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NY-20: Democrat Closes with Palin, Limbaugh

In the closing hours of the special election in New York's 20th district, Democrat Scott Murphy is doing everything he can to nationalize the race around some of the more controversial figures in the Republican Party.

After using conservative talk-radio show host Rush Limbaugh in a direct mail piece last week, Murphy is out with another mailer that uses Limbaugh as well as Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former president George W. Bush to urge Democrats to turn out to vote tomorrow.

"Upstate New York can have a Congressman who works for them" reads the front of the mailer with an arrow pointing to pictures of Limbaugh, Palin and Bush "or one who works for you." Above a picture of Murphy is written: "Republicans want to stop President Obama. On Tuesday, you can help stop them."

Murphy's opponent -- state Assemblyman Jim Tedisco -- has worked to distance himself from the national Republican Party but that separation has been difficult to sell, as the National Republican Congressional Committee has spent more than $800,000 on ads in the contest.

In its endorsement of Murphy on Sunday, the Albany Times Union painted the race as a choice "between a candidate who would work with Mr. Obama to achieve his goals, and one who would continue Washington's partisan divide" and added:

"At a time when this nation desperately needs politicians in Washington to work together, the Republican Party, searching for a new identity, is defining itself largely by what it is against, namely, Mr. Obama and his policies. Its leaders line up behind radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who openly declares his hope that Mr. Obama's agenda fails."

As we have written before, the vacuum of leadership atop the Republican party carries considerable peril for any candidate running with an "R" after his or her name. Democrats, smartly, are elevating the profiles of the likes Bush, Palin and Limbaugh who are broadly disliked among their party's base and among many independents and GOPers have little (or nothing) with which to counter that attack.

If, as polling suggests, Murphy is headed to a come-from-behind victory tomorrow then you can expect to see much more of this sort of strategy out of Democrats in the two crucial 2009 gubernatorial races (in New Jersey and Virginia) and potentially in the 2010 midterms if Republicans still haven't settled on a leader for their party.

It's a dangerous time for the GOP; the sooner they can find a high-profile (and effective) spokesman (or woman), the better.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 30, 2009; 11:02 AM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: Palin's Political Problems Persist


Sarah will help out Conservatives with her PAC money.
Can't wait.

Posted by: MaryLouWelz | March 31, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"It's a dangerous time for the GOP; the sooner they can find a high-profile (and effective) spokesman (or woman), the better."

Thank God they've found Glenn Beck!

Posted by: nodebris | March 30, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

zuke, why on earth would you use the word "lib"?

Posted by: mattintx | March 30, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

@ sovine,

Paterson's numbers are low because he is cutting state spending and because of his handling of Caroline Kennedy. What would you have Tedisco say: 'Patterson has cut spending and hates Caroline Kennedy, as a Republican I won't cut spending and I love Caroline'?

Doesn't sound like a very good plan.

Posted by: Smooth_Jazz | March 30, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

so according to libs, after bush screwed up the entire world, and everyone knew it, all the promised hope and change dissappearing into thin air is just swell. In fact doubling down on every error is spectacular.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 30, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Rush is a radio talk show host and Palin is in Alaska.. Tedisco should tie Murphy to someone a little bit closer to home.. NY Governor Paterson.. His approvel ratings are in the Bush range right now...

Posted by: sovine08 | March 30, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Poor Zouk - Under GWB, N Korea lauched missles; we had an Old and New Europe; we complained about China's currency and curreny - but never commented on their collection of $1.9 trillion to T-bills;we were dissed by Iran; etc. So whats new? On one hand the GOP says Obama tries to do too many things; and then they complain that he hasn't turned the world around in 60-days when GWB has 8-years to screw it up (the GOP House had 10-years!. Its like complaing about the looming big deficits in the Federal budget but fogetting the $5 trillion that the GOP added during good economic times with their fiscal policies. Thats why the Reactionary right is in trouble - it never made sense then - and it sure doesn't now.

Posted by: Wahoobear | March 30, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"One GOP consultant who isn't working on Tedisco's camapign suggested this race could actually end up being a "perfect storm," leading to calls for the ouster of party leaders all the way up the food chain."

The 'perfect storm' metaphor is suffering from overuse, devaluing the threat that a true 'perfect storm' actually poses. Of course, those who read the book might recall that Mr Junger suggested rogue waves are far more common than generally thought. Surfers say waves come in sets of three. I wonder if thats true of rogue waves too? '06, '08, '10...

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 30, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"Even as Jim Tedisco plans an all-night sprint of campaigning leading up to tomorrow's 20th CD special election, Republicans are privately lowering expectations and rather gloomily suggesting that this could be the beginning of the end for them in New York. Again.

One GOP consultant who isn't working on Tedisco's camapign suggested this race could actually end up being a "perfect storm," leading to calls for the ouster of party leaders all the way up the food chain."


Posted by: drindl | March 30, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The die-hard conservatives who really think a majority of the country their shares their views is running the Republican Party. Look when 70% of the country detest Rush Limbaugh that makes the races too easy. This should have been a pickup for the Republicans but no… tying Rush Limbaugh around Tedisco’s neck will have him sleeping with the fishes.

Posted by: bradcpa | March 30, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

meanwhile Iran is laughing at obambis offer to surrender. N Korea prepares a missile attack. China raises it's lending rates. Afghanistan turns into a quagmire. East Europe giggles at messiahs naivite. France lectures us on capitalism. But Britain likes it's Dvds.

