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Bill Ritter and the danger of incumbency

The rapid rise and fast fall of Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, who announced his retirement a few weeks back, is an instructive lesson about how quickly the political pendulum swings.

Ritter was elected to the state's top job in a landslide in 2006, crushing then Rep. Bob Beauprez (R) 57 percent to 40 percent -- an unheard of margin in a state as competitive as Colorado.

That big win made Ritter the toast of the national Democratic party and one of the new faces of the Democratic revival in the Mountain West.

In the intervening years, however, Ritter went from the toast to just plain toast as he proved to be less skilled at navigating the tricky political waters in office than he did when campaigning for the job. He angered the left when he vetoed a labor-backed bill that would have eased the ability of unions to strike and struggled to successfully pare back the state's budget
amid the economic crisis.

Friday Line

By the time Ritter turned toward his re-election this year, he found himself in a brutally anti-incumbent national political environment. Polling suggested a race between the governor and former Rep. Scott McInnis (R) amounted to a jump ball, and Ritter bowed out rather than trudge through what, undoubtedly, would have been the most grueling campaign of his life.

Ritter's experience is not unique. All over the country, governors elected in the good old days of 2006 have seen their political fortunes upended as the nation's economy has turned sour and voters have begun blaming politicians for it.

People like Iowa Gov. Chet Culver (D), Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) find themselves either even or behind their potential opponents in polling, a standing that has prompted retirement rumors.

And, what happened earlier this week in Massachusetts is sure to stoke fears of endangered governors about the coming election. Don't be surprised if a few decide to go out on their own terms rather than run the risk of losing in the fall.

The 15 governors races most likely to switch parties in November are below. As always the number one contest is the most likely to switch. And, as always, your comments are welcome in the comments section below.

To the Line!

Coming onto the Line: Ohio
Dropping off the Line: Florida

15. Colorado (Democratic-controlled): It's rare when an incumbent governor's retirement makes his party more likely to hold his seat. But, Ritter had alienated the Democratic base and angered Republicans and independents -- making him politically dead on arrival. While the race would have dropped off the Line entirely if Interior Secretary Ken Salazar had come back to the state to run, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper is an able politician who is a well known presence in the state's dominant media market. (Previous ranking: 12)

14. Ohio (D): The erosion of Strickland's numbers has happened at a rapid rate. One minute he was looking like a lock for re-election, the next he was in a dog fight with former Rep. John Kasich (R). Unemployment in the Buckeye State is at nearly 11 percent and it's clear voters are putting the blame on the incumbent. Kasich is not the world's most impressive candidate -- fellow former Rep. Rob Portman , who is running for Senate in Ohio, is the more dynamic of the two by far -- but he may not need to be in an anti-incumbent environment like this one. (Previous ranking: N/A)

13. Arizona (Republican-controlled): Gov. Jan Brewer's (R) has had a hard time of it since taking over for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in early 2009. Those struggles have raised questions about her ability to keep the seat in the Republican column this fall and spawned a crowded and contested primary that includes state Treasurer Dean Martin. If Brewer survives, this race will move up the Line as she would start a general election as an underdog against state Attorney General Terry Goddard. (Previous ranking: 11)

12. California (R): Former Rep. Tom Campbell's (R) decision to switch from the governor's race to the Senate contest appears to have installed former eBay CEO Meg Whitman as the clear favorite for the GOP gubernatorial nod. A new Field Poll shows Whitman leading state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner by a 45 percent to 17 percent margin in the Republican primary. And, Whitman's continued commitment to spending gobs of her own money on the race -- she donated $20 million more earlier this week -- suggests it will be hard for Poizner to make up ground. Democrats are ambivalent about whether it's a good or a bad thing that state Attorney General Jerry Brown is going to be their nominee. (Previous ranking: 10)

11. Pennsylvania (D): Rep. Jim Gerlach's (R) decision to drop out of the governor's race to seek re-election to his House seat makes state Attorney General Tom Corbett the overwhelming favorite for the GOP nod. Meanwhile, Democrats continue to muddle through a crowded primary between a handful of little-known candidates. Add to that mix the collapse of the Rust Belt economy and the historic trend of the two parties trading the governor's job back and forth every eight years since time immemoriam and this is looks more and more like a Republican pickup. (Previous ranking: 14)

10. Minnesota (R): The surprise announcement earlier this week by former Sen. Norm Coleman (R) that he would not run for governor this fall takes away Republicans' best chance at winning in this Democratic-trending state. Without Coleman in the contest, both parties will play host to crowded primaries among unknown candidates. Given the demographics of Minnesota, an unknown Democrat has to be favored against an unknown Republican this fall. (Previous ranking: 13)

9. Iowa (D): The official entrance of former Gov. Terry Branstad (R) into the race earlier this week spells big trouble for Culver. Yes, Branstad faces a primary fight from, among other, 2006 lieutenant governor nominee Bob Vander Plaats. And, yes, Branstad has been off the campaign trail for quite some time and could well struggle to work out the kinks. Still, polling suggests he has a huge lead over Culver, a major problem for the incumbent. (Previous ranking: 9)

8. Connecticut (R): Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz's stunning decision to drop out of a race in which she was the frontrunner has created some turmoil on the Democratic side. A new Quinnipiac poll shows 2006 Senate nominee Ned Lamont is the early frontrunner for the party's nod but Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy ran an extremely good primary campaign four years ago and his allies are confident they can overcome Lamont's deep pockets and strength among the liberal left. The state's Democratic lean makes it tough for either former Ambassador Tom Foley or Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele who are competing in the Republican primary. (Previous ranking: 8)

7. Vermont (R): Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie (R) recently launched a statewide jobs tour, a savvy move that suggests he grasps the economic anxiety of voters. And, Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts proves that a skilled Republican candidate can win anywhere -- even in the Democratic confines of the northeast. Still, Democrats have several solid candidates running and the state favors their side. (Previous ranking: 7)

6. Michigan (D): Getting Lt. Gov. John Cherry (D) out of the race was a very smart move by national Democrats as it was becoming increasingly apparent that he had no chance of winning. The question for Democrats now is who steps in to run? State Speaker of the House Andy Dillon appears ready but most national strategists continue to wait on Denise Ilitch, the daughter of the owner of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings, to make up her mind. Republicans have a crowded and talented field led by state Attorney General Mike Cox and Rep. Pete Hoekstra. (Previous ranking: 6)

