Bob Dole, once the standard-bearer of the Republican Party, parlayed his political clout into personal wealth, and now he’s putting that wealth to work against a conservative Republican Senate candidate in a general election. Dole, now a lobbyist at Alston Bird, contributed $1,000 on Aug. 11 to the independent Senate campaign of Charlie Crist, who left the GOP in April.
Dole’s may be an extreme case — because he’s actually backing a non-Republican — but it epitomizes the fundamental split within the Republican Party.
The current GOP fault line is not exactly conservatives vs. moderates or new guard vs. old guard. For 2010, the rivalry is the Tea Party wing against the K Street wing. To tell which kind of Republican a candidate is, see how the Democrats attack him:
If he’s branded a shill for Wall Street, he’s from the K Street wing. If he’s labeled an extremist outside the mainstream, he’s a Tea Partier.