Free Markets, Free People

Spin this–White House tries to spin NY-9 loss

We really saw this trend start with Scott Browns Senate win in MA when he took the seat of Ted Kennedy after Kennedy passed away.  Many saw that election as the first repudiation of Obama and his agenda.  And, of course,  it took place in a very blue state.  The trend continued with the 2010 election when the GOP took a number of seats in blue districts.  Yesterday the trend continued with upstart Republican Bob Turner took NY-9 in a special election to replace the disgraced Anthony Wiener.

But as usual, the White House is sure it’s a special case that has little to do with the President or the President’s popularity (or lack there of).

Obama won the district, which spans southern Brooklyn and Queens, by 11 percentage points in 2008. His approval rating there is now 33 percent.

The president’s top political aides concede that if his numbers had been “sturdier,” it might have had a slightly positive effect for Weprin. That means no Obama-voiced robocalls to most Democrats in the district—just text messages targeted at younger voters. More-popular Democrats, like Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Bill Clinton, are lending their voices to the get-out-the-vote effort.

Democratic strategists studying the district say Turner’s strength comes from independents and traditionally Democratic voters in Orthodox Jewish communities, a demographic displaying an enormous amount of interest in voting.

So, what about those cross-over “traditionally Democratic voters”?   This is a seat that has been held by Democrats for 88 years.

88 years, folks.  How is it that any GOP candidate has a chance in a district that handed Obama an 11 % win?   And what does it say about the state of the Democrats if Bill Clinton can’t even rally the troops?  And that’s the real problem:

In contrast, secular Democrats in the district, including secular Jews, display the sort of apathy associated with a demoralized political party. Weprin has been hemorrhaging support from all traditional Democratic constituencies.

So is that because of Weprin, Obama or both?

The Republican Jewish Committee and independent Democratic allies like former New York Mayor Ed Koch have called the race a referendum on President Obama’s policies in general, and specifically his orientation toward Israel.  They say a Turner victory would send a message that they don’t want to be the president’s rubber stamp. But Congress, controlled by Republicans, is no more popular in the district than Obama. And when polled, conservative Jews don’t list Israel among their top concerns. But of all voters who do say Israel is at the forefront of their minds, a mega-majority supports Turner.

Still, Obama always has had trouble with Orthodox Jews, and two Obama advisers said they understand that at least some of the frustration may be exercised in the form of a vote against the Democratic candidate. They concede that the election might bring to the fore how difficult it will be for Obama to win back the trust of independents—no matter what their faith. This New York contest would seem to have implications beyond Brooklyn and Queens.

Last two sentences are key.  Obama lost independents with his health care debacle, er, law.  With a supermajority against the bill, he and Congress rammed it through anyway.  And then Scott Brown won his election as the first indication of independent ire.  And so on.  NY-9 is an indicator of a serious problem for Democrats and the president.  Weprin may not have been the strongest candidate, but then for 88 years that’s really not mattered in NY-9.  It has, until now, reliably “rubber stamped” the Democrat in every election.

Why is now different? 

Mostly because of Obama – no matter how the White House tries to spin it.


Twitter: @McQandO

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24 Responses to Spin this–White House tries to spin NY-9 loss

  • “Why is now different?”
    I can see maybe where someone’s idea that Israel should return to the wonderful 1948 borders might be discovering what the local Jews in the district thought of that idea.    And whatever and whoever, if a rising tide lifts all boats, a falling tide sure doesn’t let them stay floating in the air.  Let the White House pretend to think what it wants, they’ve demonstrated for 3 years they’re delusional anyway.

    • Saw a quip about the NY 9th returning to its pre-67 borders…

    • We’re told by a source inside the Times that the paper is preparing a story arguing that Obama no longer finds joy in the political back-and-forth, has seemed increasingly listless to associates, and is generally exhibiting the litany of signs that late-night cable commercials will tell you add up to depression.

      • Oh, I’ll just bet he is.  For the first time in his adult life, he’s actually having to work.  He’s finding that it sucks.

        Obama no longer finds joy in the political back-and-forth

        When has he ever found “joy” in that?  His MO has always been to avoid anything like a fight, to outsource the work, to vote “present”, to make speeches DEMANDING that the other side completely cave to him (“don’t call my bluff”).  There is no sign of a man who likes to roll up his sleeves and do political battle or who has any instinct for compromise.  He is an autocrat stuck in a democracy, and it’s gotta be killing him.

  • And now it is time for Erb to enter the comment section with the latest round of Democratic Talking Points, In 5 . . 4 . . 3 . . 2 . .

