Since figuratively getting their heads handed to them during last November's election, Republican operatives have been trying to figure out how to get off the mat prior to the next big vote less than two years from now, thereby setting the stage for a real comeback in 2012. According to "Republicans Staking Early Claim in 2010 Senate Cycle," an article in the well-read political publication The Hill, numerous conservative strategists believe the best way to do so is to "lambaste Democrats in a much more aggressive fashion in the 2010 cycle" -- and, unsurprisingly, Colorado Republican Party chairman and legendary pitbull Dick Wadhams (pictured) is among those leading the charge. "Defining the terms of the debate early on is terribly critical," he tells reporter Reid Wilson, using as his example the decision to repeatedly flog Democratic senatorial candidate Mark Udall with the label "Boulder liberal." Of course, Udall went on to handily defeat Republican hopeful Bob Schaffer, but that's no indication that the approach is flawed. "The headwinds were just too strong and nothing cut through," Wadhams reasoned.
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In other words, negative ads will still work -- as long as they don't blow.