This is where it's important to keep recent history in mind. Political puritanism has cost the GOP five seats in the last two election cycles, preferring what political handicapper Charlie Cook calls "exotic candidates" like Indiana's Richard Mourdock. He defeated incumbent Richard Lugar in the primary before self-immolating in the general election with his musings about God's intentions regarding rape-induced-pregnancies. So that movement is now eyeing Capito, in addition to potential tax apostates like South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Taking the lessons of Lugar and others to heart might account for Graham's virulence in his attacks on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice—a reputation as an anti-Obama terrier could be a good bulwark against a primary challenge.
- Read Mary Kate Cary: Obama Doesn't Have Leverage in Fiscal Cliff Negotiations
- Read Susan Milligan: The Susan Rice Fight Is Really About Making Obama Look Bad
- Read Peter Roff: Quinnipiac Poll on Norquist Tax Pledge Is Clearly Biased