5. Hawaii (R): Rep. Neil Abercrombie was worried enough about his chances in the Democratic primary race against Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann that the Congressman resigned his seat to focus full time on the contest. While Republican tout Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona as a serious candidate, the race in this strongly Democratic state appears to be between Abercrombie and Hannemann. (Previous ranking: 3)

4. Oklahoma (D): New polling sponsored by the Tulsa World showed state Attorney General Drew Edmondson (D) and Rep. Mary Fallin (R) as the favorites in their respective party primaries. Fallin held a 51 percent to 39 percent lead over Edmondson in a hypothetical general election matchup, a reflection of the strong Republican tilt of the Sooner State. (Previous ranking: 5)

3. Tennessee (D): The action in the race to replace term limited Gov. Phil Bredesen is on the Republican side where Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, state Sen. Ron Ramsay and Rep. Zach Wamp are all in the mix. Mike McWherter, the son of the legendary Gov. Ned Ray McWherter, seems like the Democratic nominee -- especially since state Sen. Roy Herron dropped from the race to run for the open 8th congressional district. (Previous ranking: 2)

2. Rhode Island (R): The official entry of former Sen. Lincoln Chafee in the race as an independent means that he has an even-money chance of winding up as the next governor of the state. Democrats have a terrific primary between state Treasurer Frank Caprio and state Attorney General Patrick Lynch while Republicans are still casting around for a serious candidate after their preferred nominee dropped from the race late last year. (Previous ranking: 4)

1. Kansas (R): There really is no place like home for Sen. Sam Brownback (R). While he entered the race as a heavy favorite, his opposition -- in both the primary and the general election -- has folded at remarkable speed. The only question now is how high a percentage of the vote Brownback can win. (Previous ranking: 1)

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 22, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Political analysts predict tough midterm election for Democrats in Congress
Next: Five myths about the Massachusetts Senate election

Comments

If I could offer a kindly intended word of advice to myself (!) and others, if our comments on Washington Post are devolving into defense of self, we're like a reporter who set out to cover the news and became the story, only more tedious and boring.

The same goes if our comments are repeatedly directed toward other commenters as individuals rather than toward the subject of the article or column. Perfectly fair game is taking issue with another's comments on the issue at hand, but these little insiders' wars don't do a thing to make it all more interesting here.

If you've ever had to write an essay answer to a question on a timed final exam, and were halfway good at it, you know that part of the trick is to ask yourself of every sentence you write: "Does this answer the question, or does it go off on some tangent unrelated to it?"

Here the application of that insight would be "Is every sentence I'm typing going to be interesting to someone who's only reading these comments because they're interested in the article or column?"

We'll help ourselves have a more interesting and rewarding experience here if we keep that in mind.

And let me be the first to confess to having often failed to do what I'm advocating, to my discredit.

Still, I'm with Confucius: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Posted by: douglaslbarber | January 22, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Bill Ritter wasn't done in by politics. He stepped aside to get the newspaper watchdogs off his trail who were pursuing his marital infidelities. Now that he's getting out of the spotlight, there's naturally less reason to pursue his weakness for women. Smart man.

Posted by: zepol61 | January 22, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Where do you get your information, Mr. Cillizza?

==

cillizza doesn't do information, he's a GOP apparatchik, bought and paid for.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 22, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

It's time to hold Obama and gang plus our dear friends the Republicans to a test of accountability. We are the people and someone in the White House needs to realize that Americans are angry, depressed, and totally confused at this time.

Our patience has worn thin and we just don't take anyones' word for anything. Stop the runaway spending, return our stimulus monies, get rid of earmarks, useless government programs, stop throwing our money out the backdoor thru grants etc..

Get rid of your jets, drive cars, ride buses or hitch hike, we really don't care -everytime we turn around you're spending more of our money. We want our voice and Nation back! May God Bless America

Posted by: annie21 | January 22, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Where do you get your information, Mr. Cillizza? As you can tell from my sign-on, I'm one of those union people who were supposed to be disgusted with Ritter. Mr. Ritter has been the biggest friend to public education this state has seen in years. We are 13th in wealth and 40th in funding to education. He has been working to fix that. Too bad you didn't research a little better before you wrote. He resigned for personal reasons. There's not a doubt in my mind he would have been re-elected. We were all disappointed in his decision, but he put his family first, something pretty lacking today.

Posted by: publikschltcher | January 22, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Sliowa: While I appreciate your efforts and sacrifices in the green department you’re spreading a lot of dangerous misinformation here.
 
First of all, green technologu isn’t more expensive, it’s cheaper across the board.  Just ask the CEO of WalMart, who last I checked does not wear long hair and a beaded headband.  Making his stores more energy-efficient is saving millions and increasing profits.  Whether those are passed onto customers is another matter.
 
Second, biofuels are a diversion.  We have much more to gain from conservation and non-combustible energy sources; moreover, the unfortunate choice of corn as a feedstock instead of crop residue caused a spike in the price of corn-derived foodstuffs that the half-educated (or should I say, the Fox News-misinformed) trot out triumphantly as justification for doing nothing at all.
 
Third, the chance that the earth is headed into a period unfavorable to life is a hell of a lot greater than 1%.  The absorption spectrum of CO2 isn’t exactly uncertain.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 22, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I note that after years of the fix with no need to ban anyone, it was Chrissy foxxy that initiated the necessity of a banning protocol.

I have to go watch the ceremonial closing of Gitmo now. It has preempted the cspan coverage of the health care debate.

Posted by: Moonbat | January 22, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

sliowa1:

Have you ever heard of a book called "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn?

Posted by: JakeD | January 22, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Bismon,

I find myself in hard spot since I agree that we should strive for energy independence and I like the idea of green technology. I myself either ride my bike (spring thru early winter) or take a bus to work (it’s what I can do locally). However, the fact of the matter green technology costs significantly more so companies have to pass those costs on to others or they have to absorb those costs all of which affects performance and jobs. I hear all the buzz about biofuels, but the fact of the matter economical production of those sources are years away at best (I work in the field of agriculture) and maybe never given the many issues associated with each source.

