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In Connecticut, Democrats Raise the Titanic

For the last few weeks we've heard Republican strategists warning that their party is headed for losses of Titanic proportions on Nov. 7.

Now the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running an ad in Connecticut that casts the opposition party as the captains of the ill-fated ocean liner.

Running in the Hartford media market, which reaches both the 2nd and 5th congressional districts, the ad shows an image of an iceberg while a narrator details a series of alleged failures by Republicans in Congress.

"The high cost of health care, record oil company profits, family incomes falling, a war in Iraq that's gone from bad to worse," the narrator says. "Republicans in Congress like Rob Simmons and Nancy Johnson continue to back George Bush. Before they let the president steer us into an iceberg maybe we should think about a new direction."

Both Johnson and Simmons face tough reelection races this fall thanks to serious Democratic challengers and a national playing field that is tilted heavily against the GOP. Simmons's eastern Connecticut 2nd District was carried by the Democratic presidential nominee in 2000 and 2004 (54 percent of the vote both times); Johnson's northwestern Connecticut 5th District is slightly more friendly to Republicans, but President George W. Bush still failed to carry it in 2000 and 2004.

For much of the past year, Democrats have insisted that the 2006 midterms will be a nationalized election with voters focused more on the war in Iraq and the president's handling of it than any sort of local issues particular to a specific district. The "Titanic" ad rolls all of the Democrats' national messaging into one tight bundle: Iraq, health care, the huge profits of oil and gas companies and President Bush.

That message may not work in every state, but in Connecticut -- where voters long ago soured on the war in Iraq and President Bush more generally -- it seems a potent mix.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 24, 2006; 2:36 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: NRCC's Hail Mary in NY-24


As a CT native, I wouldn't be surprised to see 1 of the 3 of Shays, Simmons and Johnson lose on Nov. 7.

Now, if 2 of the 3 lose, we're talking major tidal wave for the U.S. House Dems.

3 out of 3? I'd be shocked. The only way that happens is if the bottom totally falls out for the GOP on Election Day. I just don't see Nancy Johnson losing to Chris Murphy this time around. Maybe in 2008 when CT goes blue for the presidency and turnout is higher.

Posted by: NoVA Dem | October 25, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

The stock market is important. Too bad it's in the toilet. The DOW JONES represents only 30 companies: big, staid companies that reflect secure money. That is all it represents. The S&P 500 represents 500 companies of varying size and business and it is down 20% since jan 2001. The nasdaq, which is an indices of the ENTIRE NASDAQ Company portfolio, is down 56% since Jan 2001. But Zouk is an 'expert' on the economy, so he knew this already, right?

However, by comparison, since bush has taken over Vanguards' foreign company stock portfolio is up 100%. Most big trading houses foreign stock portfolios have seen similar growth in the last 5 years and this administration continues to export our wealth and technology overseas. Again, Zouk, you claim to be an expert on the stock market, so no doubt you profited from this, too, right?

Posted by: Will | October 25, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

As an old Connecticut Yankee it is good to see the delegation go Democrat (This dates me but I worked in the CDSC when Bailey was the chief factotem). The good old days are back. Too bad Lieberman will get reelected- Lamont blew it by trying to be senatorial. Being a candidate gives you a lot more leeway and he didn't take advantage of his status. You act senatorial when you are elected - not before!

Posted by: rkclement | October 25, 2006 5:05 AM | Report abuse

WOW I like how this board has degerated to name calling, silly and baseless claims and meaningless information. Queen of ZOuk Drindl Bhoomes king of zouk All of you need to grow up and learn to play nice together. Partisanship isnt good for anyone-learn to make compromises like most adults. The same goes for most republicans and democrats.

Posted by: MOderates Unite | October 24, 2006 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Dems get money off welfare and food stamps?? hahaha I'm only in college while still working a full time job, and helping to re-organize Bandmasters Marching Show Inc. as its CMO. Forgot to add I'm in the military too. Of course, this would ruin bhoomes' and Zouk's view of Democrats wouldn't it??

Posted by: Rob Millette | October 24, 2006 10:22 PM | Report abuse

*ofzouk, bhoomes, Are you guys trying to add to the conversation? Stop the trash talk. It is a waste. Please.

Posted by: Adam Hammond | October 24, 2006 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah! Voting Democrat automatically shoots the stock market all to hell. I mean, just look at how bad it performed during the 8 years when Clinton was president!

Huh? What? You're saying that it did pretty darn well? Hmm. Well gee, what do I know? I only have an MBA.

I suppose the U.S. adding trillions of dollars in debt during the last six years while Republicans have controlled all branches of government, debt financed by emerging superpowers like China, can't have any longterm negative consequences to the stock market. I'm also sure all those surpluses that we achieved during the Clinton years would have hurt the stock market eventually.

Posted by: J. Crozier | October 24, 2006 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Conn. is a relatively cheap market and probably the best chance for a GOP pick-up. Seems like the RCN ought to spend Santorum's money there...backing Lieberman.

Strange year.

