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Analyzing the Democratic retirements

The Fix is collaborating with PBS's "Newshour" on a series of web videos detailing key developments in the runup to the 2010 midterm elections.

Below is the first installment focused on the retirement decisions of Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) as well as Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D).


By Chris Cillizza  |  January 6, 2010; 4:41 PM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party  
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Comments

Noacoler is BANNED poster Seattle Top / GoldAndTanzanite / Chris Fox. Our gracious host, Mr. Cillizza, has asked that we ignore or shame him for repeatedly coming back after being banned.

Posted by: JakeD | January 7, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Noacolor is right about that, Mark. I don't see the teabaggers being 'frustrated' so much as just hateful and violent.

And while Dems are sure not perfect at least they are not spouting complete insanity. For Republican LEADERS to say Obama is turning this country socialist, or marxist, or communist, or any of the other nutty crap they have been getting away with -- is the most irresponsible behavior I have ever even.

Except for the huge fuss [mainly by senators who were leaving their wives for younger women] over Monica Lewinsky, taking the nation's focus off of terrorism, with predictable results.

The Republican party has stopped giving a damn what happens to this country and most of us know it. Even a lot of Rpublicans.

Posted by: drindl | January 7, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"Democrap Socialist"

Parents, before you buy that old house for God's sake have the paint inspected for lead.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 7, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

"We can poke fun at the tea people, but only because their proposed solutions are so inadequate as to be an order of magnitude from dealing with the problems, and actually likely to compound them. We should not be laughing at their frustration, however."

Disagree.  They deserve to be laughed out the door before we shut it in their collective face.  The TEA people are protesting taxation .. when their taxes have dropped.  They are enraged at deficit spending .. while failing to grasp how much worse things would be without it.  They're enraged about a bunch of paranoid nonsense like Obama's provenance and assorted world government nonsense.  They're enraged at the possibility that environmentalism may play a role in national policy.

But these are just proxies; what they are really enraged about is that the president has dark skin.  I say laugh away, before we shun them.  Dunno if you read David Brooks a few days ago (will mentioning another paper here get me banned?), but every position favored by educated people is in national decline.  The uneducated are growing in political strength.  This is in no conceivable way a good thing.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 7, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

"Chris, please update the widget to drop CT from #1 on the Senate tab."

He usually updates these lines on Fridays. I find it hard to believe he isn't doing the Senate this week. There's just been so much moving and shaking.

I can't see CT staying in the top 10.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 7, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Whoa, I didn't know Chris C broke the Dodd retirement. Good job.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 7, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Chris, please update the widget to drop CT from #1 on the Senate tab.

Shrink, because of the current Senate rule on cloture either party has the ability to wage MAD when it is out of power. For instance, they all really do know that they must address the Medicare/Medicaid black holes, but unless the Senate changes its rules, neither party will, and America will fail.

Addressing the entitlement chasm has been a priority for a fictional responsible government for several years. Extending the estate tax has been a known priority to a fictional responsible government for nine years. We must understand that party politics and massive funded lobbying have left us bereft of responsible governance. Any qualitative advantage that the Ds might claim is little comfort to me as a citizen. There is good reason for all to lament. We can poke fun at the tea people, but only because their proposed solutions are so inadequate as to be an order of magnitude from dealing with the problems, and actually likely to compound them. We should not be laughing at their frustration, however.

I hasten to add that there are many good people in DC who are better suited to do the work of responsible government than most Americans. I count the Prez and Dick Lugar among them. But the system is stifling.
Aside from the Senate rules reform that Harkin and Lieberman proposed in the 90s, and some strengthening of ethics rules and campaign finance laws, none of which will be enough, I fear, I do not even have any constructive proposals. After DeLay we have had ever less ability to govern responsibly.

I like BHO's foreign policy - it is where the executive power resides, and it is more coherent than the domestic policy, which is mainly a creature of the dysfunctional legislature.

Sorry for the near rant - but as bad as the Rs will get [as you and ceflynline suggested] the only reason to vote D will be because Ds are not AS bad. They ARE bad enough.

