The Pledge To America ≠ The Contract With America

A week after House Republican leaders gathered at a lumber yard in Sterling to release their "Pledge to America," one of the party's prized recruits stopped at another business about 150 miles away to give his campaign pitch on taxes, regulation and the role of government.

Virginia state Sen. Robert Hurt hit on many of the themes of the pledge, but he didn't mention it by name or quote a single line from the 48-page document. He hadn't even looked at it.

"I have not sat down and read it," said Hurt, adding that he had glimpsed "summaries of it."

For all the fanfare and publicity that accompanied the release of the pledge, relatively few Republican candidates across the country appear to be adopting it as a guiding vision, much less incorporating it into their campaigns.

That stands in stark contrast to the document the pledge is most often compared to, the 1994 "Contract With America," which was announced by Republicans just before they captured control of Congress. In September of that year, more than 300 GOP candidates and lawmakers joined together on the steps of the Capitol to endorse the contract and its tenets. Republicans then made it the centerpiece of their national campaign, and candidates incorporated it into their messages.
Clearly, the Pledge is not garnering party support in the same way that the Contract did -- which is kind of silly since they are virtually the same document.