In terms of 1% possibility, we routinely ignore that all the time. I think the evidence is quite clear that violent video games lead to violent behavior, yet little is done on that front. I could list a number of other possibilities as well.

Posted by: sliowa1 | January 22, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

So I'm a leader and Cillizza is a liberal.

What planet are you from, zouk? What color is the sky?

Posted by: Noacoler | January 22, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Cilizza. You are a classic ineffectual, indecisive, weak putz of a liberal. Clearly over your head and unqualified.

Just like Obama, things happen around you and you sit by and watch.

If you had an ounce of constitution and even mentioned ddawd, drndl and kool kat I would consider you as more than a charity case.

It was these liberal stooges that drove this blog into the ground under the leadership of chris fox.

I have been on this blog for several years. Where did the wrong turn arrive. When you let broken windows drindl and Chrissy foxxy turn it into a sewer.

Don't blame me b

Posted by: Moonbat | January 22, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | January 22, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Chris

Chuck Todd is stealing your top ten takeover list -


If I would you I would cage wrestle him to the death for it.

Just a suggestion.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 22, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Here's one:

"Well let's hope Obama makes the right choice between (1) getting things done and (2) working with Republicans. Conciliatory poses aren't working, there's this recurring honesty gap, Republicans have no scruples about lying and appealing to the uglier angels of our nature. Time to stick it to them good. He could start by personally kicking Lieberman out of the caucus, calling Nelson into his office and letting him know his career is over if he doesn't get in line, ending the filibuster rule, and pushing a progressive agenda unapologetically and aggressively. That's what we voted for him for, not to play footsie with a pack of liars."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/20/AR2010012005843.html

Posted by: JakeD | January 22, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Cillizza, I challenge you to locate a single post of mine that justifies my inclusion on this list. Just one.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 22, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Mr. Cillizza.

Posted by: JakeD | January 22, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Blarg,

Clearly "drivl", "moonbat" "noacoler" are the bad actors.

(I know there is distaste for "JakeD" but I generally find that he tries to respect the "stay on topic and don't attack people" mandate of the blog although his sentiments about President Obama's birth certificate are patently ridiculous and have no place in a blog like this one -- a point I have made to him in this space before.)

My problem is those three bad actors - maybe throw "37th and O" in there as well -- are the SAME people who are committed to coming back immediately after being banned by taking advantage of proxy servers that change their IP address.

The problem them becomes that I ban them, they return under a different IP, I ban them, they return ad nauseam.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to do that. They -- inexplicably -- do.

Hence my conundrum. I would happily ban all three today but they would be back tomorrow. And, if I banned them tomorrow, they'd be back Sunday.

Chris

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | January 22, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Good point, Blarg. I would be happy to forward the list to the IT person : )

Posted by: JakeD | January 22, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

the last utter failure of a liberal created the Dept. of Energy about 40 years ago.

all that green stuff started then. We blew zillions. so far no magic windmills, no flying algae, no solar supercars. no poison free nukes.

I think after 40 years of big government failure another concept might appeal to future thinking geniuses.

Nope. I mean Hope. Probably should just say Dope.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

CC: I have a suggestion. Instead of spending "all" your time moderating the blog, perhaps you could spend ANY time moderating it. A quick 5-minute read over the day's posts reveals who the trouble posters are. Make up a list of them, send it to the IT department for banning, and you're done. Or have an intern do it. It's not a difficult task.

Posted by: Blarg | January 22, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

sliowa1 writes
"Thomas Mann present points in favor of global warming as a result of increased CO2 levels brought on by anthropogenic sources, whereas, John Christy and presents a case that global warming will not lead to catastrophic events portrayed by the likes of Mann."


Thanks for the link. I hope to have a chance to review over the weekend.

Generally, I think climate change should be treated according to the 1% doctrine: if there's a 1% chance that the 'likes of Mann' are correct, its worth spending a lot of dough to address the problem. More importantly, things that will address global warming will also address things like the enormous trade deficit that importing the bulk of our energy causes. 'Green tech' is a jobs creator and technology research is an economic stimulator - potentially turning us back into a net-export nation instead of being net-import. This stuff should be a no-brainer.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 22, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I am pleased that you liberals have such an alacrity with having such fact free views. It has served you well in your year in power.

why just this week there was a resounding message sent from the heart of your base about your ability to understand complicated issues.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I intended to say "My views are far from it."

Posted by: sliowa1 | January 22, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Ah, so increased warming is the cause of the increased CO2 levels.

Thanks zook.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 22, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Bismon,

Do not take my link as an endorsement of Zouk’s post. My views are from it.

Posted by: sliowa1 | January 22, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Bismon,

There is an excellent article in Chemical Engineering News on global warming giving both sides equal time. Thomas Mann present points in favor of global warming as a result of increased CO2 levels brought on by anthropogenic sources, whereas, John Christy and presents a case that global warming will not lead to catastrophic events portrayed by the likes of Mann. Christy does believe man has influenced the environment he just does not think the scenarios of Mann are all that plausible.

http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/87/8751cover.html

Posted by: sliowa1 | January 22, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"If anyone has suggestions short of me spending all of my time moderating the comments section I'd love to hear them."


There was an interesting article on addressing shortcomings in the justice system in the NYT Magazine a couple sundays ago. The idea is that by cracking down swiftly, fairly and reasonably people behaved better. But when the system is viewed as unfair, crime rates went up. So, when a bad actor is banned, but swiftly returns & resumes the old behavior for a couple months before being sanctioned again, the message to everyone is that the rules don't matter.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 22, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Zouk, you dint know anything about science. Sunspot cycles are 11 and 22 years, axial precession is 28,400 years. If the sun were getting monotonically hotter we would never have evolved.

Stick to playing kiddy games with the president's name, fool.

Posted by: Noacoler | January 22, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Cillizza, you lie in your black throat.

You've never banned the toxic bile posters, this is a bait and switch.

The only toxic bile poster you've ever banned is zouk, and you're always careful to leave his other monikers untouched. Who exactly do you think you're kidding?

Posted by: Noacoler | January 22, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

It occurs to me that simple simon probably failed math class, especially the one on forecasting.

