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Friday House Line: A GOP-Friendly Environment

The House seats of Louisiana Reps. Charlie Melancon (left) and Joseph Cao are among the most vulnerable in the country. AP Photo by Bill Haber

It's been almost two months since we last penned a House Line and, in that time, much has changed.

The national political environment, which, heading into the summer had been neutral to slightly positive for Democrats, turned in a meaningful way as Labor Day approached and anger over the growth of government under President Barack Obama emboldened Republicans.

The signs of this environmental change were everywhere.

The generic ballot edge that Democrats had maintained for the better part of the last two election cycles disappeared; the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 43 percent of respondents said they preferred a Democratic-controlled Congress while 40 percent said they would like to see Republicans running things on Capitol Hill. (As recently as April, Democrats had a nine-point lead on that question in the NBC/WSJ poll.)

Recruitment also began to pick up for Republicans with top tier candidates who might have taken a pass in years past stepping up to run. A few examples: state Sen. Bob Gibbs in Ohio's 18th district, former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin in Arkansas's 2nd, and banker John Guedry in Nevada's 3rd.

Those developments led some of the nation's leading political prognosticators -- Charlie Cook, Larry Sabato -- to predict that Democrats were headed for a world of hurt in 2010 with losses of 20 or more seats not out of the question. (A third respected political analyst -- Stu Rothenberg -- was slightly more circumspect about just how bad the environment is for House Democrats.)

Of the ten seats we believe are most likely to switch parties, six are currently held by Democrats while four are represented by Republicans. That near-evenness among the most vulnerable seats is slightly misleading, however, as the seats that would occupy spots 11 through 20 on the Line are almost all held by Democrats.

To keep the Fix sane, we are not going to expand our House Line to 20 (or more seats) until January 2010. But, when we do, it's likely that Democratic-held districts will dominate.

As always, the number one-ranked race is the most likely to switch parties in 2010. And, as always, your kudos and critiques are welcome in the comments section below.

To. The. Line.

Coming Onto the Line: CO-04, LA-03, NY-23, PA-07
Coming Off the Line: DE-AL, ID-01, MS-01, NH-01

10. Pennsylvania's 7th (D-controlled): Rep. Joe Sestak's primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter (D) creates a great pickup opportunity for Republicans. Although Obama carried the suburban Philadelphia district with 56 percent in 2008, the seat has a solid Republican base within it. And, Republicans found an "A" list candidate to run in the form of former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan who dropped his gubernatorial candidacy to seek the House seat and immediately cleared the primary field. Democrats seem likely to nominate state Rep. Bryan Lentz. (Previous ranking: N/A)

9. Colorado's 4th (D): Rep. Betsy Markey's (D) victory was a culmination of years of dissatisfaction directed at former Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R) from voters in the district. Musgrave was far more conservative than her constituents in this eastern Colorado seat, and did little to combat the image that she cared little about constituent services and everything about her national profile (such as it was). Republicans are very excited about the candidacy of state Rep. Cory Gardner and Markey must show she can win a race without Musgrave as her opponent. The seat is narrowly divided along partisan lines with Obama losing it narrowly (49 percent) last November. (Previous ranking: N/A)

8. Pennsylvania's 6th (Republican controlled): Rep. Jim Gerlach's (R) decision to run for governor opens up this suburban Philadelphia district -- a longtime Democratic target. By the numbers, the seat should be in Democratic hands; President Obama carried it with 58 percent in 2008. Democrats have rallied behind Doug Pike, a former member of the editorial board at the Philadelphia Inquirer -- although he does face a primary. The likely Republican nominee is Steve Welch, a wealthy businessman who switched from the 7th district race to the 6th when Meehan entered it. (Previous ranking: 3)

7. Maryland's 1st (D): Rep. Frank Kratovil (D) came to Congress last November thanks to the confluence of factors: a badly divided Republican party and a terrific national political environment for his party among them. It may be impossible for him to recreate that scenario in 2010 in an Eastern Shore district where Obama received just 40 percent of the vote in 2008. State Sen. Andy Harris, who ousted Rep. Wayne Gilchrest in a primary last cycle only to lose the general election to Kratovil, is the odds-on GOP nominee and, while Republicans acknowledge he isn't a perfect candidate, they believe the demographic advantage their party carries in the seat is close to insurmountable. (Previous ranking: 6)

6. Alabama's 2nd (D): Rep. Bobby Bright had two things going for him in 2008: his strong name identification and image in the state thanks to his time as the mayor of Montgomery and a historically high black turnout in a district where three in ten residents are black. Bright still is a popular and well known presence in the district but in a midterm election, it's close to impossible for him to replicate the black turnout that helped propel him to victory. Montgomery City Councilwoman Martha Roby is the likely GOP nominee. (Previous ranking: 7)

