Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, is the subject of a major story to be published Sunday in The New York Times Magazine.
The profile, called "A Case of the Blues," outlines Cole's "daunting" task this election year—trying to shore up a faltering Republican position in the U.S. House.
Some sample lines from reporter Benjamin Wallace-Wells' article:
• "[Cole] finds himself in the unlikely position of flying into what used to be considered safe conservative districts and trying to goad Republican businessmen and state senators into running for Congress."
•"It is difficult to watch Cole these days, or the Republican apparatus generally, and not be aware of the distancing from the Bush presidency that is taking place." (Ouch!)
•"The perversity of Cole's position is that the consummate party man has arrived at precisely the moment when the party is eroding beneath him. The problem is money."
There's more, of course, on the Times website. Or pick up a copy Sunday.
Our take: Tom Cole comes off in the story as an interesting and effective political operator. But don't look for Cole to single-handedly save the Republican Party this fall.