Forecasting is a tricky action that relies heavily on the previous data. If you choose the wrong set, your forecast will be inaccurate. For example, relying too heavily on the most recent points will cause your forecast to trend heavily in the direction of the final points only, not the entire trend line.

this scenario is pretty typical of global warming alarmists, hence the concentration on two very recent points that seem to be trending higher very fast. If you extrapolate this line it soars quickly. On the other hand, if you include points that go back a few hundred years, you get a more reasonable forecast.

If I were to extend the trend from last year to this year only, we would see that we will all freeze to death in a few short years. this moronic conclusion does not account for variability in weather.

the simple fact is that models which rely on Co2 as the primary variable are woefully inaccurate. the sunspot explantion has a higher r value (fit of line). Yet this is not something that liberals can pontificate on and so it is useless to them.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

From my live chat today:

Minneapolis, MN: Does it bother you that the comments at The Fix are filled with toxic bile such that the regulars that used to have interesting, informative discussions have been driven off?

Chris Cillizza: More than you know.

But, our attempts to ban people by username and IP address have failed because proxy servers let people get new IP addresses.

If anyone has suggestions short of me spending all of my time moderating the comments section I'd love to hear them.

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | January 22, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I suppose that explains the warming on Venus and Mars too?

I guess I just don't worship at the belief alter that you do. I prefer verifiable and validated science instead of green mythology and Gaia religion. sunspots works for me. they are evil and pernicious things and must be eliminated.

As soon as I can get a concensus of liberal politicians, it will qualify for government bailouts and green worship and maybe even science status. Let's vote.

All the scientists I know are deathly afraid of not fitting in.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

this year I installed a heating vent next to the global warming collector.

the average temperature soared. No one can dispute this was man caused.

I think most thinking people will be happy to grab all the global warming they can get after this past year.

Imagine all that food for starving people. Of course you'd have to transport it causing further warming and more food. Liberal quigmire.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

plagiarist zouk pastes
"As the CET dataset is considered a decent proxy for Northern Hemisphere temperatures, and since global temperature trends follow a similar pattern to Northern Hemisphere temps, then the same conclusion about recent warming can potentially be inferred globally."


considered a decent proxy by whom?

The argument amounts to: 1) picking a location with data that supports one's argument; 2) claiming that data is representative of a whole hemisphere's climate; 3) claim the globe's climate can be inferred from the hemisphere 'data'.

If you change your base measurement, the opposite case can be made. For instance, if we use the ice cover in the arctic ocean north of Canada instead, we see that ice cover has been thinner & melts earlier each spring, the summer cover dwindling each year until last year, which permitted the first commercial shipping traffic via the northwest passage that merchants have been seeking for centuries. But, hey, in England, one measuring station says the climate hasn't changed, so that whole ice-out thing must be someone's imagination.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 22, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I think we are talking about human caused warming.

It's cute when Curly tries to obfuscate the conclusion. Is it stupidity, swamp gas or ignorance?

Most days when I carry an umbrella, it rains. I just have that kind of power.
It is man caused weather effects. The days when I leave the umberella home, it hardly ever rains.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

""While 2008 was the coolest year of the decade because of a strong La Nina atmospheric condition that cooled the tropical Pacific Ocean, global temperatures returned to a near record in 2009, NASA said. The data puts 2009 almost in a tie with 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007 for the second-warmest year on record."

Posted by: bsimon1"

I was once having an argument with someone. My claim was that if you dribble a basketball up a large hill, the basketball will be higher up than when you started. The other guy said that there's no evidence the basketball ends up any higher because the height of the ball is always oscillating.

It's cute when zook pretends to understand math or science.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 22, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Okay, enough of that short-term stuff. What about all the 40 and 50-year temperature change periods, which have been influenced by all those human-made CO2 emissions since 1946? Glad you asked. The ten largest 40-year period temperature changes did include year 2002 in 8th place. But alas, the largest 50-year temperature changes did not include any years from the 'oughts' decade. (See below the years with the largest 40-year and 50-year changes.)

So, what's all this mean? Very simply, indeed the last two decades were warmer than previous decades for central England. Again, this is no surprise since the world has been warming for some 350 years coming out of the Little Ice Age. (Truth be told, Earth has been warming over 12,000+ years from the depths of the last major ice age glaciation.) But if the 2000's were the "warmest," does it also mean they represent "unprecedented" warming? Clearly, that is not the case based on the above analysis - the last decade (nor the 1990s) does not rank high when compared to previous periods of temperature changes. If the objective is to identify periods of "unprecedented" warming then it's patently obvious from the above grid boxes that truly "unprecedented" warming occurred during the 18th and 19th centuries, well before human CO2 emissions became significant.

Summary: Unprecedented warming did not occur in central England during the first decade of the 21st century, nor during the last decade of the 20th century. As the CET dataset is considered a decent proxy for Northern Hemisphere temperatures, and since global temperature trends follow a similar pattern to Northern Hemisphere temps, then the same conclusion about recent warming can potentially be inferred globally. Based on the CET dataset, the global warming scare has been totally blown out of proportion by those who can benefit from the fear.

Liberal Translation: WE ARE IN A CRISIS AND MUST ACT IMMEDIATELY TO RAISE TAXES AND GIVE THE GOVERNMENT MORE POWER.

you can go ahead and use this translation for just about anything.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The Obama Administration is in deep trouble because it continues to kick the "Dead Horse" of Obamacare, while the economy continues its freefall. This administration as well as the last one has o clear vision for the economy nor any regard for using the Constitution and "Bill of Rights" as the guide book!!

