Campaign '06: The Paris Primary

  • Share
  • Read Later
• Is There Any Hope of Defeating Arnold?
Democrat Phil Angelides is way behind the California governor. Here are four keys to how he could (but probably won't) pull off a last-minute surprise

• A Texas-Size Race for Governor
Thanks to an unusually crowded field, Governor Rick Perry will probably win reelection - but he may not have much to celebrate

• A Republican in Trouble in Indiana
Incumbent John Hostettler has solid conservative credentials, and he voted against the Iraq war. A recipe for reelection? Think again

• A Fight Over Affirmative Action in Michigan
The man behind the California racial preference ban is back at it again, this time in Michigan, where his ballot initiative could prevail over a strong, organized opposition

• Courting Missouri's Moms
In one of three upper South statesthat Democrats need to win to take control of the Senate, the gender gap could make the difference

• Tom DeLay's Gift to the Democrats
The controversial former House leader thought he could help the G.O.P. by getting out of this year's race. But his departure has thrown his home district into election chaos -- and very likely into the Democrats' hands

• Fighting Dirty on the Net
Online political debate is not known for its subtlety--the blogosphere rewards the loudest voices and the brashest opinions...

• The GOP Gets Nervous in Tennessee
In the race for the Senate, Harold Ford wasn't supposed to have much appeal outside his home base of Memphis. But now that he is in a virtual dead heat with his Republican opponent, the race is getting down and dirty

• A Conservative Face-Off in Kentucky
Voters in this state's 4th congressional district have no problem with the values of Republican incumbent Geoff Davis. They have a problem with his party, and that's why his equally conservative Democratic challenger just may win

• Playing the Victim in Louisiana
Democrat William Jefferson is a target of a federal corruption investigation and not welcome in his own party. But with the backing of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, he may just win reelection

• The G.O.P.'s Firewall Strategy
With the Foley scandal increasing the likelihood of a Democratic win in the House, Republicans are turning their attention -- and money -- to the Senate

• No Politics is Local in Ohio
Republican incumbent Deborah Pryce faces an uphill battle in her bellwether midwestern district, a clear sign that this is a very different kind of midterm election

• Running from the GOP in New Jersey
In a race that may hold the key to control of the Senate, Republican challenger Tom Kean Jr. hopes to knock off a Democratic incumbent by keeping a distance from his own party

• Pork Trumps Scandal in West Virginia
Democrat Alan Mollohan was supposed to be one ethically challenged incumbent that Republicans could beat. But so far, voters don't seem to agree

• On the Attack in Illinois
The Incumbent governor and his Republican challenger compete to tar each other with the sins of the state's disgraced former chief executive

Blog Coverage

• Real Clear politics
News, Opinion and Commentary on the Political Issues of the Day

• White House Photo Blog
An intimate look at the administration through the eyes of TIME's press corps photographers

About 4,400 miles separate St. Louis and Paris — Paris, France, that is, not Paris, Tennessee — and that distance was matched by the reality gap over the telephone on Tuesday night. On one end, Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat challenging Republican Senator Jim Talent, was defending her campaign to a crowd of party faithful, who crowded around a speaker phone to quiz seven Democratic candidates running in tight races against Republican incumbents. The Missouri state auditor sighed down the line: "You have to be here to understand what it's like here."

It was hard to argue with that. From a Left Bank living room on a sumptuous Beaux Arts boulevard, you had to shut your eyes hard to picture the Ozarks. About 50 Democrats had squeezed into the Paris apartment for a fund-raising conference call organized by Democrats Abroad, joined by Democrats in Vienna, Strasbourg, London and Cambridge, England, in settings that no doubt were also jarringly different from St. Louis. In this audience, there was an obvious question — a "litmus test," as one Paris Democrat put it — for candidates: How would you have voted on last week's detainee bill, which allows for aggressive interrogation tactics to be used on terror suspects? "I probably would have voted yes," McCaskill said. Then, as the groans and jeers erupted from the European phone lines, she rushed to add: "I'm very uncomfortable about the lack of habeas corpus. But this was better than what the Bush Administration wanted." "Bulls---!" came a blunt retort from Paris.

In years past, candidates might not have bothered to make an international call to stump for money and votes from Americans across the world. Americans living abroad were not even permitted to vote in U.S. elections before the 1980s, and since then their ballots have been viewed by many of those living abroad as marginal to most races. Yet millions of Americans are living overseas these days — an estimated 50,000 in Paris alone — and the numbers are growing. This year some candidates have taken notice.

Even candidates whose campaigns are focused on local isues were eager to show off their international credentials on Tuesday night. "I lived in Japan for three years. I speak the language," said Daniel Seals, a 34-year-old African-American from Chicago (billed in advance of his call to the Paris crowd as possibly the next Barack Obama) who is trying to unseat Mark Kirk, the three-term Republican representative from Illinois' 10th Congressional District, in the city's tony North Shore suburbs. To the Americans in Europe, Seals was pitch-perfect, insisting that "Rumsfeld needs to go" and saying that it was time to overhaul energy policies, since "we are putting billions of tax dollars into supporting the oil companies."

  1. Previous
  2. 1
  3. 2