By Daniel Politi
The New York Times leads with a look at the panic that set in among Republicans yesterday after their candidate lost a special congressional election in Mississippi. It marked the third-straight loss for a Republican-held seat this year, and GOP leaders are scrambling to figure out how they can prevent getting trounced in November. “The political atmosphere facing House Republicans this November is the worst since Watergate,” Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., wrote in a memorandum.
The Washington Post leads with John Edwards endorsing Sen. Barack Obama. Both Democratic contenders had been seeking Edwards’ endorsement, and yesterday he finally agreed to break his silence. The move helped Obama gain the media spotlight on a day when Sen. Hillary Clinton was busy touting her overwhelming victory in West Virginia.
While trying to figure out how to prevent November losses, Republicans are finding themselves increasingly pointing the finger at President Bush and blaming him for their troubles. As a result, top GOP leaders are suggesting that candidates should try to distance themselves as much as possible from Bush. The WSJ points out that this likely means that more Republicans will be siding with Democrats in a few key pieces of legislation. The WP fronts the panic and says that House Republicans “turned on themselves yesterday” as several said the real problem is that the GOP leadership is out of touch with the changing political climate. In an attempt to “re-brand” their party, GOP leaders came out with a new slogan: “The Change You Deserve.” But the fact that it so closely resembles Barack Obama’s famous “Change We Can Believe In,” not to mention that it’s also the slogan for an antidepressant, meant that Democrats were able to spend the day making easy jokes. The WP‘s Dana Milbank also has some fun with it and notes that the warning label for the antidepressant “states that patients should be watched to see if they are ‘becoming agitated, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, or restless.’ “