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Morning Fix: The toughest votes on health care

1. The House health care vote late Saturday night was a classic of the genre -- shouting, cheers, boos and a VERY narrow 220-215 passage. As always in close decisions in Congress, there were a few "yeas" (and "nays") cast that could complicate the political futures of those behind the votes. Looking at the 2010 midterm elections, the five toughest votes -- all Democrats -- for the bill: Reps. Tom Perriello (Va.), Gabby Giffords (Ariz.), Harry Mitchell (Ariz.), Mary Jo Kilroy (Ohio), and Vic Snyder (Ark.). Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carried four of the five seats and Kilroy's 15th district -- even though it went for President Obama by nine -- is seen by Republicans as one of their best pickup chances in the country thanks to the candidacy of state Sen. Steve Stivers. Honorable mentions: Reps. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio,), Joseph Cao (R-La.) and Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.).

2. The five toughest votes, politically, against the bill: Reps. Mike Castle (R-Del.), Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) and Dave Reichert (R-Wash.). Castle is seeking a Senate seat in 2010 in a state where President Obama won 62 percent of the vote in 2008. Lance and Paulsen were elected last November in districts carried narrowly by Obama while Reichert's district continues to move further and further from his party (a 15 point win for Obama in 2008) and Democrats continue to run well-funded challengers at him. As for Kissell, his "no" vote is close to inexplicable given the heavy black population in his district (28 percent) and the fact that the president carried it by five points last November.

3. Tom Davis, former Virginia congressman and past head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, offers seven lessons for the two parties in the wake of the 2009 election. The most interesting: 1) "Voter anger is directed against the political establishment, which happens to be dominated by Democrats. However, it would be a mistake to read this as a pro-Republican trend." 2) "The unemployment rate and events in Afghanistan will shape an electorate already predisposed to be more hostile to Democrats than in 2008." 3) "Unlike in 1994, few vulnerable Democratic seats are currently open heading into the mid-terms. In 1994, the GOP picked up over 20 seats from districts where incumbent Democrats retired." Read the whole thing -- especially if you are an over-exuberant Republican or a depressed Democrat.

4. A new poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for the Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California suggests there may an opening for Sen. Dianne Feinstein in next year's California governor's race. Two thirds of Democrats and unaffiliated voters polled said they need choices beyond state Attorney General Jerry Brown, the lone Democrat in the primary contest at the moment following San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's recent decision to leave the race. Just 32 percent said they were either "very" (16 percent) or "somewhat" satisfied with the idea of Brown as the nominee. Feinstein said late last week that she was continuing to mull the race -- a surprise to most political observers (including the Fix) who long ago assumed she has decided to stay in Washington in 2010. If Feinstein runs, she is the clear favorite in the primary and in the general election. (Sidenote: The poll showed former eBay CEO Meg Whitman leading the GOP governors field with 35 percemt followed by former Rep. Tom Campbell at 27 percent and state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner at 10 percent.)

5. In a move sure to stoke the "Republican civil war" narrative, businessman and 1996 GOP gubernatorial nominee Ovide Lamontagne will announce his candidacy for the Senate today in New Hampshire. Lamontagne will position himself as an outsider running to the ideological right of former state attorney general Kelly Ayotte who has won the backing of many national Republicans already in the race. Lamontagne is hoping the dynamic of the 2010 primary is similar to that of 1996 when he ousted establishment pick Bill Zeliff (R) only to lose in the general election to Jeanne Shaheen (D). Ayotte now has two primary opponents -- wealthy businessman Bill Binnie (R) announced last week -- and several others including Republican National Committeeman Sean Mahoney still considering bids. Rep. Paul Hodes is the lone Democrat in the race to replace retiring Sen. Judd Gregg (R).

