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  Without Bush 'Millstone,' Gop Can Mount Comeback, Leader SaysMarch 27, 1998 14:47 Despite crushing defeats in the last two elections, Senate Republicans have new "energy and enthusiasm" for winning back the majority, according to their leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

"President Bush had become extremely unpopular, and politically he was sort of a millstone around our necks in both '06 and '08," McConnell told reporters Friday. "We now have the opportunity to be on offense, offer our own ideas and we will win some."

Many of those ideas get presented as amendments to Democratic bills, and even though they're usually defeated, they can draw attention to GOP policy alternatives and force Democrats to take difficult votes.