For reasons I don’t quite understand I found myself extremely tired yesterday and crashed at about 5 p.m. I woke up to two pieces of news spelling disaster for the Democratic Party and President Obama.
The first being NY-9. Both the Washington Post and the New York Times report that Bob Turner has won election in NY-9 the first time a republican has accomplished this feat since Woodrow Wilson was in the White House.
First the post:
With the outcome of his own reelection effort 14 difficult months away, President Obama suffered a sharp rebuke Tuesday when voters in New York elected a conservative Republican to represent a Democratic district that has not been in GOP hands since the 1920s.
And it wasn’t lost from lack of effort
National Democrats poured more than $500,000 into a last-ditch effort to save the seat and deployed former president Bill Clinton and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) to try to mobilize voters.
But in the end they could not overcome the power of the surfing Rabbi, at least that’s what the the democrats are claiming according to the NY Times
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said the district’s large concentration of Orthodox Jews made it unusual and meant the race had few national ramifications.
“In this district, there is a large number of people who went to the polls tonight who didn’t support the president to begin with and don’t support Democrats — and it’s nothing more than that,” she said in a telephone interview.
Yup people in this district oppose democrats so much that they rejected this very same GOP candidate last year by a 20 point margin and last elected a republican when the Ford Model T was still in production. The Post doesn’t mince words:
Democrats worry that the apparent drag that the president had on Weprin could be repeated and amplified nationwide during the 2012 elections.
“Make no mistake about it, the albatross around Weprin’s neck is named Obama, and Democrats who value honesty will tell you privately that the president’s 37 percent approval rating in the district is making it difficult for Weprin to win a race that in almost any other time would be a slam-dunk,” Stuart Rothenberg, an independent analyst and editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, wrote Tuesday.
It’s interesting to note the Times mentions Weprin’s vote to redefine marriage as a factor as well. I wonder if that will be lost on democrats in the state come 2012?
Meanwhile out west in a race Democrats once thought was winnable, the party came face to face with reality:
In Nevada’s 2nd District, the GOP used an aggressive strategy to lock it up for their candidate, former state Sen. Mark Amodei, as early as possible – to the point that national Democrats, once bullish on their chances there, never played in the contest and now deny they ever intended to.
Well of course they lost, this is a REPUBLICAN district, that means nothing. It’s not like the democrats didn’t poll well in their strongholds…
Even in Clark County, the liberal-leaning area in the district’s southeast corner that borders Las Vegas, Amodei, a former state lawmaker, took Marshall by 23 points.
Marshall did slightly better in Washoe County, which includes Reno, losing by only 10 points with 88 percent of votes there counted. That figure was a rare silver lining for Obama, who lost the second district but won Washoe in 2008 and will need to compete there in 2012 if he wants to take the crucial swing state.
Coming a few days after his big jobs speech and a day after his bill was submitted to congress it will be tough for the MSNBC/Morning Joe crowd, who live by the Times and Post, to spin these results as anything other than a rebuke to the president, particularly NY-9 where the same GOP candidate lost in 2010 by 20 points.
However the Democrats and the cocktail party left have not given up hope. They’ve found a person to reverse their 2012 fortunes in the form of…..Elizabeth Warren?
Consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren will formally launch her U.S. Senate candidacy in Massachusetts Wednesday morning, her campaign confirmed to POLITICO Tuesday.
Warren has been testing the waters with a listening tour over the last month and will release a video shot last week to kick start her bid against freshman Republican Sen. Scott Brown.
Liberal commentators at the Politico are ecstatic as are those at Talking Points memo Balloon Juice, the Huffington Post. Perhaps they might be less orgasmic if they read the first sentence in the Washington Post story concerning her candidacy: (emphasis mine)
Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor and former Obama administration official who became a hero to liberals with her sharp critique of the nation’s financial institutions, will announce Wednesday that she is challenging Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts for his seat in 2012.
A former Obama administration official is running against Scott Brown and democrats are optimistic? I can’t think of anything more politically tone-deaf the day after the most significant electoral rebuke to the president since the 2010 midterms.
And make no mistake, there is nothing more likely to get Tea Party activists who were unhappy with Scott Brown more fired up than nominating a former Obama administration official to oppose him.
On August 5th, 60 days after experts at the NYT scoffed at the GOP’s chances, this blog noted that candidate Weprin refused to publicly back president Obama’s reelection. I repeat the words I wrote then:
I don’t know what it tells you but I know what it tells me:
Ride right through them, they’re demoralized as hell!
Guys if you are nervous about 2012 it’s only because you haven’t been paying attention.
If I’m the GOP I would ask every democratic candidate on the state or federal level on Camera the following question:
“Do you support the re-election of President Obama and if so what will you do to aid his campaign?”
The answers should be priceless.
Update: Minor edits made, after all I wrote it at 3 a.m.
Update 2: Inserted a missing link
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg dismissed the suggestion the outcome has national implications.
No wonder Rinos kept talking him up as a presidential candidate