6. Fifty years in politics is, quite literally, an eternity. Don't believe us? Check out how much the national electorate has shifted from the presidential election of 1960 to last November's contests in a terrific new map produced by the tech wizards at the Post. Need a shocker? Compare the map that elected Jimmy Carter president in 1976 -- a solidly Democratic south counterbalanced by a solidly Republican west coast -- and the one that elected Barack Obama in 2008 -- the northeast and west coast for Obama, the plains and south for Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). The most dangerous trends for Republicans: their continued inability to keep a foothold in the northeast -- with the loss in New York's 23rd district last week, there are only two Republican House members in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and New York COMBINED -- and their recent retreat in the plains.

7. Senate Democrats will know this week whether they have succeeded in filling their last major recruiting hole when Rep. Bobby Etheridge (D-N.C.) announces whether or not he will take on Sen. Richard Burr (R) in 2010. Democrats have long believed that Burr is vulnerable but have watched while high-profile recruits like state Attorney General Roy Cooper decided against running. Etheridge, who held statewide office prior to his election to the House in the mid-1990s, has made no secret of his desire to be in the Senate but has repeatedly backed away from races. Democratic strategists believe Etheridge will change his tune this time and enter the contest although, if he doesn't, expect national party operatives to turn to attorney Cal Cunningham as their preferred nominee.

8. Tim Albrecht, who served as former governor Mitt Romney's Iowa press secretary during the 2008 presidential race, has signed on to oversee communications for former governor Terry Branstad's (R) attempt to reclaim his old office in the Hawkeye State. Albrecht has deep roots in Iowa, having handled press for then Iowa state House Speaker Chris Rants, who is also running for governor in 2010, and for the gubernatorial campaign of Steve Sukup in 2002. Albrecht is also the spokesperson for the Iowa-based American Future Fund, a conservative third party group that has run a series of ads designed to raise questions about the president's health care proposal. Also read: a less than favorable review from the Des Moines Register of Branstad's return to politics from this past weekend.

9. In a sign of how quickly Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's (R) unannounced bid for president in 2012 has gotten off the ground, check out the "behind the scenes" video of his trip to Iowa over the weekend. Our favorite moments: Pawlenty coming out to "Fortunate Son" by CCR and the cameo by Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson. And, our favorite line from Tpaw's speech at the Iowa Republican party event? "Thank you, Lord, for my red hot, smokin' wife." Not kidding.

10. You haven't voted yet in the first round of the Post's "America's Next Great Pundit" contest? You have until 3 p.m. today. (And, no you can't write the ole Fix in!)

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 9, 2009; 5:46 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The most important number in politics this weekend
Next: FL-Sen.: Club for Rubio, trouble for Crist


An in-depth analysis of the republican vote in the House last Saturday (and a prediction of what might Republican congressmen do if a merged House-Senate bill gets to a vote) can be found in the following blog:

(alas, in Spanish, but it is a chance to learn other languages!)

Posted by: pedrosorianomendiara | November 10, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I am confident however, that the triumverate of stooges --drivl, Loud and Dumb and NAMBLA, could do sufficient damage to the blog to essentially strip it of all intelligent content. Take a look at what they did last Friday and over the weekend.

Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

one poster can ruin your blog.

Posted by: drivl

you've been trying for years to no avail. Isn't that pretty much a reflection of your entire life?

I am afraid if anyone stands a chance of ruing this blog singelhandedly, it is most certainly NAMBLA.

Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Snowbama has done it again, killed the conversation with his intellectual and verbal flatulence in public.

Posted by: enough3 | November 9, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

that's al he lives for -- not kiding, post on this blog all day long is all he does. you should ignore him. eventaully he will drive everyone else away, because CC is apprently not bright enough to know that one poster can ruin your blog.

Posted by: drindl | November 9, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

enter the sewer rat. you can expect this blog to turn into a cruel version of facebook now. how was that movie of the week BTW?

Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@enough: naaah, just ignore. PgUp past.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 9, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

From HuffPo:

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza identified the "five toughest votes" in the House -- they were all cast by Democrats. Politico, likewise, noted on Monday that 12 Democratic lawmakers now find themselves with a political bulls-eye on their backs related to their vote.

