Category Archives: Election 2010

>Pre-Election Mortem

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Watching this election cycle has been like watching a movie that’s really bad but you can’t manage to walk out of the theatre. The Tea Party is the stupid friend who is funny (think Zach Galifianakis), the Republicans are the guys who seem alright but keep getting everyone else into the dumb situations (Mike Myers in Wayne’s World), and the Democrats are supposed to be one of the main characters but you really have no idea what they’re doing there (Gene Hackman in Heartbreakers).

The Tea Party has managed to nominate people with no political experience, or for that matter any experience, and single handedly made what should have been strong races for Republicans and turned them into toss ups. Harry Reid was behind more then ten points in generic ballots (at which point a politicians tombstone is usually being built), but has been able to make Nevada a close race. But he can only thank his opponent Sharron Angle who made demoralizing comments toward Latinos. Alaska shouldn’t even have been a contest with the conservative Republican Lisa (spell my name) Murkowski, but I guess she wasn’t obnoxious enough for the Tea Party. So instead, the nomination goes to Joe Miller whose claim to fame is being a lumberjack. And then there’s Christine O’ Donnell. Running for Vice President Joseph Biden’s former seat, she lied about finishing college, her personal finances, and being a witch.

Since the Tea Party has become the main character the Republicans can’t get rid of them. They need them for the movie to go on and to win on Tuesday. Even with this apparent hijacking, the Republicans can’t say anything because they need the Tea Party. Unfortunately, most people don’t vote in the midterm election, and less in the primary where the people listed above became famous, which give these small groups more influence.

After passing two historic pieces of legislation, the Democrats aren’t able to come up with a strong message to tell voters. President Obama should be proud of what he’s accomplished in the past two years. But part of being President is also being Communicator In Chief. While the debates for health care and financial reform were taking place, he should have been out there talking to the people and saying what he wanted passed in this legislation. He knows he will be compared to other Presidents like FDR, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan. While on paper they’ve accomplished similar feats, Obama didn’t use the bully pulpit like the others did to win the political points he needs right now.

My prediction for Tuesday: Democrats lose 23 seats in the House and the Republicans are one short of taking the Senate. The script for this disaster will be spun in two ways. Republicans will say it is a referendum on President Obama and his agenda. Democrats will say there were seats we knew we were going to lose, while historically, new Presidents always lose seats in the midterm elections. Democrats will look like they’re giving excuses, and they are. I know I’ve said this before, but for a campaign that was so good at delivering a message and being clear as to what they wanted to accomplish, you almost wonder how they won just two years ago.

Not having a strong message explains the big difference between voter enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans. Liberals feel they worked so hard to elect a candidate they believed in and they still got the short end of the stick. But change has always been slow. With these types of movies there is usually a sequel or a spinoff, but it doesn’t necessarily means it is as bad. Maybe next time the Democrats can figure out what to do.

 

 

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Filed under Christine O' Donnell, Democrats, Election 2010, Lisa Murkowski, Sharron Angle, Tea Party

>The Three Rules

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What was Robert Gibbs thinking? It’s almost been two years since President Obama has taken office and his administration still hasn’t learned you never state the reality, the obvious, or the truth.

The basic rules of Washington is to make yourself look better then everyone else, distort the other guys message, and never take responsibility unless people like what you’re taking responsibility for. By admitting defeat in the coming election, Gibbs broke all those rules and managed to piss off the entire Democratic Party at the same time.

Give him some slack though, he’s lasted a lot longer then some of his predecessors and when you’re talking to the media every day you’re bound to screw up at one point or another. Of course the reality (and what any political consultant in the district will tell you) is that the Democrats are going to lose seats in Congress this coming election, it is only a question of how many.
However, I don’t believe it is as obvious or gloomy as Gibbs had stated it on Meet The Press. The problem with the Democrats messaging is that they have been on the defensive, always trying to explain what they are doing. This is especially dangerous when people are anxious and need help. But the fact is this Congress has done a lot of good. Between health care reform and the new Wall Street regulations they have accomplished a lot, and when people look back on it, they will be grateful this reforms were passed.

But now it’s time to get back on the offensive. Get a clear message and don’t be afraid to defend your vote.
A recent poll conducted by the moderate think tank Third Way showed how bringing former President Bush back into the picture, voters are much more willing to vote for the Democrat.

David Broder wasn’t so convinced. He thought the Republicans could just bring back Reagan since the same poll showed most people also wanted more tax cuts. But don’t forget, this Congress gave 95% of Americas a tax cut and Reagan raised taxes in his first term.

When the two parties debated these issues this past Sunday on Meet The Press, the Democrats were clearly back on the offensive and had the upper hand. So while Gibbs may have been telling what he thought to be the obvious truth, there’s still a lot of time before the next election becomes the reality.

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Filed under Congress, Election 2010, Meet The Press, President Obama, Robert Gibbs, Third Way