Posted by: sarasota1 | January 22, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The first characteristic of the graph to note is the green trend line. That line indicates an overall warming of 0.26°C per century rate since 1659. So, for some 350 years central England, and the world, have been warming. No big surprise there since Earth has been continuously warming since the end of the Little Ice Age; and, at the end of that 350 year trend line of warming is the first decade of the 21st century. Based on some 350 years of warming, it should be of no surprise that this last decade is the 'warmest' since...well...it's been warming for a very long time (ya' know, when you keep warming something slowly it just happens to keep getting warmer over time).

http://www.c3headlines.com/2010/01/cet-temperatures.html

The second characteristic of the graph is that temperatures just seem to have this habit of going up and down, for extended periods. What’s really amazing is that they did this consistently before the large increase of human CO2 emissions, pre-1946. Okay, maybe that’s not so amazing since this is called temperature variability and represents the natural, dynamic nature of our climate….That variability, as displayed by the CET data in the graph, has experienced temperature changes as much as 2.5°C from one year to the next. A change of 2.5°C in a single year! Keep that figure in mind as we further analyze the dataset. Please note, the graph also reveals very similar temperature variability post-1946, after the huge atmospheric input of human CO2 emissions.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100022226/agw-i-refute-it-thus-central-england-temperatures-1659-to-2009/

Darn facts. always getting in the way of a perfectly good economy-killing tax.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I have no doubt parking lots and rooftops in big cities are getting warmer but:


Watts Up With NASA? [Chris Horner]


I'm still plowing through the 300 or so pages I finally received from NASA last week in response to my long-obstructed FOIA requests for documents relating to the Goddard Institute for Space Studies' internal response to being caught sexing up U.S. temperatures. Also included in this cache are documents responsive to my inquiry about Gavin Schmidt and his RealClimate moonlighting on the taxpayer dime to run a third-party advocacy website established to defend the debunked junk science of Michael Mann's "Hockey Stick," and to assail Michael Crichton's arguments in his novel State of Fear. (Really.)

NASA is withholding documents in response to the latter request, on grounds that will cause your sides to split when you read why in more detail, later on.

But for now, take a gander at this e-mail from the New York Times's Andrew Revkin to James Hansen — included below one of Hansen's missives massaging Andy's late entry into the fray with an apologia for which NASA's Reto Ruedy later gushed in thanks (causing Andy to despair, in apparent further apology that he couldn't do more, that the issue had become difficult for him to ignore). The thread is dated August 23, 2007:

i never, til today, visited http://www.surfacestations.org and found it quite amazing. if our stations are that shoddy, what's it like in Mongolia?

Oh, dear. Quite amazing — yet not quite newsworthy. Surface Stations is the brainchild of 25-year-veteran meterologist Anthony Watts, who created it to survey and catalog the quality of the sites that collect U.S. temperature data. Surface Stations propelled Watts's other site — Watts Up With That? — to its initial prominence, on the way to becoming the most heavily trafficked "climate" site and its selection as best science blog in 2008. So why should a Times environmental reporter bother with publicizing the work of a man so many (too many?) people were discovering on their own?

Speaking of crummy data and Mongolia — among other neighboring locales — some amazing discoveries have trickled into the open that will also receive a further airing shortly. Who knew that, for example, tiny China needs only 35 stations to tell us the country's surface temperature within a hundredth of a degree . . . such that more than 350 could be closed? We know the China data is valid.

Hansen, incidentally, merely agreed with Revkin that it would be good to improve station data, but plowed forward with his newfound obsession about the impropriety of focusing on U.S. temperatures, and individual years no less, which is really just a distraction. Because, you know, NASA would never do that.

That's just a taste of the fun stuff. The more serious issues will be aired later.


Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

silly zouk writes
"Warmists will push the lie that humankind is baking the planet even as glaciers ring the warmists' doorbells."

Yet Businessweek reports that the last decade was actually the warmest on record.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-01-22/temperatures-in-past-decade-were-warmest-since-1880-nasa-says.html

"The near-record temperatures of 2009 occurred even with an unseasonably cool December in much of North America, NASA said. High air pressures from the Arctic left North America cooler than normal, while the Arctic was warmer than normal."

"While 2008 was the coolest year of the decade because of a strong La Nina atmospheric condition that cooled the tropical Pacific Ocean, global temperatures returned to a near record in 2009, NASA said. The data puts 2009 almost in a tie with 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007 for the second-warmest year on record."

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 22, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

We'll be watching who switches and we know why and what their up to you can change your letters from D to R or R to D but your voting record doesn't change and what you said in the past will come to bite you and we the people are really awake and haven't or will forget what any of them said both left and right so they can play their game we're on to it.If they want to keep treating us like we're stupid well them let them but I think we showed them with the Tea Party Marches we showed them in NJ,Mass and other states so now who are the stupid ones I guess we'll have to wait and see now won't we.

Posted by: jeanweingartner | January 22, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

We'll be watching who switches and we know why and what their up to you can change your letters from D to R or R to D but your voting record doesn't change and what you said in the past will come to bite you and we the people are really awake and haven't or will forget what any of them said both left and right so they can play their game we're on to it.If they want to keep treating us like we're stupid well them let them but I think we showed them with the Tea Party Marches we showed them in NJ,Mass and other states so now who are the stupid ones I guess we'll have to wait and see now won't we.

Posted by: jeanweingartner | January 22, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

In Michigan, if Denise Ilitch can't bring her money to the campaign (and she can't, because it's casino-based), she might as well forget it. No one else in Michigan has much money, after Granholm bastardized the budget. Look to one of the others, and even if a democrat gets the governorship, the Michigan Congress will be making a lot of changes in officeholders.

Posted by: whisperonthewind | January 22, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama is now a talk show host. Probably best for all involved.

Obama's Train Wreck of a Town Hall in Ohio

Earlier this week, during a radio interview, I had said that Obama's appearance for Martha Coakley on Sunday was the least effective stump appearances I had seen from a president. A lot of factors contributed to that - Coakley's literally yawn-inducing speech, the decision to use the president as an attack dog in the race, the president (or his speechwriter's) odd fixation on Scott Brown's truck, and so on.

But perhaps Obama is in a "stump slump." Maybe it's me; maybe I can't see any Obama speech as a good one these days. But today in Ohio, it seemed like the president was way off his game. But I thought he was defensive, prickly, almost indignant that he's found himself in the tough spot that he's in.

He began by talking about how much he didn't like being in Washington, and apparently said something about the job being stifling. Sir, you spent two years trying to get this job.

One of his rallying cries as, "This is not about me!" Yes, Mr. President, but it's about the decisions you make and the policies you're trying to enact.

He made a reference to bankers who "click their heels and watch their stocks skyrocket." Was he going with a Dorothy in Oz metaphor? Do bankers click their heels?

"I won't stop fighting to bring back jobs here," worked as an applause line, but I wondered how it worked outside the venue. That insinuates he's been doing it for the first year, as unemployment has steadily increased. He's calling on Congress to "pass a jobs bill." I thought the stimulus was supposed to do that.