Again, I am without a truly constructive solution here and am, in that sense, no better at protesting than a teaperson.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 6, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

"The Fix and 538 have had a very busy 36 hours."

And it has only just begun. But this time the Democrats are hardened off.

The Republicans declared this, they chose the MAD poison, they are drinking it, they are forcing the ugliness to come.

They have no offering apart from bad taste, political [trailer voice guy and big bass bump] Monster Smash Clash

Fox will carry live coverage of the mutually assured destruction.

America hangs in the balance.


Posted by: shrink2 | January 6, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

To hear Democrap Socialist Chris Dodd tell it, he's retiring because of personal reason..........(fill in the blank with the dozen or so that he's come up with), but that begs the question: Why, if any of those bulls*** reasons are true, did he spend $5 million bucks during the year 2009 to get re-elected there?

Posted by: armpeg | January 6, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse


'
Where's the Trilateral Commission meeting next month?

Posted by: broadwayjoe '

Didn't you get the memo? Contact me on the secret channel if you didn't...

Posted by: drindl | January 6, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

We actually hang out at the Brickskeller. There's a fake wall with a secret passage. We've got one of those funky touch screens like on CNN. Ah, I'm just joshing.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 6, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff - glad to see The Fix and PBS together.

Would be better with a smoking jacket and a calabash pipe, but I guess you can't have everything twice.

As always, CC's irrepressible grin - not snarky, just enthusiastic - when discussing politics makes listening all the more enjoyable.

Hope to see more.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | January 6, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

"...a lovely necklace to set off the Bush Albatross that is still a potential potent putrescence."

Alliterated allegations?
Angry antipathy?
Astonishing aspersions?

Maybe it is true though.
Bush/Cheney might still be stinking up the Republican Rising!

Bush had two diplomatic breakthroughs. Musharraf brought Pakistan in to crush Al Q. And Putin, well you just look into his eyes and you get a sense of his soul.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 6, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Convincing because it's true. Republicans need to lie about their intentions because the truth is unpalatable and ugly.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 6, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Itrs nice for the FarR's to share their dreams, but they still face one particularly difficult barrier, they have to find candidates who can run on something other than insuring that Obama, Reid, and Pelosi fail at legislation.

Sans positive message, they have to go negative, and I suspect that this will be one of THE nastiest elections ever, coast to coast. They have to over come quite a bit of legislative success, including a health care bill that will get recognized as a start, and better than the nothings that Republicans insist on insisting on.

When Democrats take up the standard of, "My opponent has only one goal, to make America Fail" They can be VERY convincing.

Wherever they can hang that motto around a republican's neck said republican has a lovely necklace to set off the Bush Albatross that is still a potential potent putrescence

Posted by: ceflynline | January 6, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

CC, it took forever to load, but hat was the best tv clip I've seen you in. Take good car of this gig -- you do much better as theearnest political nerd than you do as Millbank's side kick, and you got to deliver some carefully thought-out scenarios.
I think Ritter is catching the grief a lot of incumbent governors are experiencing -- they being blamed for the financial strife their states are in. It gives the party on the outside a very big target, whether the incumbent governor was diligent or foolish. It's a great year to be time-limited.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 6, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse


Q: 'I have a nagging feeling that a bunch of the posters here were working together - perhaps out of one group or out of one office.'
A: 'When one blogger spends all day saying nothing and saying it often everyone else *will* leave together. The conspiracy is that they can't take it anymore.'

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 6, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Chris: I really enjoyed this piece. The snippets on Hardball are fine, but you don't get nearly as much time as you did here to provide thorough analysis.

I agree that the momentum is obviously shifting away from the Democrats on a macro level even though the Republicans are losing more to retirements. The Democrats really need to do something soon to stem the tide (I don't think the tide can be turned at this point) or it's going to be really ugly come November.

