September 15th, 2010
03:04 PM ET

Borger: GOP created its own foe in Tea Party

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/09/15/borger.gop.fratricide/tzleft.gloria.borger.cnn.jpg caption="For Democrats' slogan, Borger suggests, 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend.'" width=300 height=169]
Gloria Borger
CNN Senior Political Analyst

Editor's note: Gloria Borger is a senior political analyst for CNN, appearing regularly on CNN's "The Situation Room," "AC360°," "John King, USA" and "State of the Union" as well as participating in special events coverage.

(CNN) - Once upon a time, back after Barack Obama's impressive 2008 presidential win, defeated and depressed Republicans had to do something to prove they still had a pulse. So leaders went out of their way - and it wasn't easy - to recruit stellar, well-known, GOP candidates for Senate: a governor in Charlie Crist of Florida, a secretary of state in Trey Grayson of Kentucky, a seasoned and popular congressman in Mike Castle of Delaware.

At the time, it seemed like a really good plan. And it got even better when President Obama and his jolly band of congressional Democrats shepherded through some controversial, and unpopular, legislation. Huge bills to reform health care and stimulate the economy played right into the GOP wheelhouse: too much government, too much spending.

So as the White House and Democrats chalked up success after success, their poll numbers sank. Independent voters ran away scared. Republican voters were just furious. And GOP congressional leaders basked in the brilliant simplicity and effectiveness of their newfound anti-government message. In fact, they honed it - and harped on it - at every opportunity. The storyline almost seemed too easy, just too good to be true.

As it turns out, it was.


Filed under: Gloria Borger • Opinion • Raw Politics • T1
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