"They're taking GOP talking points," complained one Democratic strategist. "Passing reform is extraordinarily popular. Just look at the polling."

Posted by: nodebris | November 9, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Snowbama has done it again, killed the conversation with his intellectual and verbal flatulence in public.

Posted by: enough3 | November 9, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

'Tear down this wall'
The words (and deeds) that brought down the Berlin Wall.

Meanwhile, in the annuls of liberalism, Present ident Obama searches the brush for his missing golf ball.

Pretty please Russia? with sugar on top? I'll be your best friend.

Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"I think the pundits are missing one really important factor in last week's election: Turnout."

The turnout in Virginia was the lowest for a governor's race in forty years.

But points like that get in the way of the "Republican Resurgence" meme the Post's editors are pushing (that phrase is prominently on the WaPo's home page again today).

Posted by: nodebris | November 9, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The general media reaction to the Ft. Hood massacre reminded me of an old joke. It’s about modern American liberals. One reason I feel secure in telling it is that I learned it from a liberal — from the commentator Mark Shields, who told it on television many years ago. Two liberals are walking down the road and they come to a person in the ditch. He has been beaten, and lies moaning, broken, bleeding. One liberal says to the other, “Quick, we have to find the people who did this: They need help.”

Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Why no one should be rooting for FreedomWorks/Club For Growth/Beck/Palin in the Republican civil war:

'And if Tea Party Republicans do win big next year, what has already happened in California could happen at the national level. In California, the G.O.P. has essentially shrunk down to a rump party with no interest in actually governing — but that rump remains big enough to prevent anyone else from dealing with the state’s fiscal crisis. If this happens to America as a whole, as it all too easily could, the country could become effectively ungovernable in the midst of an ongoing economic disaster.

The point is that the takeover of the Republican Party by the irrational right is no laughing matter. Something unprecedented is happening here — and it’s very bad for America.'

Posted by: drindl | November 9, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

When President Obama decided to convert George W. Bush's bailout of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler L.L.C. into effective government ownership, critics warned that this could lead to political intrusion into the management of automobile companies, with decisions being made for political instead of economic reasons. The companies would get less efficient. The government might try to preserve jobs or engage in political grandstanding rather than build sound companies that serve consumers - eventually.

But there was no "eventually" about it. Before he had even secured government control, Obama fired the chief executive officer of General Motors. He decided what the ownership structure of the companies should be. He insisted that the companies build "clean cars" rather than cars that consumers want to buy. And as soon as a deal was concluded, members of Congress started trying to block the closing of inefficient dealerships and to require the companies to buy their palladium in Montana, use unionized trucking companies, remove mercury from scrapped cars, and so on. Politics reared its ugly head in the first moments of government control.

Want your vaccine distributed? First contribute to the Reelect Obama campaign.

Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"but Reagan fixed the problem. "

Not until his 3rd year in office. Obama is still in his first. Leading indicators imply the economy is turning the corner; unemployment is likely to flatten & begin recovery in 2010. That is bad news for the unpatriotic types hoping the President will fail.


Posted by: bsimon1 | November 9, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Wow, drivl's meds seem to have run out. time for a trip back to the Pharm old girl.

what no traffic on the home blog to keep you occupied?

Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

TO: mark_in_austin @ 10:35 a.m. (and welcome to the white hats):

Your assessment is correct. My reporting and personal experience indicates that a secret security program involving multiple U.S. government agencies has deployed a microwave/laser radiation attack system that can precisely target ANY individual or physical target ANYWHERE, apparently via "scalar electromagnetics" -- a technology first advanced by Tesla that has the potential to produce a limitless amount of cheap, nearly free energy.