New on EWM, you won't believe it:
Bush Enters Rhetorical Rehab

Posted by: The Eyewitness Muse | October 24, 2006 5:02 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes, you bring down valid republican arguments. i know plenty of dems who work hard and make plenty more money than i do. please, keep the insults to a minimum so some of us republicans can still be taken seriously when debating the issues that matter. you give the rest of us an even worse rep.

Posted by: ant | October 24, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Sandwich - I suggest after you return from voting D that you light a cigar with that stock certificate. either method will cause harm to its value.

Or you could vote R and get more stock, perhaps start a biz and then employ one of your former Dem bloggers. the ideas they present aren't worth much and there are few who will pay for that swill.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 24, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

The stock market has a lot to do with our retirements, unless your just a total idiot or loser, you have some money invested in the market. Oh, that's right your dems, you get your money from welfare and your food from food stamps.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 24, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

There goes my Mom again, high on crack cocaine and selling her overweight body for loose change. When will my dad dump this loser.

Posted by: SonOfZouk | October 24, 2006 4:36 PM | Report abuse

and now limbaugh is coming out to say that michael j. fox is ACTING in the ad? come ON. how low can some people go?

Posted by: dc voter | October 24, 2006 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I own a small amount of stock, and I don't employ anyone.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | October 24, 2006 4:30 PM | Report abuse

McCaskill is only the winner who'd put us at 50-50. We need Ford or Webb to regain the majority.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | October 24, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

what does the stock market breaking records have to do with most of us?

Drindl, why open your mouth and display for the entire world that you are the moon-battiest of them all?

Were you aware that over 70% of Americans own stock in one form or another. and the other 30% are employed by these people?

We are finally climbing out of the clinton-gore recession and don't want to stop now.

Here's a conspiracy theory worthy of your best efforts - did you know that 401K statements for Oct. should arrive in the mail right around Nov. 6th. Coincidence?

Voting booth view for economically challenged Libs:

Do you want to continue to prosper?

Yes (R) No(D)

Do you want to remain safe and win the war?

Yes (R) No (D)

It is just that simple, even a Dem can understand.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 24, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The Michael J. Fox ad already started running in Missouri for Claire McCaskill. In fact, its first showing was during Game 1 of the World Series.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | October 24, 2006 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Drindl: "...his defense is he doesn't remember" which worked really well for Ronald Reagan in the Iran-Contra affair. Lesson: if you're old and you commit a crime just act forgetful and you'll get away with it. "I do not remember having sex with that woman" should have worked for Clinton except that no one would have believed him. And if the good people of Illinois believe Hastert's excuse they will have a gigantic reason not to vote for him: senility.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 24, 2006 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Titanic or no, Democrats will have no trouble in the next elections. People are tired of the Rebublicans. They won't even stick to their own issues, such as controlling spending. Iraq is too much like Vietnam just now, and we've all had it with the Republicans. That said, It won't take long for us to be tired of the Democrats either, so long as they do like the Republicans have done and govern from the extremes. We're hoping for better things. Now let's hope the Democrats have a working rudder, because this ship will take a long time to turn.

Posted by: Centrist | October 24, 2006 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Rob Simmons "saved" the base in his District and has integrity in spades. He ought to win reelection. He is a smart, attractive candidate and could go higher in the future.

Posted by: Gary Masters | October 24, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

"Well if President Bush and the Iraq war are so unpopular in Conn.,could somebody please explain to me why Joe Lieberman is ahead by double digits, no one supports our efforts in Iraq as much as Joe. The Plain fact is with gas dropping rapidly and the stock market setting new records everyday,nobody is going to risk putting the dems in charge."

Uh, FYI, Joe Lieberman is a Democrat. The Republican in that race is getting absolutely slaughtered. Maybe old Joe is just a DINO, but a DINO is still in the 'D' column.

Posted by: bsimon | October 24, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I will not say that Dems will take anything until I see it, because there's too much time for some awful dirty tricks to happen. I'm really uncomfortable about this huge military exercise that is scheduled to take place off the coast of Iran on October 31. Sounds like Gulf of Tonkin all over again...

I just want this to be over.

Posted by: drindl | October 24, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes, the fact of the matter with the big contested Senate races is that the GOP has yet to drive a stake into the heart of the Dem opponent. I think that their failure to do so at this late stage means that the Dem candidate will have all the breathing room as elections go blue nation-wide. Watch Claire McCaskill in MO to be the deciding election that tips the Senate to the Dems. I can't wait.

Posted by: F&B | October 24, 2006 3:29 PM | Report abuse

sergeant schultz, yes that's it. That's denny hastert to me from now on...

mrs. bhoomes must keep an ample supply of purple koolaid on hand...

what does the stock market breaking records have to do with most of us? all it does is point out how the wealthy are getting wealthier.. and that they pay far less taxes than the rest of us.and we already know gas to going to go up and up for winter, because the oil companies always screw us that way, why should this year be different? heating your house is going to be more expensive than ever before.

i'm sorry for you that you are so simple-minded and gullible, all you can do is repeat limbaugh talking points.

