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May 23, 2005

Conservatives Make Filibuster Vote a 2008 Litmus Test

While the Senate's showdown over the filibuster has many important implications -- from the interpretation of civil rights laws to ultimate makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court -- it's weighing heavily on some key Republicans who also have an eye on the White House in 2008.

Writing in Roll Call, Mark Preston notes that for "individual Senators with presidential aspirations, such as Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE), this week will determine whether social conservatives embrace or shun their expected candidacies."

Along those lines, David Yepsen notes that a "powerful group" of Iowa Republicans sent a letter to "potential presidential candidates" last week telling them that "any GOP senator with presidential aspirations who doesn't support ending judicial filibusters will face consequences in the 2008 caucuses."

Meanwhile, since Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is not a favorite of social conservatives, it's no wonder the 2008 White House prospect is part of the "muddling middle" attempting to broker a deal to avert a crisis.


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