Yesterday, Andrew linked to this video of David Brooks telling Chris Matthews that many Republicans hate George W. Bush:
Andrew refers to this as "life outside the cocoon" but I think it may be the reverse. Certainly, it seems to me that a healthy number of professional conservatives in Washington and New York are kind of sick of Bush and, if nothing else, blame him for damaging the Republican Party and the conservative brand. But the fact remains that Bush's approval ratings are in the low twenties. If we assume (which I think is safe) that essentially all of that support is coming from Republicans, it means that the overwhelming majority of Republicans (though almost nobody else) thinks Bush is doing a good job as president.
That's the problem facing the Republican primary candidates. It's obvious that the best path to the White House for any of these guys would be to run a Sarkozy-style strategy that emphasizes the need for change even while making the case for partisan continuity. But Republican primary voters don't think we need to change course on anything but immigration.
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