Posted by: drindl | October 24, 2006 3:27 PM | Report abuse

yo bhoomes - is that you, knaveofzouky? yeah, ya calls yerself a king but now we all know you aint nothin' more than a troll...a zouk is a zouk is a zouk is a bhoomes troll, no matter what ya wants to calls it.

"PS: We will buy your champaign bottles from you at half price if you wish. Its the least we can do for ya." - ROTFLMFAO...naw, you kin keep the bottles, dumbass, it's the champagne inside 'em that the "dems" are going to drink after they kick repubs' ass and then we're gonna throw 'em at all the stooopid repubs like you. :)

Posted by: queenofzouk | October 24, 2006 3:27 PM | Report abuse

question: "What was that guy's namme in Hogan's Heroes, the fat one who used to say, 'I know nothing'"

answer: seargant schultz; the locals just called him schultzy...

now i'm off to find where that sorry ass kingofzouk is - the prince(s)/princess(es) and I are still naked and hungry while he goes off spouting his blog-posts about that which he knows nothing...

Posted by: queenofzouk | October 24, 2006 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Well if President Bush and the Iraq war are so unpopular in Conn.,could somebody please explain to me why Joe Lieberman is ahead by double digits, no one supports our efforts in Iraq as much as Joe. The Plain fact is with gas dropping rapidly and the stock market setting new records everyday,nobody is going to risk putting the dems in charge. Kean is now polling head of the corrupt dem and so is Corker in Tenn. Its going to be another long night for dems, especially after the MSM set them up with false hopes. PS: We will buy your champaign bottles from you at half price if you wish. Its the least we can do for ya.

Posted by: bhoomes | October 24, 2006 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow. You don't often see the Democrats doing anything politically savvy, but that is an absolutely brilliant campaign advertisement.

1. It ties the two members of Congress that it mentions to President Bush, whose approval ratings in Conn. have to be terrible.

2. It contains vivid imagery that will stick out in voters' minds.

3. It is negative without being hugely distasteful and therefore risking a backlash. It is on the issues involved.

4. It covers all the areas where Republicans are unpopular at the moment.

Just a great ad. Wow.

Posted by: J. Crozier | October 24, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Really Judge! I just saw gas has hit $2.39 here -- which is the lowest it has gotten. Of course, I also saw that our friends the Saudi princes were going to cut production by a 1000 barrels a day the first week of November, so that should mean prices will be up again by --oh, November 8 or 9.

Hastert testified today, btw, his defense is he doesn't remember.

What was that guy's namme in Hogan's Heroes, the fat one who used to say, 'I know nothing'... Hastert even looks like him.

Posted by: drindl | October 24, 2006 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Michael J. Fox has a new ad out in support of Ben Cardin in Maryland. WaPo:

Opponents of embryonic stem cell research who heard about the ad said they found it sad.

"To me, this is a shame that they're exploiting someone like Michael J. Fox for something that the scientists say is not going to do anything," said Douglas Stiegler, executive director of Maryland's Family Protection Lobby.

Steele campaign spokesman Doug Heye agreed, saying he considered the ad "in extremely poor taste."

That would be the same Michael Steele who compared embryonic stem cell research to the holocaust when speaking before a Baltimore Jewish group. Yes he really should be lecturing us all on "poor taste."

Then over in the Wingnut Welfare pavilion, noted Duran Duran scholar KJ Lopez "thanks" Fox for a "misleading emotional message" and his "embryos or nothing position," calling the ads "blatantly dishonest" and saying:

Claire McCaskill, Ben Cardin, and anyone else who chooses to play on voters' emotions with these misleading ads... ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Meanwhile "Pills" Limbaugh -- who yesterday accused Fox of "acting" -- was on it again this morning, saying Fox is being "duped" by Democrats. Because, you know, only a sap would actively work in favor of finding a cure to a debilitating disease from which they suffer if it meant jeopardizing a big November happy for the GOP.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 24, 2006 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, wait, don't the good people of CT know that "Iraqi security forces could be largely self-sufficient within 12 to 18 months and said the Iraqi government is building a timetable for disarming militias, quieting insurgents and solving ongoing struggles for economic and political power?" Golly, it must be that darned liberal media not telling them the truth again! Everything will be blue sky and apple pie just in time for Our Fearless Leader to leave office. Why does the MSM hate America so much?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 24, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I think you meant the "ruling party" rather than "oppostion party"..of course, nothing wrong with the term if in less than 2 wks that is what they become in Congress.

Posted by: charles | October 24, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

It's only funny because it's true!! What an incredibly accurate analogy...

Posted by: cleverlyc | October 24, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

LOVE the titanic/iceberg visual. Sounds like a homerun for the DCCC. Esp in a nautical state like CT.

Posted by: F&B | October 24, 2006 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The ad should have said, 'Republicans in Congress like Rob Simmons and Nancy Johnson and Joe Lieberman continue to back George Bush. '

Of course, to be fair, you never know anymore what Joe stands for, because it changes every 5 minutes.

Posted by: drindl | October 24, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

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