For several weeks, watching the way George W. Bush has handled himself since wrapping up the GOP nomination, we’ve been of the opinion that he would be a sure winner against Vice President Al Gore in November, but that the electorate would give the Democrats control of the House. When he picked Dick Cheney as his running mate, GWB showed better judgment than I had expected, which increases his chances of winning and of being able to coax the voters into giving him a Republican House and Senate. His acceptance speech in Philadelphia last night, which left no doubt that he would be going directly after the black and Hispanic vote -- the foundation of the Democratic coalition -- increases the chances he and Cheney could produce a unified Republican government for the first time since 1952. At this point, Democrats seem to be bracing for defeat, uncertain how to defend against this kind of assault from a GOP finally bent on being a national party -- a party in which any American could be comfortable.
It may be counting chickens before they are hatched, but there is already a secondary campaign underway on who will be Treasury Secretary in a Bush administration. With Colin Powell expected to be Secretary of State, Treasury is the other key post, the one setting direction of economic policy at home and abroad. We note in today’s WSJournal “Washington Wire” that Paine Webber CEO Donald Marron is being touted by “one Bush aide” as a potential Treasury Secretary. The WSJ’s Washington Bureau knows that Jack Kemp has been leading a campaign to draft Steve Forbes for the job, but did not mention that in its item about Marron. Turn to the editorial page, though, and you find Forbes getting a plug in the lead editorial about the campaign.