Magazine article The American Prospect

Targeting House Managers?

Magazine article The American Prospect

Targeting House Managers?

Article excerpt

Poor Jim Rogan. The two-term congressman from California, it seems, is the focus of a dastardly campaign by Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party to take down the heroic House impeachment managers of yore. "I have been targeted for defeat," Rogan wrote in a recent four-page, tersely syntacted National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) letter. "They're out for revenge. Not because of policy differences. But because we had the courage to do the right thing."

Rogan is indeed facing a stiff challenge from Democratic state senator Adam Schiff, who has been campaigning and fundraising energetically and is neck-and-neck with Rogan in district polls. But that's the exception. Even with the Republican Revolution in retreat--"compassionate conservatism" dominating the headlines, evil Tom DeLays replaced by cuddly Dennis Hasterts--most of the impeachment managers are likely to survive the 2000 elections. In fact, dire fundraising appeals aside, it is the NRCC's own estimation that nearly all the managers are well-funded and secure enough to turn back any challengers. "Impeachment," says the NRCC's Marit Babin, "is pretty much a nonissue."

Why? Simple: All the managers besides Rogan hail from some of the safest Republican districts in the country--a prime reason they were selected to be House managers in the first place. Four of them ran unopposed in 1998, and only two besides Rogan won with less than 63 percent of the vote. "Rogan is the only one" who is vulnerable, says Charlie Cook, editor of the Cook Political Report. …

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