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Rep. Jane Harman aims to avoid anti-incumbent tide

Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) is taking no chances in advance of her June 8 primary where a liberal primary challenger is looking to make her the latest victim of an anti-establishment fever permeating the country.

A hard-hitting ad from Harman's campaign features a series of hot-button images of Osama bin Laden and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and suggests her opponent, Marcy Winograd, would decimate the U.S. defense department.

The ad quotes Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) as saying: "In Marcy Winograd's vision, Israel would cease to exist."

Democrats say the ad makes clear that Harman recognizes the current environment and its pitfalls, even though she beat Winograd by 24 points in 2006 and is a strong favorite this Tuesday.

"Congresswoman Harman and her campaign are smart at this point to not take anything for granted," California Democratic consultant Jim Ross said.

Harman adviser Harvey Englander explained that the ad is merely a response to Winograd's attacks. "How long do you stand there and get punched before you say, let's tell the truth?" Englander said. He added that he doesn't "think the race is close at all."

Winograd has been vastly outspent in the race -- nearly two-to-one, according to Federal Election Commission reports through May 19 -- but the recent fates of several House and Senate incumbents have forced a new analysis of her chances.

Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.) lost badly in his primary Tuesday, making him the second House incumbent to lose this spring; Sens. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Robert Bennett (R-Utah) have both been unseated in intraparty squabbles and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) could join them when she faces a runoff Tuesday.

Harman's district is solidly Democratic -- President Barack Obama won it by 30 points in 2008 -- but it is also very defense-oriented, with Boeing as its largest private employer.

"The challenge is to ensure those in defense industry to assure them that I'm not about cutting their jobs," Winograd said in an interview with the Fix.

While Harman's support for the Iraq war was Winograd's main issue in the 2006 campaign, this time around the two women, who are both Jewish, are doing battle over the killings by Israeli soldiers on a flotilla headed for Gaza on Monday.

Winograd has called for a one-state, or binational, solution to the ongoing conflict -- combining Israelis and Palestians into one state -- and she called the soldiers "murderers." Harman, a staunch ally of Israel, decried Winograd's response as "premature."

The issue could play a significant role in the district, which has an estimated 44,000 Jewish residents, according to the North American Jewish Databank.

Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, said Winograd's positions on Israel are way out of the Democratic mainstream.

"I'm unaware of anybody in Congress who supports a binational state," Forman said. "This is stuff that you'd only see in Europe."

Harman's campaign released a poll that showed her leading Winograd 58 percent to 17 percent. Winograd's campaign responded with an automated poll that showed the incumbent at just 43 percent, but it conspicuously released no numbers for Winograd. That suggests her name ID remains low, and it's unclear if she has the money she needs to overcome it.

Both women have family wealth, but they have been reticent to dip into it. Harman hasn't self-funded in her 2006 primary or this one, despite spending $17 million on her failed 1998 gubernatorial run.

Winograd told The Fix that she prefers to raise the money rather than donate it herself. (Who doesn't?). She dumped nearly $200,000 into her 2006 bid but hasn't self-funded at all this time.

California political analyst Allan Hoffenblum said Harman should survive in a district like hers barring something extraordinary.

"It's not a wine and cheese district," said Hoffenblum, who once ran the campaign of Harman's Republican opponent. "I think it would be a big upset if [Winograd] were to win the primary."

-- Aaron Blake

By The Fix  |  June 3, 2010; 12:21 PM ET
Categories:  House  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: "Worst Week in Washington": The Nominations
Next: VIDEO: Fix on Romanoff story (and what it means)

Comments

Unfortunately Chris Cillizza, whom I usually respect, misrepresents Marcy Winograd's position on Israel. He also includes quotes by critics of Winograd that are based on this misrepresentation. Winograd has stated often that she'd accept whatever middle east solution is fair and equitable and ACCEPTABLE TO BOTH Israelis and Palestinians. It appears what is out of the mainstream for Winograd's detractors (including Harman and Waxman) is her commitment to human rights for Palestinians that are equal to those of Israelis.

Israel wasn't an issue introduced by Winograd in this campaign. Israel was introduced by AIPAC loyalist Henry Waxman at the behest of fellow AIPAC loyalist Jane Harman. Winograd had based her campaign on issues relevant to California's 36th Congressional District, including jobs, housing, health care and education. Conversely, Harman, as evidenced by her 'bubble' ad, based her campaign on her obsession with Israel, terrorism and war - positions out of the mainstream for most in her district.

