Sankei reports that Mr. Koizumi met Friday with Koike lieutenants Eto Seishiro, Tanabe Tsutomu, and Ono Jiro — all solders in the Koizumi revolution — and told them that Ms. Koike has his vote, and that he thinks she can beat Ozawa Ichiro.
He may even believe the latter.
I do not think that Mr. Koizumi’s endorsement will be enough to swing the election.
First, I think that Mr. Aso’s band of eighty is more disciplined than Mr. Koizumi’s club of 83. I think the bulk of the LDP is embittered towards Mr. Koizumi and his legacy — for good reason, seeing as how Mr. Koizumi promised to destroy the LDP, which had worked so well at enriching many of its members, their constituents, and their supporters for so long — and has made no secret of a desire to stamp out the remnants of Mr. Koizumi’s legacy. Hence the decision to readmit the postal rebels. And the decision to withhold support for the reelection campaigns of the Koizumi children.
It is Mr. Aso who now best embodies the LDP desire for — in Mr. Ozawa’s favorite phrase — change so that things remain the same.
Of course Mr. Koizumi may yet have the last laugh.