Living la vida Republican

By KARA BASKIN  |  October 22, 2008

Van Wijngaarden mentions that he hopes for a job in finance — poor thing — so I ask him who he blames for the current Wall Street fiasco. “The root cause of the crisis lies in Democratic hands,” he says. “In the ’90s, Clinton insisted that poor people have the option to own a house. McCain was the one who wanted tighter regulations.”

But it mustn’t be easy to be a GOP defender when President Bush is still the party’s figurehead — a man who’s about as popular as Denise Richards’s reality show. The students concede that people are suffering from Bush fatigue. (Rothman tries to tell me that history might shed a better light on the president, much in the same way it did Ulysses S. Grant and Warren Harding. I bust him for using bad examples.)

Then of course there’s the Sarah Palin question. Van Wijngaarden concedes that Palin “isn’t the right candidate — it might be a smart choice to have picked a woman, but he should have picked someone more qualified.”

Boehm says Palin’s moose-in-the-headlights interviews are the result of being “overcoached,” and Rothman admits that Joe Biden has more experience. However, come November 4, are they confident that the GOP will win the day? You betcha.

Kara Baskin was a model of restraint while conducting these interviews. But don’t get the wrong idea. She can be reached at

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