Posted by: jrosco3 | January 6, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Where's the Trilateral Commission meeting next month?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 6, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I won't be voting for Blumenthal either, in fact, I will sit this one out because like Jake and 37th I don't live in Connecticut.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 6, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Shhh, I think 37& Zero is on to us.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 6, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe:

Thanks : )

Posted by: JakeD | January 6, 2010 7:23 PM
________
No prob. Just make sure you get the blue chip Post health benefits. And the Blow-der buyout package if things don't work out. Good luck.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 6, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

'I have a nagging feeling that a bunch of the posters here were working together - perhaps out of one group or out of one office.'

that is so totally weird and paranoid. posters come here to talk to each other -- well most of us do -- to connect, you know, like human beings, to communicate with each other. that some of us sometimes agree on stuff, well, it happens.

that you view that as some kind of conspiracy is beyond sad.

Posted by: drindl | January 6, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Matt36:

My wife and I won't be voting for Blumenthal ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 6, 2010 5:19 PM
_________

Jake, not to start anything, but it helps to have a street address to vote. Sorry. You, too, 37. Also you kinda need to be a Connecticut resident to vote in Connecticut. Darn these technical requirements. BTW, non-Rasmussen polls show BHO doin' just fine (see, e.g., Daily Kos-BHO at 56).

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 6, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe:

Thanks : )

Posted by: JakeD | January 6, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

@37, if you're so sure Blumenthal will lose in Connecticut, let's bet: If he wins, you go into exile for 1 year (like you did after the posts from "malis" shamed you from the blogosphere); if he loses, you are exiled for only one week.

34, 35, 36, __, 38, 39...

@Jake: your dream came true: complete ownership of a blog sponsored by a major newspaper. Congrats.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 6, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Judging from the state of the comment sections here I would say that it appears CC ticked off the wrong server techie.

But if there is any coordinating going on between posters it looks like the consetvatrolls all show up with the same stock phrases. Every day.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 6, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

The only reason Im saying that is - how do they leave all together at once - if they weren't working together to begin with? It's a good question.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 6, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else?

Posted by: JakeD | January 6, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

I have a nagging feeling that a bunch of the posters here were working together - perhaps out of one group or out of one office.


It appears that a many posters come and go together.


When you banned a few posters last week, it appeared that more than one person was offended - but it was more than offense, it was as if you had disrupted their strategy.


It was almost as if harassing other posters was central to their strategy.


I hope I'm wrong, but I keep on envisioning a room with several computers - with 5 - 10 people in there working shifts - and deciding on blackboards what they would be saying on the blogs.


I don't know if you want one group or office operating like that on the blogs.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 6, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

....says the guy who thinks SHP is gonna be the next President...

Posted by: Noacoler | January 6, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I sense there is a deeper situation developing here for the democrats - you have two really smart, experienced senior democrats who have seen Obama operating all year.


They have seen the Obama people and what kinds of decisions they make.

BOTH DORGAN AND DODD have said to themselves that they do not want to defend Obama and his policies all year long. They do not want to hit the campaign trail and back-up Obama and his wacky policies.

That is serious.

I wouldn't want to do it either.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 6, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Good one, 37thand0street. I think the point has been made that it is NOT a slam-dunk "Safe Dem seat" even with Dodd out.

Posted by: JakeD | January 6, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I just did an informal survey - 5 out of 7 people in Connecticut are confused between Sidney Blumenthal and Richard Blumenthal.


1 person thought Sidney Blumenthal was married to Richard Blumenthal.


1 person thought they were both the same person.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 6, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

The healthcare bill is a giant jobs program, perfectly germane to healing the economy.

You're trying to make up in bulk what you clearly can't manage in rhetorical quality. Repeating the same post forty times a day won't convince anyone of anything but they will learn to skip your posts.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 6, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

trep1


I'm sure there is a great deal of confusion - a pollster calls, interrupts whatever someone is doing - Blumenthal - Sidney Blumenthal - Richard Blumenthal


yea well you know,


But others may not.

Give Richard Blumenthal an opponent - lets get his record out there -

And see what happens - I would imagine that Obama's decision to ignore the economy and instead jam a health care bill down everyone's throats that the country CLEARLY has said it does not want might have something to do with the election this November.