5. Illinois' 10th (R): This North Shore district has been held relatively easily by Rep. Mark Kirk (R) for much of the last decade but those election results belie the strong Democratic underpinnings of the seat where Obama won 61 percent in 2008. With Kirk is now moving on to run for the Senate, this is a major target for Democrats. Dan Seals, who ran against Kirk in 2006 and 2008, is hoping the third time's the charm while state Rep. Jule Hamos (D) is also a serious contender. State Rep. Elizabeth Coulson and businessman Dick Green are the leading candidates on the Republican side. (Previous ranking: 2)

4. New Mexico's 2nd (D): Not only did Rep. Harry Teague (D) inexplicably vote in favor of the Obama Administration's cap and trade bill earlier this year (his southern New Mexico district is filled with oil and gas companies) but he has also drawn his toughest possible opponent -- former Rep. Steve Pearce (R) -- as he prepares to seek a second term in 2010. Not good. (Previous ranking: 9)

3. New York's 23rd (R): It looks like House Republicans are headed to their fourth straight special election loss in this North Country district. While Republicans outnumber Democrats in the seat, the party is in the midst of tearing itself apart as Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman (with a major assist from the Club for growth) savages state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R) as insufficiently conservative. Meanwhile, businessman Bill Owens (D) is up with ads touting his military background and resume as a job-creator in an area that is in desperate economic straits. This race looks worse and worse for Republicans with each passing day. (Previous ranking: N/A)

2. Louisiana's 3rd (D): Senate Democrats' gain is House Democrats' loss when it comes to Rep. Charlie Melancon (D). Melancon's decision to take on Sen. David Vitter (R) in 2010 leaves open his southeastern Louisiana seat where President Obama won just 37 percent of the vote last November. Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle is seen as the 800-pound gorilla in the race and, if Democrats can get him to run under their banner, they could have a shot at holding the seat. (Angelle is considering the race but hasn't announced whether he would run as a Democrat or a Republican.) No matter what happens, this is a very tough hold for Democrats. (Previous ranking: N/A)

1. Louisiana's 2nd (R): Rep. Joseph Cao (R) isn't coming back to Congress in a New Orleans-area district that gave Obama 74 percent of the vote last year. The real fight is for the Democratic nomination. (Previous ranking: 1)

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 25, 2009; 2:02 PM ET
Categories:  The Line  
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Next: Morning Fix: Meg Whitman and a Brief History of Not Voting


Like always, I'm drinking the Kratovil kool-aide. I'd still give him better odds then not. Looking at the national snapshot today, he looks in trouble, but all politics is local, and the future looks brighter then the present.

While it's said that nationally, the democrats are their own worst enemy, the opposite seems to be true here. In 2008, the GOP didn't understand how centrist, eastern shore voters democrats could support a centrist, eastern shore democrat over a party line, western shore republican. In the end, Kratovil won every county of the conservative eastern shore even as he lost every county of the more suburban western shore. Having managed to heroically lose such an easy contest, the GOP is repeating their error by renominating Harris.

As for the election cycle, that could end up helping, not hurting Kratovil. In 2008, Obama won all the western shore counties that Kratovil lost, but lost the entire eastern shore except Kratovil's home county. So while Kratovil might have seen an Obama bump narrow his margin of defeat on the west, Harris probably saw a nObama bump on the eastern shore, where there are more voters.

Yes, it's possible that the GOP could smear Kratovil as a "tax and spend" democrat. But they thought they could do that in 2008 and failed. In 2008, Kratovil was a somewhat unknown quantity. In 2010, Kratovil will have a centrist voting record to run on. Smart political money assumes that the democrat label is a trump card, but doesn't seem to get that last time, that trump turned out to be a joker.

That leaves the economy. And here I think the smart money is just being stupid. We are probably at the worst point in the economic cycle right now. There's nowhere to go but up. The GOP is proud that the dems "own" the economy. That makes sense if you assume that the economy is going to suck come election time. But we should be in recovery by then. Pessimism regarding the dems due to the economy is something we could have anticipated months ago. Are we going to be surprised when they gain on the upside?

Posted by: theamazingjex | September 28, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Where Chris Cilizza lives, the sun is always shining on republicans. In the real world, not so much.

Posted by: drindl | September 28, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Maybe we can send Roman Polanski there.

Posted by: JakeD | September 28, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse


What do you think about Obama NOT closing GTMO?

Posted by: JakeD | September 27, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I can't think


Sad and lonely too.

Posted by: snowbama | September 27, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Cao is Vietnamese. He was born in Saigon of a father who was an officer in the South Vietnamese army and imprisoned by the Communists.

He's likely one of those passionate anticommunists who're still railing at their original country's new government, a generational divide separating them from their children who either have never been to Việt Nam or have been there and know that their parents are chasing rainbows. The Communists have built schools, hospitals, and freeways while the corrupt officials supported by the USA during our sojourn there just lined their pockets.