This technology apparently is being kept from peaceful applications because a cabal within our government apparently wants to reserve its use to covertly conduct what amounts to a social and political purge -- truly an American genocide. Naive elected public officials appear to have been kept in the dark, or perhaps they have been purposely misinformed. The literature is out there, but no one, certainly not mainstream journalism, has collated and reported on the microwave/laser attack system deployed against American CIVIILIANS -- including this reporter, and, I fear, our nation's highest political leaders. By the application of Pavlovian methods, this technology can actually influence behavior and decision-making.

Deposed Honduras President Manuel Zelaya is the first head of state to confirm that nations possess this technology and use it as weapon of torture and enslavement against those deemed to be political enemies, or those slandered as undesirables.

In my opinion, there is only one agency with direct knowledge of this attack system that has within its ranks agents and perhaps some officials who are troubled enough by the misapplication of this technology to actually do something about it. I believe that agency is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Just my personal opinion based on some empirical observations. Please read this: OR (if other agencies corrupt the link): RE: "GOV'T TORTURES ME WITH SILENT MICROWAVE WEAPONS..."

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 9, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Scriv, could the "... microwave and laser radiation directed energy weapons by a secret executive branch multi-agency coordinated action program..." covertly destroy Iran's nuke program? NK's? Give us the rest of the story!

Why are we not using our "...secret executive branch multi-agency coordinated action program..."
against Somali pirates and AQ in Pak? Is the failure to use our covert powers against the evil-doers the real scandal of the Cheney-Rummy era? Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 9, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Shakeup at the Washington Times:

"Late Late Update: Over at the Politico, Michael Calderone notes there's been "speculation that changes at the Times could be associated with last month's handover of power in the Unification Church, the paper's owner. The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who turns 90 in January, handed over power to his three sons."

"The Washington Times had a major shakeup in top management last night, with three executives leaving the company. TPM has also learned that Executive Editor John Solomon, hired in January 2008, may also be leaving the newspaper."

Wonder if the editorial direction will change at all, now that the Messiah has handed over his media empire to his three Sons?

Posted by: drindl | November 9, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

ATTENTION CONGRESS, TEAM OBAMA: Promise of Health Care Reform Presidency a Cruel Joke Due to Ongoing Bush Era Program Crimes


Thousands of unjustly targeted Americans are being damaged by the devastating physiological effects of being silently irradiated by microwave and laser radiation directed energy weapons by a secret executive branch multi-agency coordinated action program...

...the weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum, a silent "final solution" that may have the nation's political leadership in its ideological cross-hairs.

This technology is capable of altering moods, emotions, inducing fatigue, weakness, exhaustion, confusion, life-altering injury, disease and a slow-kill death.

And key elements of the federal bureaucracy -- chief among them the defense/security/intel establishment -- are proliferating these technologies by various modalities, reported to include terrestrial and satellite electromagnetic microwave/laser attack systems -- in one iteration, disguised as cell towers.

American citizens and families targeted by this covert torture matrix also are subject to financial sabotage that decimates their livelihoods and financial resources...

...and relentless "community stalking" -- harassment, surreptitious home entries and vandalism by government-enabled vigilantes affiliated with federally-funded community policing and anti-terrorism organizations.

Warrantless, covert placement of GPS tracking devices and misuse of cell phone technology to hunt down the unjustly targeted enables this grassroots terrorism.

But the Obama administration continues to allow these warrantless intrusions into the lives of unjustly targeted American families.

By its naivete -- its unquestioning rubber-stamp approval of the deployment of these destructive technologies and programs -- the Obama administration risks presiding over the destruction of democracy, the rule of law, and personal liberty.


BAN the use of microwave/laser directed energy weapons on U.S. citizens or any human being (including experimentation) as cruel and unusual punishment and a crime against humanity.

