With Republican presidential nominee John McCain denouncing the Bush administration and the president nowhere to be found in close Senate and House races, Rep. Peter King nonetheless is standing firmly behind President George W. Bush.
It's not a surprising position for the outspoken King, a self-described "blue-collar Republican" who represents Long Island's sole remaining GOP-controlled district. King, 64, faces Democrat Graham Long, 25, of Glen Cove, who is making his first run for elected office.
Graham Long has an impressive grasp of national issues. Passionate about energy, he would give space-race-type priority to the development of alternative fuel sources. Long is the face of Long Island's next generation of political leaders...
King, a Seaford Republican who is a fixture on cable news shows, prides himself on loyalty and having a penchant for provocation. He's still loyal to Bush in part, he says, because of the president's response to 9/11. The attacks killed dozens of people in King's district.
"I know his poll numbers are not very good in my district but history will be kind to President Bush, much as it has been to Harry Truman," King said. "Look, we have not been attacked in seven years and it's not because of luck."
Long said he hopes to ride what he expects to be a Democratic wave, and has adopted the hope-and-change message that underpins Obama's message.
"What exactly has been our experience with the current politicians in Washington? This good-old-boy, special interest-driven, cash-inundated system is getting us nowhere fast," Long said. "I'm running for Congress so that we can change that system."
It will be a tough haul against King, who has enormous financial advantages and a high profile on issues ranging from homeland security to immigration. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report classifies the seat as safely Republican. Let's Prove Them Wrong!