Back in February, I had meant to blog on Fred Tausch, a New Hampshire man who had donated substantial sums to the Obama campaign, but had launched an effort to stop that Democrat’s spendthrift “stimulus.” But, given the haste with which Democrats moved the spending plan through Congress, I did not have time to blog on it before the legislation passed.
Well, Tausch is back in the news again and there is some speculation he may run for New Hampshire’s open Senate seat next fall. In WSJ.com’s Political Diary (available by subscription), John Fund reports that he is staffing his S.T.E.W.A.R.D. (Stimulating The Economy Without Accumulating Record Debt) operation with veterans of Republican campaigns:
Erin Abell, STEWARD’s executive director, is a seasoned political hand who formerly worked for John McCain’s presidential campaign in the state. Two former aides of ex-Sen. John Sununu have signed aboard the Tausch efforts. Ditto a pair of veterans of last year’s Giuliani and Romney presidential campaigns.
STEWARD has been running radio and TV ads, and funding studies which “highlight the dangers of runaway federal spending.” With Tausch moving from Obama supporter to Administration critics, we see two things, first, that Republicans can win back votes they lost in recent years by returning to the fiscal principles which once defined the party and second, that Obama did so well last fall by tapping into independent voters’ frustration with a spendthrift GOP.
As the first point will come to the fore as the campaigns for ’09 and ’10 heat up, I wish now to focus on the second.
When we criticize the President for his liberal agenda, his supporters (when not bashing Bush) will remind us that the Democrat had won election last fall and therefore was entitled to enact his agenda. What they don’t tell you is the number of people like Tausch who took the Democratic candidate at his word that he would bring fiscal discipline to the our nation’s capital, given the Democrat’s repeated promise of a “net spending cut.” Tausch reminds us that many backed Obama precisely because of such promises.
That is, the Democrat won a convincing majority last fall not by focusing on the big-spending, large government agenda which has defined his first five months in office, but by appealing to voters like Fred Tausch and promising to be a responsible, a prudent steward of our nation’s finance.