BAN the warrantless tracking of individuals with GPS devices, or via cell phones -- the electronic backbone of an American Gestapo now operating on YOUR watch. OR (if link is corrupted/disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 9, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

bsimon is exactly right here. The CW on this -- all the pundits wagging their heads in unison, like those spring-necked toys in cars, that all this is 'bad news for Democrats' re independents has no basis in reality. Corzine was wildly unpopular, Deeds ran a campaign so bad it verged on parody. Those are the only facts. Obama had nothing to do with it.

Further evidence of R civil war -- Huckabee, speaking recently:

But some attitudes don’t change. Huckabee met in the spring with Pat Toomey, then the president of the Wall Street-backed Club for Growth, which had attacked him during the 2008 campaign for raising taxes in Arkansas.

“It wasn’t very productive,” he said of the meeting. “I realized then that these guys are just what I thought they were — they’re pay for play, and they do it anonymously on behalf of people who don’t want to be known as the funders of these hit operations. I find that repulsive.”

“Some of the people who had excoriated me and really been very dismissive of me for views that I had taken, and labeled me anything from a populist to an ignoramus — the same people have been very defensive [of] and laudatory to Sarah Palin,” Huckabee noted, adding that he’d invited her to appear on his weekly Fox show but “could never get any contact.”

"Like, just for instance, Romney, who merits 15 entries in the index of Huckabee’s recent campaign memoir, now out in paperback. (“Romney, Mitt: disrespectful attitude of; ... flip-flopping on issues; ... Iowa concession, lack of; ... as left of center; ... negative ads.”)"

Posted by: drindl | November 9, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Silly snowbama, the unemployment rate isn't a record - it hasn't yet reached the levels of Reagan's first term.

Maybe Obama should release that fact. I am sure it will instill further confidence in his leadership.

"I'm not the worst in 50 years. "

but Reagan fixed the problem. Obimbo is making it worse.

Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Deeds & Corzine were not 'the right D'

Truer words...
the flip side of the same coin is the turnout number.

Democrats need to be able to inspire by action traction, they have control, they need to fix stuff or they are toast (Corzine is exhibit A).

Republicans on the other hand are in a bind. Their record is something they need to suppress. They better not try to inspire the fringe any more, but fanning the flames of an independent movement, that is a real challenge.

We may see low turnout for some time.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 9, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The toughest vote is yet to come.

The toughest vote will be when, if ever, Speaker Pelosi introduces legislation to implement the 500 billion dollars in so-called waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare.

I doubt that she will ever introduce this legislation and that it will ever pass.

The senior lobby, special interests and other lobbyists will prevent it from becoming law and therefore the American people will be facing another out of control benefit program!

Will Speaker Pelosi twist arms for it's passage? Not a chance in the world.

Posted by: mwhoke | November 9, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

jaxas writes
"I think the pundits are missing one really important factor in last week's election: Turnout."

Agreed. Though they have somewhat mentioned the related factor 'enthusiasm'. I think they're overweighting the influence of 'independents'. The ones that voted last week are the ones most likely to have formerly identified themselves as Republicans. That they're still calling themselves independants is a sign that they are not yet fully back in the GOP's camp. It could mean they're looking for a more conservative / club for growth party, or it could mean they would also vote for the right D, but that Deeds & Corzine were not 'the right D'.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 9, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

CC doesn't really give you the full picture of what went on at the vote. As one spectator put it --

"Reviewing Republican behavior during the Health Care Reform debate on Saturday, you would think an militant band of spoiled toddlers with Tourette’s had occupied the right half of the House. Or howler monkeys. If it was not the most embarrassing display of bad behavior in recent government history, it is only because of everything else Republicans did lately. When lying didn’t work (they want to euthanize granny!) they tried hyperbole (health insurance reform is LITERALLY THE SAME THING AS STALIN TIMES THE HOLOCAUST!). Then they tried lying again. Then lying plus hyperbole, stamping their feet and shouting.

