It's one thing to read opinion polls indicating how fed up Americans are with Washington.
It's another to encounter the current distaste for the capital in person, as I've been doing while touring to promote "Pennsylvania Avenue: Profiles in Backroom Power," the new book I've written with Jerry Seib.
Book tours are mostly electronic these days, which means time in television and radio studios with the hosts and with their callers.
As Jerry and I have bounced from Washington to New York to Boston and back, it has become crystal clear a major political storm is brewing. "Change" is a nebulous rallying cry that by itself doesn't mean much in particular.
But it may be an effective one for Democrats nevertheless because of the level of unhappiness with the way things are.
The seemingly-inexplicable spike in oil prices is only making things worse, and more dangerous for a Republican Party holding the most visible target of all: the White House. The prospect of $5-per-gallon gas--or maybe much more--is enough to rattle all incumbents.
But it's most ominous for the GOP, whose political brand has grown so tarnished in the latter stages of the Bush administration.
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