NY Times: Democrats Worried About Obama Factor


Alternate headline: NY Times, Democrats whine like 4 year olds over Republican groups daring to spend money against them. This article, which appears on page A1 of the New York edition is highlights three things, namely that Democrats are concerned about Obama’s falling poll numbers, that Conservative groups are outspending Democrats (the nerve!!!!!), and that Obama is a cheapskate and not helping Democrats

(NY Times) Democrats are becoming increasingly alarmed about their midterm election fortunes amid President Obama’s sinking approval ratings, a loss in a special House election in Florida last week, and millions of dollars spent by Republican-aligned groups attacking the new health law.

The combination has led to uncharacteristic criticism of Mr. Obama and bitter complaints that his vaunted political organization has done little to help the party’s vulnerable congressional candidates.

You have Scott Brown forming an exploratory committee to unseat Jeane Shaheen in New Hampshire, and the Times causally mentions the $600k pledged by Crossroads USA.

Interviews with more than two dozen Democratic members of Congress, state party officials and strategists revealed a new urgency about the need to address the party’s prospects. One Democratic lawmaker, who asked not to be identified, said Mr. Obama was becoming “poisonous” to the party’s candidates. At the same time, Democrats are pressing senior aides to Mr. Obama for help from the political network.

“I’m a prolific fund-raiser, but I can’t compete with somebody who has got 50-some-odd billion dollars,” said Representative Joe Garcia of Florida, a vulnerable first-term member who has already faced more than $500,000 in negative TV ads from third-party conservative groups. “One hopes the cavalry is coming. One hopes the cavalry is coming.”

The gap is yawning. Outside Republican groups have spent about $40 million in this election cycle, compared with just $17 million by Democrats.

A couple points: Obama raises money for Obama. He wasn’t that generous during 2008, 2010, nor 2012 with all that cash. He rarely helps other Democrats monetarily. Second, it’s apparently Bad when Republicans raise and spend money or something, and the constant inclusion of the money totals are supposed to highlight that outside Republican groups are buying the elections, and this is Bad. Surprisingly, Citizens United is not mentioned, but hardcore liberals know this is what is meant. The article is a bit more subtle, as an attempt to sway independent and squishy Dem voters.

Oh, and where were the complaints when Team Obama blew off the promise to take public financing in 2008, and raised $750 million, vastly outdoing John McCain? Where were the complaints for the same in 2012? Where were the complaints over George Soros and other deep pocketed Dems spending hundreds of millions to defeat Bush, Republicans, and Conservative causes?

“The state of Democrats is very much tied to the state of the president, and in that regard, these are far from the best of times,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster.

In addition to problems with the health law, the White House is losing the support of Democrats on key appointments such as Mr. Obama’s nominee to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and his choice to be surgeon general. Also last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, broke with the administration with a scalding criticism of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Also consider that, while Team Obama is offering some stage time help from Obama, he hasn’t really helped them out elsewhere. He rarely talks with those in Congress. He constantly denigrates Congress, and while insiders may understand Obama means Republicans in Congress, the average American won’t understand the nuance, as they do not pay that much attention. Obama’s policies aren’t helping. His talking points generally only help with the hardcores who would vote D anyhow. And he’s not spending his own campaign cash on them.

Most Democrats up for re-election are trying to put some distance between themselves and the president, choosing surrogates such as Mr. Clinton to campaign for them, particularly in the South and parts of the West.

Asked whether Mr. Obama is a liability, Representative Ami Bera, Democrat of California, demurred. “We haven’t really focused much on the president,” he said. “We’re focused on Sacramento County and the folks that are there.”

Expect to hear quite a bit of that talking point. When Obama was strong it was all about taking care of the country, especially regarding health care/insurance. Now that the signature legislation has proven to be as bad as Conservatives said, Dems are focusing locally or something.

Just wait till spring training is over and the regular season gets into full swing, and these Obama avoiding locally focused Dems get smacked with Obamacare and voting lockstep with Obama.

Though, to be honest, there is always that little thought in the back of my mind wondering how Republicans will screw this up.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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