Lib foreign policy in action.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 30, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"Palin, Limbaugh" is the political equivalent of comedy gold.

"So what's the name of this act?

"Palin, Limbaugh!"

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | March 30, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Obimbo has no intention of running GM. Just like he is not running anything else. The gevernmemt run businesses will be run just like the others- AIG, Citi, Amtrak, Usps , etc

Wait until you see the forms required for the "free" government oil change.

Madoff should be assigned as head of social security. He is an expert in those methods.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 30, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"I'm surprised that Palin is still so unpopular among Democrats. Yeah, she's an incompetent clown, but she doesn't come close to evoking the visceral anger that Bush does. She's old news to me."

She's old news & hardly in the press. Her daughter's in the news more than she is now. She seems like a strange person to drag into the campaign. If she was involved with a fundraiser for Tedisco, it might be a fair tactic; based on what The Fix wrote, it seems like a stretch.

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 30, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that Palin is still so unpopular among Democrats. Yeah, she's an incompetent clown, but she doesn't come close to evoking the visceral anger that Bush does. She's old news to me.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 30, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

As you all will notice, kingofzouk is unemployed and has nothing to do all day but post here. Not surprising though, considering his lack of mental capacity.

Posted by: drindl | March 30, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Beleive me, I am hoping for change
In the market. But with Obimbo running things into the ground, the most I expect is that " bush did it".

For someone who was going to make the hard decisions and be ready on day one, it is indicitive there is still no dog for the girls.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 30, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Correction. The job Acorn stole for him to do. Good thing considering his success at all his other actual jobs. That clown will fit right into the lib hucksters.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 30, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

So if it's a month on the upside it's a bear rally but if it's down for a day then it's the Great Depression all over again? I realize that long-term thinking is lost on the right-wingers, but you don't know if it's a bear rally or a real rally until it's long over. The point (as is obvious to anyone who's perspective isn't cast in concrete) is that you can't have it both ways.

Posted by: drwohl | March 30, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you talk about how rightwingers are holding minnesotans hostage, not allowing them their constitutional right to representation?

Of course, we know that it's true that rightwingers have been trying to destroy the constitution for years, because what they long for is a dictatorship, another mussolini...

"The Minnesota election dispute has now lasted for almost five months, with the seat vacant for the last three of them -- but that might just be the beginning, with NRSC chairman John Cornyn telling the Politico that it could take "years" to resolve.

Cornyn, of course, is promising Republican resistance to any potential effort to seat Al Franken while Norm Coleman continues to challenge the result. And Cornyn is clear that this means Franken can't be certified the winner if Coleman takes it to the federal courts, not just at the state level. But Cornyn seems to be going into new territory when he says it could take "years" to fix this thing.

TPM asked DSCC communications director Eric Schultz for comment. "Republicans have made it clear they will hold this Senate seat hostage in order to pursue their political agenda - at the hefty expense of Minnesota having full representation in Congress," said Schultz. "We're all awaiting the three-judge panel to return its verdict, and once they do, we will have yet another confirmation that Al Franken won the election - and hopefully he can get to Washington to do the job he was elected to do."

Posted by: drindl | March 30, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it just like a lib with nothing of substance to offer to run on the platform of Not bush, palin or rush. I guess they haven't figured out that those boogies have nothing to do with congress. If they win the election, they arrive in DC with nothing but blame and excuses. Aka the lib agenda.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 30, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

This morning on Fox and Friends, host Brian Kilmeade admitted that, despite conservatives’ repeated claims to the contrary, United Auto Workers’ salaries are in line with workers’ salaries at foreign auto plants. The real problem, Kilmeade said, was health care costs. At first, he claimed that Japanese car companies would face those same “legacy costs” in 40 years, but then acknowledged Japan’s “nationalized health care” will spare them those costs.

Posted by: drindl | March 30, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Obama is busy packing for his trip. Unfortunately, since he will be expected to say something intelligent while there, a large team of teleprompters are required. The press will not fit on the plane. He never answers their questions anyway.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 30, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I guess you libs, in your complete ignorance of economics, have never heard of a bear rally. The market is down way over ten percent since boy blunder took over. Not counting today.

There were short rallies as a industry starved for direction were given hints in dribs and drabs. Only problem is when the full picture emerges, we all see the socialism of the libs and the punishment of success and the reward for failure. Of course libs love this. It helps them and harms repubs.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 30, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Zouk: So modern analysis consists of this: when the stock market has its best month in years, it's completely independent of the President, but when it has a bad day, Evil Lord Obama is the sole and proximate cause? God love Republicans!

Posted by: drwohl | March 30, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Obama speaks again

Market listens. Falls like a stone.

Obama intends to do to America what liberals and unions did to Detroit.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 30, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

And to counter the Dems, Teidscho brings out the Big Guns -- like Pat Boone.

'Pat Boone, a 50’s era teen heartthrob and squeaky-clean, conservative, “silent-majority” icon, is sending out robocalls on behalf of GOP congressional candidate Jim Tedisco.'

ROFLOL -- bring it on!

jeezus, there's kprobably about 15 left alive who even remember who this guy is...let alone, care.

Posted by: drindl | March 30, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

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