As Caleb Howe noticed, he said "I won't stop fighting to open up government" while breaking the promise about health care bill negotiations being on C-SPAN.

I realize he's using it to justify a new tax on banks, but I think "we want our money back" is a dangerous chant for a man who so steadily expands government spending.

UPDATE: A very out-of-rhythm speech was followed by some of the most obscure and unhelpful questions ever uttered at a town hall meeting. I was left with a bit of sympathy for President Obama, as questioner after questioner asked about their own specific concerns, often way out of the president's duties, responsibilities, and realm of expertise: one guy was an inventor who wanted to give him a sales pitch, one woman lamented the impatience of the American people before complaining about a slow response from the state environmental agency over her toddler's lead poisoning, one guy wanted to read the president a poem, a woman who talked about the problem of finding students for her truck driving school, an old lady who was upset that her Social Security didn't have a cost-of-living-increase, and a guy who had the patent for some wind turbine issue that was in a fight with some company about. One poor soul raised his hand and just wanted to shake Obama's hand.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

the wheels are coming off the cart fast:

Geithner’s Advance Cover [Yuval Levin]


You know an administration is in trouble when prominent officials let it be known to the press that they disagreed with one of the president’s major decisions. It happens to every president, and it’s always a very bad sign. Usually it comes after some policy goes terribly awry, and sends senior advisors running for cover. But sometimes, in the very worst cases, it happens as soon as a decision is made, before the policy in question has even had a chance to be tested—and it reveals more than dissent about one particular decision, but a broader sense that things are not well at the top.

That is why this Reuters story from yesterday was so striking. It describes Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s opposition to the bank limits President Obama announced. It seems that on the very day of the announcement, Geithner decided he needed to dispatch people close to him to make it known (anonymously) that he did not agree with the decision, and indeed that he agreed with the two key arguments offered by its staunchest critics. Here’s Reuters:

Geithner is concerned that the proposed limits on big banks’ trading and size could impact U.S. firms’ global competitiveness, the sources said, speaking anonymously because Geithner has not spoken publicly about his reservations.

He also has concerns that the limits do not necessarily get at the root of the problems and excesses that fueled the recent financial meltdown, the sources said.

After the story first appeared, the White House dispatched someone to offer comment to Reuters, so the second version (which is the one now posted at that link) includes an update with those quotes. But clearly they could not get Geithner himself to tell Reuters that their story was wrong about his views. Geithner was out selling the decision here and there yesterday, to be sure, but very tepidly (as in this NewsHour interview, where he looks like a man making the case for his own beheading).

It all suggests serious dissension in the senior ranks—not what the White House would want as they “pivot” to the economy. Just a great week all around for these guys.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Chris writes: Democrats are ambivalent about whether it's a good or a bad thing that state Attorney General Jerry Brown is going to be their nominee.

Oh, really. Name five Democrats ambivalent about Jerry Brown. He is the sure next Governor.

Posted by: lowercaselarry | January 22, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

ATTENTION NATIONAL ACLU D.C. STAFF (please forward asap):

Your web site apparently is being censored by a U.S. government fusion center censorship regime. Attempted postings to your blog site will not go through. Please read the following articles, which expose grave injustices -- atrocities -- being committed by multiple agencies of federal and local government nationwide:

NOW IT'S OBAMA'S GESTAPO USA. WHEN WILL TEAM OBAMA ACT?

See: Poynter.org (Journalism Groups -- Reporting):

• "U.S. Silently Tortures Americans with Cell Tower Microwaves"
• "Gestapo USA: Fed-Funded Vigilante Network Terrorizes America"
• "U.S. Uses CBS News to Cover Up Microwave Cell Tower Torture?"
• "How U.S. Spy Ops Censor Web Political Speech"

http://www.poynter.org/subject.asp?id=2 OR:
http://NowPublic.com/scrivener (see "stories" list)

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 22, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

I thought that you said you weren't posting here anymore?

Posted by: JakeD | January 22, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not sure Colorado's politics should be viewed as part of a larger national trend. That's because we have some of the lamest political "talent", both Dem and GOP, in the country and a two-bit version of a legislature that, I think, make us unique. Our political situation is a product of incompetence and stupidity on a strictly local level.

Posted by: alloleo"

Try living in Louisiana for half a decade. Then we'll talk.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 22, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I love VDH too.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

The best thing that could happen to Barack Obama is more Democratic losses in elections that might take away our young transfixed Narcissus from his mesmerizing reflecting pool.

Almost immediately after Obama showed his ideological cards last spring, it seemed eventually the bait-and-switch president would soon face a Carter/Clinton moment in which he could either press on with his polarizing ideology, damage his party for a generation, sneering at the electorate, who did not appreciate his exalted morality and genius or triangulate and follow the Dick Morris/Bill Clinton model of talking and acting sort of centrist.

Who knows after Obama’s Scott Brown moment? We now may hear once again the old “no more Red State/Blue State” tropes, the stale campaign promises of presidential vetoes, claims of financial sobriety, the return of a “war on terror,” and smaller government

We’re either down to all that or Obama’s more principled road to perdition.

Posted by: leapin | January 22, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"Two-thirds of America gripped by arctic cold and vast swaths covered in snow following the coldest summer in a century for parts of the country -- these are reasonable bases for challenging the Burlington Free Press."

That's why it's called "global climate change", not "American climate change". America is not the entire world.

The Arctic is experiencing temperatures up to 15 degrees above average. That cancels out any decrease in temperatures in America. The cold temperatures and bad weather in America are caused by the Arctic oscillation, which is unrelated to climate change.

Posted by: Blarg | January 22, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Adapt, Change, or Die. That is the mantra of long lives in Politics.

The fact that Obama is incapable of it has all to do by the shackles of his intense ideology, than of his willingness to do it.

It does not mean that Democrats must jump off the cliff after him. Life is simple if they - instead of jumping - would listen to the real truth that you can only find in political Bloggers (the mainstream press is dead).

The Blogger... http://www.robbingamerica.blogspot.com

has anticipated all this in the piece, “10 actions President Obama must Take to Save His Presidency”. (Read any Democrat)

This list is a "must Start" list.
Unless these actions are taken, the Obama "Wrecking Ball" will keep on swinging in increasing cycles of desperation and destruction, and the cliff will get nearer and inevitable.