Maybe not -

The smartest thing Obama can do right now is pull the health care bill

Obama is supposed to be smart, right ?


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 6, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

All tied up! Any other CT residents?

Posted by: JakeD | January 6, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

No, two. My wife will vote for him as well.

Posted by: trep1 | January 6, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

"So Blumenthal has high approval ratings, who cares?"

Voters and political opponents?  Is this a trick question?

Posted by: Noacoler | January 6, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, "even if JakeD and his wife do move here." Darn spell check.

Posted by: trep1 | January 6, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

OK, so that's one vote so far FOR Blumenthal, two votes against.

Posted by: JakeD | January 6, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

37, I am a CT resident and do not get confused about Blumenthal. He has been AG since 1990 and was, even before Dodd's free fall, the most popular politician in CT. The Dems will lose ND and a few other places, but CT will not be one of them. Even if JakeD and his wife to move here. Yes, I will be voting for Blumenthal.

Posted by: trep1 | January 6, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Sidney Blumenthal


Richard Blumenthal's numbers may be inflated because people, when caught off-guard by a pollster, may get the two confused.

It may have helped Richard Blumenthal over the years, but that is bound to come back to Earth.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 6, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Matt36


Don't be so sure of yourself - there is one thing taking a poll of a sitting Attorney General - and another taking a poll of a democrat in a tough year in which the voters know who the opponent is.

So Blumenthal has high approval ratings, who cares?


Wasn't there another Blumenthal out there - so he has name recognition from the other Blumenthal too.

Obama has decided that all democrats are expendable so he can go on his egotistical quest to "make history."


Many democrats have advised Obama otherwise.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 6, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

lan = you plan (darn Spellchecker ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 6, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

The latest poll has Bluementhal having a 78% approval rating.

I think Nate Silver moved Connecticut down from #2 or 3 down to like 17th most likely to switch parties.

ND has moved up to #1.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 6, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

What a sad and silly nacissist. Why should anyone care who some stranger is going to vote for? It might be too late for a reality check. Way too late.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 6, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Matt36:

I assume, if you are a CT resident, that lan to vote for Blumenthal?

Posted by: JakeD | January 6, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

'Dodd leaving the race moves this from a tossup to a Safe Dem seat. Period. Saying otherwise shows that you don't understand just how popular Blumenthal is in a deep-blue state.'

exactly.

Posted by: drindl | January 6, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Nobody cares who you vote for.

Posted by: drindl | January 6, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Matt36:

My wife and I won't be voting for Blumenthal ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 6, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

37thand0street, you are way off on Connecticut (well, and on a lot of things in your post, but I'll just stick with Connecticut for this comment).

Blumenthal is the most popular politician in Connecticut. Period. He starts the race with commanding leads over all Republican opponents (Public Policy Polling fortuitously happened to have a poll out on CT-SEN before the Dodd news broke). In fact, there are likely a number of Democrats who would have an easy race for Senate -- just not anyone named Dodd.

Dodd leaving the race moves this from a tossup to a Safe Dem seat. Period. Saying otherwise shows that you don't understand just how popular Blumenthal is in a deep-blue state.

Posted by: Matt36 | January 6, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Dorgan is a net loss for the democrats - however he probably would have lost anyway this year.


Dodd might be a net gain for the democrats - because he could have lost and now the democrats have a better chance.


However, Blumenthal might not set the state on fire, and he still might lose.


Obama has really, really hurt the democrats by taking his eye off of the economy and deciding to jam a health care bill down the nation's throat which the nation does not want.

Obama has completely misread whatever mandate he had last year. Pelosi practically said it.


Obama would be wise to stick to what he said during the campaign last year - however he has decided to LIE to the American people and do whatever he wants.

Obama still has a chance to change course - but at this point he might have to abandon the health care bill completely in order to do that.

Right now Obama and the democrats look completely out of touch with America.


Pretty simple.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 6, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

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