I remember Erskine Bowles from running campaign ads about him bowling

“President Obama is going to have to decide: Is he an Erskine Bowles Democrat or a Nancy Pelosi Democrat?” — Representative Paul Ryan

Wait.  Is Obama an Erskine Bowles Democrat?  When did “Erksine Bowles Democrat” become something anyone would want to aspire to?

Erskine Bowle’s record of electoral success:

Although initially reluctant to seek political office, Bowles reconsidered a run for the United States Senate after the September 11, 2001 attacks and, in October 2001, declared his candidacy for the Senate as a Democratic candidate. Seeking to fill the seat being vacated by Jesse Helms, Bowles secured the party’s nomination, but was defeated in the 2002 general election by Republican contender Elizabeth Dole.

In 2004, Bowles campaigned again for the Senate, seeking to fill the seat being vacated by fellow Democrat John Edwards. He faced Republican Richard Burr and Libertarian Tom Bailey in a hotly contested race. The final month of the Senate campaign saw both Bowles’s and Burr’s campaigns turn strongly negative, with Burr’s campaign attacking Bowles’s associations with the Clinton administration, while Bowles’s campaign attacked Burr on his support of trade legislation and special interest donations. Both campaigns spent a great deal of money, making it one of the most expensive statewide races in North Carolina history.

Despite an early lead in the polls after the primaries, as well as fellow Democrat Mike Easley running for a second term as governor at the top of the state party ticket, Bowles was defeated in the 2004 race as well. President Bush’s comfortable electoral victory in North Carolina likely helped Burr considerably. During his concession speech in Raleigh at the Democratic headquarters, he thanked his supporters but seemed to indicate that he would not run for office again.

Though Nancy Pelosi’s campaign success is based off of a favorable electorate, her model does show some electoral success… somewhere… whereas the Erskine Bowles model is 0 for 2.

I get where Paul Ryan is trying to stake some ground, I guess… but it begs the question … does Paul Ryan want to be a John Boehner Republican, or a Chester Arthur Republican?

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