Posted by: JohnGalt9 | January 22, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure Colorado's politics should be viewed as part of a larger national trend. That's because we have some of the lamest political "talent", both Dem and GOP, in the country and a two-bit version of a legislature that, I think, make us unique. Our political situation is a product of incompetence and stupidity on a strictly local level.

Posted by: alloleo | January 22, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Let's condense. Progressives endlessly hype disproved fallacies, among them:


Human-caused "climate change."
More guns, more crime.
Handouts improve the plight of the poor.
Raising taxes in a down economy doesn't impede recovery.
More government, better government
Incarcerating criminals doesn't decrease crime; rehabilitation does.
Playing nice-nice with violent scumbags pacifies them.
Raising self-esteem begets achievement, not the other way around.
Life should be fair.


Progressivism is about embracing silliness to make a person feel good -- reality be damned.


http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/01/progressives_and_their_fallaci.html


Progressive politicians are not unintelligent, not as a rule. They are in denial, terminally zealous, and fundamentally dishonest with themselves.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

drivl:

I agree (but just think how wonderful it would be if 99% of Obama voters simply stayed home on November 2, 2010?).

Posted by: JakeD | January 22, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Heartland Institute's Paul Chesser finds a stunning case of progressive denial. Well after it came to light that "scientists" fabricated human-caused global warming and suppressed studies that expose the hoax, the Burlington Free Press still touts a scientific "consensus" on human causation. Chesser points out that on the same day that BFP whined about its imaginary consensus, it also acknowledged a frigid weekend deluge as "easily the largest snowstorm ever witnessed in Burlington in more than 120 years of record keeping."


Two-thirds of America gripped by arctic cold and vast swaths covered in snow following the coldest summer in a century for parts of the country -- these are reasonable bases for challenging the Burlington Free Press. But first we'd have to pry them away from using organic detergent to wash their Priuses, which run on freeze-dried, free-range rat droppings. Warmists will push the lie that humankind is baking the planet even as glaciers ring the warmists' doorbells.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

It's bad enough having to accept that the collectivists and assorted liberals and lefties are just plain stupid, but at least if this were true they might be open to enlightenment. That they are merely disingenuous, knowing full well the implications of their actions but pressing on regardless, suggests that any dialogue or debate with them is pointless.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

re. The voters of Mass. electing Republican Scott Brown into the Democrap Socialist Parties Ted Kennedy's old seat.

Glenn Beck said it first, but I agree: People in this country are ready for change and hungry for a different kind of politics and FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY ADULT LIFE I AM PROUD OF MY COUNTRY......"

Thank you voters in Mass. for stopping the Socialist Communist agenda of Comrade Barack Obama and the Democrap Socialist Party, and taking back our country as our founding fathers meant for it to be.

Posted by: armpeg | January 22, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Ace McNumbnuts is easier to hook than a hungry trout.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 22, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Ace McNumbnuts is easier to hook than a hungry trout.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 22, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Loud and dumb checks his brain and finds it empty. Posts insult instead.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

IF THE HORSE RACE IS FIXED, WHAT GOOD IS THE MORNING LINE?


In light of the Supreme Court decision on political advertising by corporations and the lack of concern or media attention to the issue of the reliability of electronic voting machines, will we ever see another fair election in this country? Should The Fix concern himself more with such "process" questions?

The horse race means nothing if some of the contenders are juiced.

***


Memo to Team Obama:

DOES JANET NAPOLITANO KNOW THAT HOMELAND-INSTALLED CELL TOWER MICROWAVE ANTENNAS ARE BEING USED NATIONWIDE TO SILENTLY, INVISIBLY TORTURE AND IMPAIR UNCONSTITUTIONALLY 'TARGETED' U.S. CITIZENS?

IF SHE DOES NOT KNOW, HAS SHE BEEN MISINFORMED?

IF SHE DOES KNOW, IS SHE COMPLICIT IN GOVERNMENT CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AND THE CONSTITUTION?

A secretive Homeland-directed multi-agency "coordinated action program" continues to use high-tech cell tower- based microwave and laser weaponry to silently, invisibly torture, impair, and physiologically and neurologically entrain -- in effect, enslave -- many thousands of unjustly and unconstitutionally "targeted" Americans, right here at home.

These Americans, entire families, also are subject to relentless surveillance, financial sabotage and community watch vigilante stalking, vandalism and other acts of government-tolerated domestic terrorism.

IT'S OBAMA'S GESTAPO USA NOW. WHEN WILL TEAM OBAMA ACT?

Please read this, and demand action before it's too late:

See: Poynter.org (Journalism groups -- Reporting):

"U.S. Silently Tortures Americans with Cell Tower Microwaves" •
"Gestapo USA: Fed-Funded Vigilante Network Terrorizes America"

http://www.poynter.org/subject.asp?id=2
http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
NowPublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
OR NowPublic.com/scrivener (see "stories" list)

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 22, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Not only do we get to read armpit's usual gibberish, we get to read it twice.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 22, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

This list is pretty spot on, at this point in time. Some races could definitely show up later on - namely Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Nevada, Texas, and Wyoming. There are also strong Democratic candidates in Alabama and Georgia. California is by far the least likely of these to switch, I think.

Posted by: joeyjoejoe | January 22, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Whoa dude. Get the state formerly known as "the People's Republic of Massachusetts" up onto the scoreboard. Gov Patrick was already toast and that was before Scott Brown ran his truck over the entire democratic party in the state.

