What to Do About Bush: The Mark Green and Mark Kennedy Campaigns
On paper, Mark Green and Mark Kennedy have some striking similarities.
Both are Republican congressmen who have been in office roughly the same amount of time (Green began in 1999, Kennedy in 2001).
Both come from
Both get high conservative rankings from the American Conservative Union (88 for Green, 90 for Kennedy).
Both have been staunch defenders of invading Iraq.
Both recently backed the president’s decision to veto a bill that would have sustained and enhanced embryonic stem cell research in the
Both have voted with the Bush White House over 90% of the time.
Both are currently running competitive statewide campaigns (Green for governor, Kennedy for US Senate).
But, so far, the two seem to be taking different approaches when it comes to associating their campaigns with the president.
Kennedy has gone to great lengths to disassociate his Senate campaign from Bush. Last month
Kennedy also hasn’t had any major fundraisers with the president this year, although he has had one with Karl Rove and one with Laura Bush in the past couple of months (and he did have one with Bush himself last December).
And now there’s this campaign ad from Kennedy, which attempts to identify his position as that of an “independent.” At one point, Kennedy’s daughter appears and has this to say: “Dad’s not much of a Party guy…he doesn’t do whatever the Party says to.”
Green, on the other hand, has been more conspicuous about his connections to the White House.
Earlier this month Green held a $1000 per plate dinner with the president in
The Green Team hasn’t started airing campaign ads of its own, and it will be interesting to see if Green continues to embrace his associations with the White House and the Republican Party as a whole in them. After all, recent polls have shown that Bush is even less popular in
While a Minneapolis Star Tribune poll in July showed that 42 percent of Minnesotans approve of the job Bush is doing as president, a Wisconsin Policy Research Institute poll earlier this month showed that only 37 percent of Wisconsinites feel the same.
Ditching the president at this point could be tough for Green – his campaign is said to have netted over half a million dollars from the fundraiser earlier this month and the words spoken by the president that night leave little doubt about the closeness of the two.
Then again, sticking with Bush isn’t exactly a walk in the park for any Republican this year.