3/14/2005

DeLay Watch, continued

The WaPo reports on its front page today:
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) has dismissed questions about his ethics as partisan attacks, but revelations last week about his overseas travel and ties to lobbyists under investigation have emboldened Democrats and provoked worry among Republicans.With some members increasingly concerned that DeLay had left himself vulnerable to attack, several Republican aides and lobbyists said for the first time that they are worried about whether he will survive and what the consequences could be for the party's image. "If death comes from a thousand cuts, Tom DeLay is into a couple hundred, and it's getting up there," said a Republican political consultant close to key lawmakers. "The situation is negatively fluid right now for the guy. You start hitting arteries, it only takes a couple." The consultant, who at times has been a DeLay ally, spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying he could not be candid otherwise. At least six Republicans expressed concern over the weekend about DeLay's situation. They said they do not think DeLay necessarily deserves the unwanted attention he is receiving. But they said that the volume of the revelations about his operation is becoming alarming and that they do not see how it will abate. Thomas E. Mann, senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, said that DeLay remains generally strong within his party and is an effective leader and operator, but that "signs are emerging that both the number and nature of charges being raised against him could put him in serious political peril."

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