It doesn't happen often, so I'm going to enjoy this opportunity to cheer for Bob Novak:
The hard truth is that the NRSC's 2006 recruitment under Sen. Elizabeth Dole's chairmanship has mostly failed. The remote possibility of Rudy Giuliani running was the only conceivable threat to Clinton. Stabenow offered a more realistic target, but recruitment of a viable challenger fell short. That has been such a familiar pattern in this election cycle that once-high hopes for expanding the Republican Senate majority have given way to apprehension about losing seats.
...When Dole made a late run after the 2004 elections to overcome Sen. Norm Coleman's lead for the NRSC chairmanship, Coleman backers expressed doubt she would succeed at recruiting. But it would be unfair to make Dole the scapegoat. Recruiting responsibility is shared by the White House and the Republican National Committee. Beyond a recruiter's skills is widespread fear that 2006 will not be a good year to run as a Republican. That mind-set should worry strategists more than Hillary Clinton's ideological aberrations.
If the Democrats don't pick up seats in both houses in 2006, it'll be time to scrap the party's leadership and start afresh. Three cheers for Novak -- I hope he's right.