Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Ed Goeas and Celinda Lake ; Excerpts from a Monitor Breakfast on the Challenges Facing President George W. Bush

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Ed Goeas and Celinda Lake ; Excerpts from a Monitor Breakfast on the Challenges Facing President George W. Bush

Article excerpt

The guests at Tuesday's breakfast were Ed Goeas, president and CEO of the Tarrance Group, a polling and strategic research firm specializing in Republican campaigns and Celinda Lake, president of Lake Snell Perry & Associates, a national political research firm specializing in Democratic campaigns.

Here are excerpts from their remarks:

On how the public is responding to reports of alleged leaking of a CIA agent's name by the Bush administration:

Lake: "I am not sure is the honest answer...we [the Democrats] have far stronger arguments in terms of the $87 billion going to Iraq and the state of the economy. And I hope that we don't get too much off of that since I think those are in the long run more damaging in Peoria than this. The public probably is a little tentative about second guessing the administration on this kind of action."

Goeas: "I don't think it resonates. The Democrats are all kind of gravitating to that story because they think it is a big story and they are jumping on it. Is it as important as a more open discussion about the $87 billion [to rebuild Iraq]? I think not at all."

On public response to the Bush administration's call to spend $87 billion to rebuild Iraq:

Lake: "In terms of the $87 billion, there is a lot of public polling that shows 2/3 of Americans are against the money and there is a lot of intensity to the opposition ... that number just seared through the public consciousness. Every focus group, people volunteer that number. It sounds like a huge amount of money. It is also coming at a time when there are state budget crisis everywhere - all the states are now implementing cuts, or almost all of them. And so people are very aware of the tradeoffs here at home. And then I think it is coming at a time when people are getting increasingly restive with our involvement in Iraq. They want to come home. …

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