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Fear, or loathing?

By Michael J. Smith on Thursday November 2, 2006 01:58 PM

The New York Times reports:
G.O.P. Ads Star Democratic Leader
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER LOS ANGELES, Nov. 1 - Representative Melissa Bean of Illinois, a Democrat, has a Republican opponent in next week's election, but he does not appear in the advertisement that skewers her. Instead, that role is being played by a fellow Democrat, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader.

Jim Marshall is paired with Ms. Pelosi in a commercial in Georgia.

A spot in Indiana again cast Ms. Pelosi in a pair, with John Conyers.

Judging by some of the political name-calling in the final days before the elections, Ms. Pelosi seems to be in the thick of campaigns for Congress from Illinois to Georgia and several places in between. She is the unwitting star of at least a half-dozen television spots - and countless radio spots, direct-mail campaigns and candidate debates -warning voters that if they choose their local Democrat for Congress, they are also casting a vote for Ms. Pelosi.

The problem with the tactic, Democrats and some Republican strategists say, is that many voters have no idea who Ms. Pelosi is. That can make the advertisements sound more desperate than menacing, or at the least, confounding.

"It's awful hard to make a boogeyman out of someone no one knows," said Ed Rollins, a Republican political consultant. "The reality is, no one is going to vote for a Republican congressman because they are afraid of Nancy Pelosi."

I think our Republican friends are onto something here. The only people who have any reason to fear Nancy Pelosi are the people who vote for her -- and for her party.

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