Posted by: tobetv | January 22, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"10. Minnesota (R)"

Ten is a good entry point for this race. It could rise if the GOP nomination (as expected) amounts to a race to the right to appease the 'no taxes, ever' crowd. Of course if the Dems follow historical patterns & nominate a party insider, the race could drop down the line. Also worth noting: two former Republicans have entered the race vying for the IP nomination. This could push the race way up the line for flipping to the Dems if the Repubs & IP split the conservative-leaning vote.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 22, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Colorado's Gov. Democrap Socialist Bill Ritter's fall from grace with the voters, sounds exactly like the one going on with Comrade Barack Obama.
Comrade Obama had a 70% approval rating in the polls right after he got elected, which today is down to 47%--the worst approval drop in one year for any US President in the history of the country.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why. As more and more Americans are having a reality check to Comrade Obama, they've gotten buyers remorse, comming to the conclusion that this pathetic windbag hasn't a clue about running anything, ergo his drop in the polls. That shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone though. This con--artist has never even run so much as a Hot Dog Stand. It's like making a janitor of a major corporation like say GM, Ford, or Microsoft, the Chairman of the Board.
Add to that that Comrade Obama for all of his adult life was assocciated and allied with racist white--haters, Communists and Communist groups, and America--haters, and that he's now able to bring his Socialist Communist ideas to fruition as president and leader of his Democrap Socialist Communist Workers Party, then it's all a mix of political disaster as more and more Americans see that they've made a bad mistake by electing him. And it'll probably get worse. With the economy going more and more into the tank, our unemployment rate getting worse and worse, inflation and misery starting to hit the voters wallets, by the 2010 and 2012 elections his and his parties excuses will be laughed at.

Posted by: armpeg | January 22, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Colorado's Gov. Democrap Socialist Bill Ritter's fall from grace with the voters, sounds exactly like the one going on with Comrade Barack Obama.
Comrade Obama had a 70% approval rating in the polls right after he got elected, which today is down to 47%--the worst approval drop in one year for any US President in the history of the country.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why. As more and more Americans are having a reality check to Comrade Obama, they've gotten buyers remorse, comming to the conclusion that this pathetic windbag hasn't a clue about running anything, ergo his drop in the polls. That shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone though. This con--artist has never even run so much as a Hot Dog Stand. It's like making a janitor of a major corporation like say GM, Ford, or Microsoft, the Chairman of the Board.
Add to that that Comrade Obama for all of his adult life was assocciated and allied with racist white--haters, Communists and Communist groups, and America--haters, and that he's now able to bring his Socialist Communist ideas to fruition as president and leader of his Democrap Socialist Communist Workers Party, then it's all a mix of political disaster as more and more Americans see that they've made a bad mistake by electing him. And it'll probably get worse. With the economy going more and more into the tank, our unemployment rate getting worse and worse, inflation and misery starting to hit the voters wallets, by the 2010 and 2012 elections his and his parties excuses will be laughed at.

Posted by: armpeg | January 22, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

If he hasn't spoken "directly" to the American people more than any politician in modern history, then I'm a politically correct progressive who idolizes Al Gore -- unless, of course, by "directly," he meant "truthfully." But I'm sure that's not what he meant. Has any president gone "directly" to the American people more than he has, desperately trying to convince them that this or that proposal is in their urgent self-interest?

In fact, one could argue that all this guy does is give speeches. Only rarely does he engage in the nitty-gritty of policymaking, which is not quite glamorous enough for him. Don't get me wrong; I'm convinced he's the driving force behind the socialist hellfire being inflicted on this country, but he leaves the "details" to his minions.

Tea Party after Tea Party, poll after poll, legislative obstacle after legislative obstacle -- they all indicate that his policy agenda couldn't be more out of phase with the values of the American people, who are literally beside themselves over his reckless fiscal and national security policies.

And just in case you think I'm drawing unwarranted inferences, look at how he ends the statement. He says that if he had spent more time explaining himself -- not listening, but talking -- to the American people instead of nobly grinding through the slog of public policy decisions, the people, thickheaded as they are, would "get it."

What? The correct formulation is that if he had spent less time dictating a policy agenda with total disregard for the values and will of the American people -- not to mention the best interests of the nation -- he might "get" that his values are completely at odds with an overwhelming majority of Americans.

Besides, the problem is not the "crises" Obama inherited. It's the ones he's creating. He has lived in such a socialist policy shell all his life that he doesn't have a clue that he's on a different planet than most of us. If he were just slightly less narcissistic, he might be able to figure this out.

God gave him those enormous ears for a reason. It's time he started to use them properly. But after sitting in that hate church for 20 years and not hearing a thing, is it wise to expect anything different from the guy who talks all about himself every day?

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

How on earth is Florida NOT included on this list? Democratic candidate Alex Sink has a 50% or better chance at becoming Florida's first Dem governor elected since 1994.

Posted by: RussellNewYork | January 22, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Republicans are really going to clean up in this election cycle in 2010. I think there are so many governorships looking to change hands here, even beyond the top 10. My top 10 is:
1. Kansas: Governor Sam Brownback.
2. Tennessee: US Rep. Wamp vs. Knoxville Mayor Wamp, the GE is the R primary.
3. Rhode Island: I am think that without Laffey in the R primary, Republicans will run an also-ran and favor Chafee against the winner of the tough Democratic primary, likely AG Lynch.
4. Oklahoma: Governor Mary Fallin.
5. Iowa: Culver is a gonner.
6. Michigan
7. Hawii
8. Pennsylvania
9. Colorodo
10. Ohio

Also on the list are Minnesota, Vermont, Connecticut, California, Arizona, Maine, New York, Massachussets, Wyoming & Oregon.

That is 13 possible Republican pick-ups and 7 possible Democratic pick-ups. Redistricting looks awfully good for Republicans in 2011!

Posted by: reason5 | January 22, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

CC,
Need to proofread better:
#1 Kansas (D), not (R).
"time immemorial" not "immemoriam"

On topic:
Looks like there is a demarcation at #9 or #10 -- above that, the change in party seems certain, while below that are more competitive races. Denise Ilitch entering the MI race (#6) shouldn't change the ranking much.

Posted by: mnteng | January 22, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

That Barack Obama has irresistible powers of persuasion. All that is troubling his presidency is that he doesn’t explain himself enough. The record-setting 158 interviews in his first year in office were a woefully inadequate mustering of his rhetorical mastery.

That Obama’s failure to boost Democratic candidates in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts with highly touted personal appearances was a fluke signifying exactly nothing.

That Obama is a centrist because he didn’t nationalize the banks.

That he’s a pragmatist because he dropped the public option, which couldn’t possibly pass the Senate.

That he’s a sellout for delivering on his pledge to properly resource the Afghan War.

That deficit spending is the best of all economic programs, and Obama badly erred by not supporting more of it. If people have recoiled from a $787 billion-stimulus program, they would have basked in the glory of a $1.7-trillion one.

Posted by: drivl | January 22, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

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