Ben Smith’s analysis in the May 31 New York Observer seems dead on. Republican moderates seems to be seizing the momentum from the more extreme wing of the party.
Whether you’re talking about McCain, Giuliani, Kean, Powell, Spector, Lugar or Schwarznegger, it seems there’s a real power shift going on. As something of an ideological chameleon, it will be interesting to see if Bush shifts as well. The current gesture to engage Europe and the U.N. might just be political expedience. On the other hand, it might represent the leading edge of a new strategy. Yesterday’s appointment of John Danforth as new U.N. ambassador certainly fits this scenario. By picking one of their own, the move (finally) buys Bush a few points with the Senate. Because of Danforth’s background and stature, it also seems to suggest more talking and less shooting.