Washington Post political reporter Jim VandeHei did the Post website's daily politics chat, and the most interesting thing to draw from it is that a) the Democrats want to build their strategy around the Abramoff scandal, and b) coincidentally or not, the Post reporter thinks Abramoff-gate is a "huge deal."
A questioner from New Madrid, Missouri asked:
My question, why are the Democrats not raising more of an outcry about the spying and the Abramoff scandal?Jim VandeHei: ...I think democrats are making a big deal out of both issues. There is some hesitation about taking Bush on politically over the spying program, but not on the policy. Democrats are basically building their election strategy on the Abramoff scandal.
As Brent Bozell has written, it seems bizarre to conservatives to think Democrats are going to run against a "culture of corruption" when they have been engaged in so much of it in recent history. It may be quite a challenge for Republicans to run against the Democrats on this when the reporters want to pretend to have massive attacks of amnesia on the Clintons, and so on back through the 1990s and 1980s. But the questions got weirder. Apparently, they're hoping a mob-style murder could really make for a big national GOP scandal:
Pittsburgh, Pa.: Hello and thank you for taking questions. The most fascinating aspect for me of the Abramoff scandal is the possible connection to the mob-style hit of SunCruz partner Gus Boulis. Your paper has done a great job reporting on it. Will we be hearing more about this as that trial unfolds? And will the Florida fraud charges against Abramoff and his partner Kidan in the SunCruz affair be a big deal on the national political scene?Jim VandeHei: like I wrote before, I think the entire scandal will be a huge deal over the next year and beyond.
It's interesting that VandeHei skipped past the mob-hit part of the question. For more on the Gus Boulis murder story, see Matthew Continetti in the Weekly Standard.