Posts Tagged ‘midterm elections’
October 20th, 2010 at 2:24 am
Why the David McCulloughs of the Future Won’t be Writing Obama Books
Posted by Print

How is the most powerful man in the world spending the week prior to the midterm elections, while the economy is in turmoil and the public is revolting over expansive government programs that his administration initiated? According to CNN, he’ll be chatting with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.

It’s bad enough that Obama is a feckless president. But he’s an awful pedestrian one too.

June 21st, 2010 at 6:24 pm
This Was Obama Being Pragmatic?
Posted by Print

The press is abuzz today with rumors that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will be leaving his West Wing post in the near future, likely after the midterm elections. While the White House denies the allegations, the UK Telegraph lays out the following rationale:

It is well known in Washington that arguments have developed between pragmatic Mr Emanuel, a veteran in Congress where he was known for driving through compromises, and the idealistic inner circle who followed Mr Obama to the White House.

And it’s equally well known that Rahmbo has consistently lost. As Jonathan Alter relates in his new book “The Promise” (which, in its lust for Obama, would be better titled “The Gospel According to Jon”), Emanuel vigorously fought the Administration’s plan for a comprehensive transformation of health care in favor of smaller, more incremental victories. For all of his bravado, Emanuel — who, along with Chuck Schumer, engineered his party’s takeover of Congress by embracing moderate and conservative Democrats — is indeed a pragmatist, not a liberal True Believer unable to brook compromise.

This staff shakeup, should it happen, will put the White House on a dangerous trajectory. Emanuel’s incrementalist views have been steamrolled during most of his tenure in the administration. If, even in that position of weakened power, he can’t be accomodated in the halls of the West Wing, then we can expect the “idealists” to be running the show in the second half of Obama’s term. That means that in the aftermath of what will likely be at least a partial Republican takeover of Congress, Obama will be moving further and further towards liberal purity.

If you think the administration is out of touch now, wait until they banish even internal dissent.

April 8th, 2010 at 3:07 pm
New Gallup Poll: Run, Congressional Incumbents, Run…to the Nearest Rehab Center
Posted by Print

A new Gallup poll previews “Nightmare on Nancy’s Street” for the upcoming midterm elections.

Several excerpts: 

A record-low percentage of U.S. voters – 28% — say most members of Congress deserve to be re-elected.  The previous low was 29% in October 1992.”

Additionally, 65% of registered voters – the highest in Gallup history, and by far the highest in any recent midterm year – now say most members of Congress do not deserve re-election.”

Voters anti-incumbent mood is like nothing Gallup has seen in the past four midterm election cycles.  While that could have a negative impact on incumbents from both parties, the greater exposure of the Democrats by virtue of their majority status means greater risk for their candidates.”

So here’s our question:  If you are a Democrat Congressperp and voted for ObamaCare, Stimulus I through XXIII, Bailouts, Cap and Trade and the Kick Your Constituents’ Dog Bill, would you go near your doctor’s office…your bank…your service station…or even that proverbial Main Street, USA?

January 8th, 2010 at 2:30 am
State of the Senate 2010
Posted by Print

With this week’s announcements that Democratic senators Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota won’t be seeking reelection in the fall, all eyes have turned to the U.S. Senate. With Republicans needing to gain only one seat on net to eradicate the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority, the stakes are high. And with an anti-incumbent mood running hot nationally, we should expect to see some shakeups.

A few predictions:

First, it’s all but certain that Democrats will lose the filibuster-proof majority. In the current political atmosphere, 60 senators is pretty close to an absolute ceiling for either party and the Democrats are not performing anywhere near well enough to sustain it.

Second, the Republicans will not pick up the 11 net seats needed to regain control of the Senate. There are 19 Democratic seats up in 2010, but by my count 7 are entirely out of play (Connecticut now that Chris Dodd is retiring, Evan Bayh in Indiana, Barbara Mikulski in Maryland, Chuck Schumer in New York, Ron Wyden in Oregon, Patrick Leahy in Vermont, and Patty Murray in Washington). Despite a late surge from the Republican candidate, it also seems likely that Democrat Martha Coakley will win the special election in Massachusetts to succeed Ted Kennedy.

That leaves 11 possible pick-ups, but some of them are extremely remote prospects and the likelihood of all them coinciding is extremely low. The GOP’s strongest chances to swell its ranks are in North Dakota (where Governor John Hoeven is likely to become the next senator); Arkansas (where Blanche Lincoln’s dismal poll numbers show her being beat by any of four Republican challengers); Colorado (where appointed Senator Michael Bennet has proved to be a disappointment); and Nevada (where Harry Reid — elected as a moderate — seems likely to face a political death sentence for casting his lot with the likes of the DailyKos and

Republicans have fighting chances in several other races (Delaware, Illinois, and Pennsylvania) and a few other contests present outside pickup possibilities because of weakening incumbents or the possibility of viable challengers throwing their hats in the ring (California, Hawaii, New York, and Wisconsin).

However, the electoral math also has to factor in Republican losses. I don’t think there will be many. Some weak GOP incumbents in the south (David Vitter in Louisiana, Johnny Isakson in Georgia, Richard Burr in North Carolina) may have been in real danger under other circumstances, but the popular rage against Washington liberalism will probably insulate them this time around. Some of the seats the GOP is defending will be close, but the only one that currently looks to be on a trajectory for loss is Missouri, where Kit Bond is retiring and former House Minority Whip Roy Blunt — dogged by allegations of corruption — will likely be facing off against Robin Carnahan, the new face of a popular Democratic family in the Show-Me State. The upshot: look for Republican gains, but not enough to retake control of the chamber.

Finally, with Harry Reid’s loss looking more certain by the day (which would make him the second consecutive Democratic leader in the Senate to lose a popular election before losing his leadership position), 2011 should bring some interesting jockeying to head the Democratic Party in the Senate. Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois is nominally next in line for the position, but Durbin is gaffe-prone and perhaps identified too closely with President Obama’s Chicago machine. Expect a strong challenge from New York’s Chuck Schumer — and a more strategically sophisticated Democratic Party if he wins.