush was beginning to falter in the polls. Then he picked a vice presidential running mate who was to the right of the NRA on gun control, and solid on other conservative issues. Margaret Carlson led the liberal mourning, with Bill Schneider following up: This was a disaster! This was away from the Magic Middle liberals and Jerry Ford (another big Republican middle-of-the-road winner) always recommend for Republicans.

So, immediately after the Cheney move sank in, Bush took a bounce in the polls, and is back in double digits. This demonstrates again that Republican middle-of-the-road politics are only successful from the DEMOCRATIC point of view.