Bill Kristol had it right in 1994. If Democrats effectively fix health care then Republicans are screwed. Any health care reform that does not suck even worse would effectively be written in stone as soon as it passed. Realigning their issue set to stay relevant could be quite awkward since Democrats already claimed most of the issues that Americans don’t hate. To stay alive Republicans would need to tack somewhere less crazy, but that would motivate Michelle Bachmann’s twenty-some percent of crazy people to go third party. Those two factors would effectively doom Republicans to share a shrinking back bench with the conservative fruitcake party and their pet schmuck Joe Lieberman.

So yeah, Republicans pulled out all the stops on this one. If they can find another stop before the Senate vote they’ll pull that one too. Pretty much the only institutional incentive not pushing them towards brinksmanship at this point is that desiccated raisin occupying space where most people would have a conscience."

Watch the tape. 'Howler monkeys' sums it up.

Posted by: drindl | November 9, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you missed the importance of novice Democratic Congressman Scott Murphy (NY-20) voting against the healthcare bill. He won last spring's special election by just over 700 votes against a weak GOP opponent in this heavily (70%) traditionally GOP district. It would not be surprising if his energetic supporters now are disappointed and let him flap in the wind during re-election campaigning next year rather than working non-stop to re-elect him. His statement yesterday explaining his votes against the bill were not very convincing or clear, and he is a cool and aloof personality in any event.

Posted by: enough3 | November 9, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"Liberal approach to problem solving

observe record unemployment"

Silly snowbama, the unemployment rate isn't a record - it hasn't yet reached the levels of Reagan's first term.


Posted by: bsimon1 | November 9, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Liberals desperate to spin defeat into victory, try to neglect or ignore base rates, a frequent bias.

New England and ny have virtually no repubs left. A dem victory there is rather meaningless.

Va was primed for a repub governor. Fine. But a swing of over 20 points is astounding

the notion that a repub could win in corrupt and machine politics nj is an enormous signal of leftist failure in governing. The tax and spend solutions to every problem is abysmal.

Even with overwhelming majorities, inexperinced bumbling liberals have utterly failed to govern. The voters get it now.

Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

This seat or that district is one thing.
At the national level, kicking the base to the curb will take a long time. The tail has quite a bit of dog wagging to do.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 9, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I think the pundits are missing one really important factor in last week's election: Turnout.

One always has to factor in who voted and who did not. I believe the media is making way too much of the independent vote. In this low turnout election, one thing is very clear: The democratic base stayed home. But little attention is paid to the percentage of independents who turned out and voted.

It is one thing to look at a small pool of numbers in making a case that the demos need to somehow energize their base. But, it is quite another to take the small percentage of the independent bloc of voters who voted in this election and make the broader sweeping pronluncement that the democrats and Obama have lost the independent vote.

The indepnedents who voted in Tuesday's election very likely mirrored the failure of the democratic base to turn out. It is far more likely that the independents who went for the republicans this time were probably the more conservative oriented independents in the first place.

Posted by: jaxas | November 9, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Norhing about Palin today?

Here, I'll help you, CC. Here she is in Wisconsin at her awesome rhetorical 'best':

"Politico reports that Friday’s speech was less than inspiring:

Palin had remarks prepared but frequently wandered off-script to make a point, offering audience members a casual “awesome” or “bogus” in discussing otherwise weighty topics.

As in: “It is so bogus that society is sending a message right now and has been for probably the last 40 years that a woman isn’t strong enough or smart enough to be able to pursue an education, a career and her rights and still let her baby live.”

Posted by: drindl | November 9, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

TPaw's "Red Hot Smokin' Wife" line is likely a reference to the Movie "Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby."

It was likely an effort to relate to the GOP "Base," I wouldn't read too much into it.

Posted by: VTDuffman | November 9, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Liberal approach to problem solving

observe record unemployment
watch Iran building nuke

elect inexperienced bumbler with no record of making decisions
watch him do nothing

problem solved???????

Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

That is, BB, exactly what they did. Those candidates played down their ideologies, and talked about bread and butter issues. McDonnell backpedaled from his radical views about women working and so forth -- although I think the people in VA will be disappointed when they find out he's not as moderate as he sold himself to be.

And Christie -- you would have thought was a D for all the love he gave Obama during the campaign, talking abuot how he wanted to work with hm and so forth. In any case, Rs got lucky there, because it would be hard to find another D gov as unpopular as corzine was -- except in NY. And hopefully, Cuomo will solve that problem for us.

Posted by: drindl | November 9, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Liberal strategy for victory:

begin the game 40 points ahead
stumble, bumble, fiddle, dither, annoy, threaten, promise
declare the resulting slimmest of victory as an upswell
ignore impending doom in the senate

note this only results in victory with a healthy point advantage. It also is expected to no longer be viable after nov of next year.

Being ahead at halftime after starting out ahead is as close to winning as this admin can get. They are total failures.

Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

As someone who grew up in Ethridge's district, I've never heard anyone refer to him as "Bobby". It's always been "Bob". Why is he always referred to here as Bobby?

Posted by: gtrain82 | November 9, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

One might argue that's exactly what Republicans did last week in Va. and NJ. I expect to hear a lot of "are you better off than you were 4 years ago?" in House and Senate races next year.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 9, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Yes, to be more specific, the good for America part will happen when a party that represents fiscal conservatives and ideally, the interests of a revitalized small business model for job no longer a safe harbor for bigots.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 9, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

So do I, shrink, because I think after all the primary challenges from the far right in the next election result in the same scenario as NY-23, the Republican party will realize that if they want to exist, they will have to start electing people who know how to govern, rather than spew increasingly loony ideological rants.

Posted by: drindl | November 9, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Krugman, today recognizing the fact we have discussed here for many weeks, the Republican leadership is now led by the kooks it used to exploit, says the party may be in free fall, but it's not funny and its very bad for America. Well I think it is funny and it will be good for America.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 9, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

" In a move sure to stoke the "Republican civil war" narrative, businessman and 1996 GOP gubernatorial nominee Ovide Lamontagne will announce his candidacy for the Senate today in New Hampshire. Lamontagne will position himself as an outsider running to the ideological right of former state attorney general Kelly Ayotte who has won the backing of many national Republicans already in the race. Lamontagne is hoping the dynamic of the 2010 primary is similar to that of 1996 when he ousted establishment pick Bill Zeliff (R) only to lose in the general election to Jeanne Shaheen (D"

He's hoping that he will win the primary and lose the general? Gotta love these loons. A party in free fall.

Posted by: drindl | November 9, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

"Thank you, Lord, for my red hot, smokin' wife."

Yuck, just yuck.

Posted by: drindl | November 9, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I heard alot of an interview wiht Davis on NPR and I think his cautionary analysis was pretty good. The kicker is that if he was running right now the right wing of the GOP would be gunning for him as a RINO. Which I think means that his sound advise will fall on deaf ears.

I am very interested to see how the NH election goes. The GOP in NH has a very strong libertarian tilt and they can have a huge impact on the primary if they come out in numbers. Also with just one democrat running independents will most likely vote in the GOP race, and the Indies in NH have a tendency to vote against the national party's wishes. Either way it looks good for Paul Hodes.

Pawlenty needs to quit making stupid comments about his wife. He's already said on the radio that he can't get his wife to have sex with him. I also didn't know that Pawlenty and his wife are members of a very far right evangelical church. I wonder if someone from either the Romney campaign or the DNC will be keeping the recording of sermons in their church the same way that Obama's minister's sermons were recorded.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 9, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Informative post, CC. Thanks.

Because the CA voters are demographically skewed "old", we must always know the demographics of any CA poll. Those polls have been all over the place in recent years.

Tom Davis was a fine Congressman, from most reports. I think he still has a good "ear", judging by the US N&WR link you posted.

Thanks again.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 9, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

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