Here's an article that deconstructs Harman's 'bubble' ad and demonstrates how out of touch Harman is with the voters of CA-36:
"Harman Uses Bush/Cheney Fear Tactics on Winograd and Voters":
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-milazzo/harman-uses-bushcheney-fe_b_594754.html

Posted by: pimbalina | June 6, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Harman's district leans democratic, but mostly moderate Democrats, and there are a number of conservatives especially in Torrance, El Segundo, and Manhattan Beach. More importantly, the aerospace and defense industry has been a major employer dating back to the 1950s, from the early space program to the space telescope and GPS, and to many Winograd's "assurances" don't ring true. Harman's liberal stance on social issues combined with more centrist views on defense are a good match for many in her district. And she is one of the least blue-doggish of the Blue Dogs, having voted for HCR among other things.

Posted by: nancymp | June 4, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse


...And now for something more important-
From Tonight's NY Times

"At a news conference in Metairie, La., Adm. Thad W. Allen of the Coast Guard, who is commanding the federal response to the disaster, said the cut was “a significant step forward.” But he warned that because the cut was not as straight as desired, the cap might not fit snugly, increasing the possibility that water might enter along with the oil to form icelike crystals called hydrates.

Given the string of engineering problems so far — the shears were used, for example, because a diamond-laced wire saw had become dull, perhaps from objects pumped into the well as part of an earlier failed effort — the relief well plan has faced its share of skepticism. Doubters have pointed to past problems with relief wells, including one drilled during a blowout off southern Mexico 30 years ago that was unable to stop the gusher for three months after it was completed, and another off Australia last fall that did not hit its target until the fifth try."

*****
5th try at a relief well? Wannabe Robocop cuts NOT straight enough for a tight seal?

Obama seems more and more like the mayor of near future Detroit outsourcing his city's fate to evil OCP! Where is Robocop to save us (2 sailors in a deep sea sub armed with welding or non nuke incendiary devices)?

Posted by: thecannula | June 3, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

The country deserves an INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE


1) Whether the Obama people, through a Union Official, made an offer to Blago with the intent to get Valerie Jarrett the appointment to the US Senate.


2) The Sestak affair, whether the Obama perople, through another third party, Bill Clinton, made an offer to Sestak to illegally influence the PA primary.


3) The Romanoff affair - whether an offer was made there to influence that election.


IT APPEARS THAT THERE MAY BE A CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE HERE - REPEATEDLY BREAKING THE SAME LAWS.


THAT WOULD MAKE OBAMA GUILT OF RACKETEERING.


ALL THESE CRIMES ARE IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES.


The American people need to clean house -


When MMS wasn't cleaned out properly, and oil rig safety was allowed to continue to be lax, look what happened to the Gulf of Mexico.


We have to clean house with Obama - NOW.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | June 3, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Are any of our Fix regulars Californians? With Jane Harman's ad in this post and Carly Fiorina's terrorism-versus-environment comment in a previous thread, I'm really wondering whether national security is a hot-button issue in California. I would think that at this point, most voters have other things on their minds and aren't apt to be drawn in by arguments that haven't worked reliably since 2004. But I'm on the other side of the country from California, so what do I know.

Anyway, "Winograd" is a terrible name. Harman can't have too much to worry about.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | June 3, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"The challenge is to ensure those in defense industry to assure them that I'm not about cutting their jobs," Winograd said in an interview with the Fix.

If it were my district, I would vote for the Candidate who can speak english.

Posted by: Honus | June 3, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, Bud Selig should reverse the call last night and give Galarraga a perfect game - plus the distinction of being the only man in history to get 28 outs in a 9 inning game.


Selig has other wrongs to right as well - like the home run records have to be vacated.

ALSO Selig should take away the two World Series wins from the Red Sox because their players were on steriods.


OUCH.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | June 3, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"A hard-hitting ad from Harman's campaign features a series of hot-button images of Osama bin Laden and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and suggests her opponent, Marcy Winograd, would decimate the U.S. defense department."

This is why Harman is becoming disliked by a lot of Dems -- this is straight out of the Rove/Castellanos playbook.

Posted by: drindl | June 3, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Is she anti-Superman 2?

Posted by: CBUS813 | June 3, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The country deserves an INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE


1) Whether the Obama people, through a Union Official, made an offer to Blago with the intent to get Valerie Jarrett the appointment to the US Senate.


2) The Sestak affair, whether the Obama perople, through another third party, Bill Clinton, made an offer to Sestak to illegally influence the PA primary.


3) The Romanoff affair - whether an offer was made there to influence that election.


IT APPEARS THAT THERE MAY BE A CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE HERE - REPEATEDLY BREAKING THE SAME LAWS.


THAT WOULD MAKE OBAMA GUILT OF RACKETEERING.


ALL THESE CRIMES ARE IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES.


The American people need to clean house -


When MMS wasn't cleaned out properly, and oil rig safety was allowed to continue to be lax, look what happened to the Gulf of Mexico.


We have to clean house with Obama - NOW.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | June 3, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

It isn't anti-incumbent anything, it's anti-Jane Harman personally. In a strongly democratic district, she's leans too corporate. But she is very well entrenched.

Posted by: drindl | June 3, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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