    • He’s got his head stuffed under his pillow and he’s repeating his new mantra “I’m not listening, la la la la la la, I’m not listening”.

  • I expect Erp has his chin on his chest (…chest, HA!)…bosom…over this and the Nevada LOSS.
    Heh, heh, heh…
    Meanwhile, the Bad Luck Barry rope-a-dope effort on the jobs (HA!) bill seems to be backfiring badly.
    “Float like a butterfly…fall like a tree…”
    The public are AGAINST him.

  • Dear Baracky-

    On behalf of Jews around the world, please accept this hearty “F**K YOU” from NY-9.

    Thank you.

  • Democratic party leaders insisted the loss wasn’t a harbinger of things to come. “It’s a very difficult district for Democrats,” said Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, noting its Democratic margins there tend to be the second lowest of all the districts in New York City.

    So exactly why should I disbelieve Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz ?

    When a district that hasn’t given Democrats less than 60% for the past couple of decades goes Republican, every district is now a “very difficult district for Democrats.”

    Obama is about to unleash the greatest political paradigm shift in living memory.

  • ““It’s a very difficult district for Democrats,””

    Umm yeah after having a democrat in the seat for 88 years it is a very difficult district for democrats.  Lets see that means that about 95% of the country now fall under the heading of ““It’s a very difficult district for Democrats,””

    As we say in flyover country where peope cling to their religion and guns  “that dog dont hunt”.

    Hillary will be on the ticket next year.  It may be the top it may be the VP slot but she will be on it although I dont think she is going to settle for 2nd best especially with Obama’s numbers able to play handball on a street curb.  I expect Obama to have either medical issues or family issues just after the holidays and he wont be able to run again.

  • Well I will be voting for ABO next year.


    I wonder if I can sell bumper stickers and make a mint on that .

  • Daily Kos isn’t even trying to spin it. They had several election liveblog threads last night, but today nothing.

    In a story about Obama being underwater in California, though, commenters are mostly glum and many angry at or disappointed with Obama. They are a pretty emotional bunch, so I’m not reading too much into it except that dam of denial has broken at DK. Their thinking is muddled, but they sense the possibility of a big defeat next year.

    • Attack Watch, new Obama campaign site to ‘fight smears,’ becomes laughing stock

      See, when you start swirling around the toilet bowl, you are already on your way down.
      Talk about “spin”…!!!

      • Jebus, you’d think that the White House would have learned back during the ObamaCare debates that asking Americans to snitch on each other is a losing proposition: it smacks of desperation and more than a little of totalitarianism.  Yet, here they are doing it again.  For the WaPo to laugh at them… That’s gotta hurt.

        • I think we should all snitch on Erb for telling lies about Obama; you know, that he’s smart, savvy, a moderate, not a goose-stepping jackbooted…

    • Daily Kos – it’s like watching a tofu herd come to a river in their migratory path.  They mill around, aimlessly waiting for a shovel ready bridge to appear for them so they can cross.

  • “I get fed up with that kind of game plan, and we’ve been seeing it for too long. Too long,” Obama said. “We’re in a national emergency. We’ve been grappling with a crisis for three years, and instead of getting folks to rise up above partisanship in a spirit that says we’re all in this together, we got folks who are purposely dividing, purposely thinking just in terms of how does this play out just in terms of this election.”

    Read more:

    Oh.  My…

    The man has no sense of self-parody.  The Great Unraveling gains momentum…

    • Knock on wood, but I believe we are watching Obama implode.

      I think his last chance was the big speech before the joint session and he wasted that with the demand for another poorly thought-out stimulus and the constant pathetic refrain, “PASS THIS BILL NOW,” when there was no bill and only a vague promise that the stimulus would be fully paid for.

      • You saw that Louie Gohmert, Congressman from Texas, stole a march on Blamethrower Barry, right?  Gohmert took the President’s title for his non-existent bill…announce in the speech…and applied it to his own jobs bill…!!!!
        LOVE THAT…!!!

  • “If you love me, you’ll help me pass this bill.”


    As for the loss in NY — what I find utterly incredible is that even after the “shellacking” in 2010, many of these Democrats will fall on their swords doing the heavy lifting for the President. This guy has been saved from himself so often that he MUST think everyone loves him — he was protected by the press during the 2008 campaign and throughout, saved by Reid and Pelosi in the run-up to ObamaCare, rescued by Boehner and the Republicans during the debt debate in the spring, etc. If the day comes when people stop sacrificing themselves to save his bacon, the guy’s fall will be epic.