I can't think of any other explanation for an Asian man to embrace the racist Republican Party. He's an ethicist who abandoned an early goal of the priesthood to serve in politics.

The continuing Vietnamese-American grudge against the Communist government mirrors the Miami Cubans in many ways, and the Karzai-and-brother corruption in Afghanistan mirrors the Ngo Dinh Diem-and-brother corruption that hasted the fall of the South to the North.

Cao should become a Democrat.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 27, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Aw, isn't that cute.
Little GoldAndTansonite must have learned that in that NJ kindergarten where he and his class all learned to recite the Obama-praise-a-thon sing-along song as they were taught to worship Comrade Obama (probably facing Mecca).


Dude go back to the stormfront kiddie pool. You are *so* over your head here.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 27, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Cannula, it is taking Obmama more than 8 months to fix the monstrous mess Bush took 8 years to make. A year ago no one thought things would be around as they are. Bush accepted wise advice at the end of his term, Obama has continued along the same advised track and the economy is turning around.

In 14 months I hope that the referendum on Obama's presidency will be colored by lower unemployment rates. Until then, the GOP will continue to pray for failure so they can win some political chips. That's a sorry thing to hang your party's hopes on.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | September 27, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Even evangelical Christians are turning away from the culture wars. If the GOP wants to run candidates who are more interested in harassing gays and restricting abortion and similarly urgent matters while the nation faces multiple crises then they'd better get used to being out of power because voters aren't going to elect demented people like that anymore, except maybe in a few rural districts in the deep south. Certainly not in Maryland.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 27, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Kratovil is as vulnerable as he is listed. The Maryland Republican Party is still in complete shambles and is intent on nominating christian fascists/tea baggers as candidates. Unless they are able to stop drinking the hard right koolaid and nominate someone who doesn't scare every moderate Republican/Independent into an anti vote he will probably be safe

Posted by: chet_brewer | September 27, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Mid-term losses aren't much of a "referendum" on anything, and certainly aren't evidence of a "comeback" by the opposition party. In actuality, they are pretty typical, especially after the White House has sought initiatives to change the status quo, or pushback against the power structure, as BHO's adminstration is now doing with health care. No cause for alarm: midterm losses have historically been the price of social change.

From the Washington Times:

"Midterm losses for the party in power are nothing new. By November 2010, Democrats will have held the House and Senate for four years, and voters often begin blaming the majority party for continuing woes.


In 1966, with the Vietnam War escalating and many of the Great Society programs falling well short of their promised effects - including Medicare, which was turning out to be far more costly than Mr. Johnson had said - voters hammered Democrats, killing the party's veto-proof majority in the Senate and running 47 members out of the House.

The result was even worse the first time Democrats tried to overhaul health care. In 1993, Mrs. Clinton headed a task force that proposed sweeping changes, but Republicans portrayed the effort as an attempt to raise taxes and expand the government bureaucracy. The next year, voters agreed with Republicans, who took over Congress for the first time in 40 years, dealing the incumbent party the biggest loss since 1958.

Although President Clinton had been in the White House just two years, a Wall Street Journal poll conducted days before the 1994 election that found 53 percent of respondents wanted "change in Washington."


Republicans lost both chambers of Congress in 2006, setting up the 2008 win for Mr. Obama."

Posted by: broadwayjoe | September 27, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

The Environment Changer? (Where are all those "Good paying jobs" in Green industries Mr know the ones you promised ad nauseum during the campaign?)-

from Today's NY Times-

U.S. Job Seekers Exceed Openings by Record Ratio

Published: September 26, 2009
Despite signs that the economy has resumed growing, unemployed Americans now confront a job market that is bleaker than ever in the current recession, and employment prospects are still getting worse.

Unemployed Workers Competing for Limited Job Prospects
Job seekers now outnumber openings six to one, the worst ratio since the government began tracking open positions in 2000. According to the Labor Department’s latest numbers, from July, only 2.4 million full-time permanent jobs were open, with 14.5 million people officially unemployed.

Posted by: thecannula | September 27, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

""I'll bet that this election will find a single-digit loss by the party of no."

I think a single-digit Republican gain is fairly likely, simply because of how big the Democratic caucus is after two straight cycles of colossal expansion. Some retrenchment is probably inevitable, though there are some additional Democratic gains likely that will mitigate any losses.

Posted by: SeanC1"

G+T, ask Nate Silver about the law of baseball elasticity. (I read his baseball writings long before I read his political writings)

But that law...when a baseball team has a major increase in wins from year1 to year2, it's good to expect a regression in year3. You can probably expect something similar for Democrats in the next election. You've got a lot of Dems in R leaning districts. Of course Bush made a lot of these guys vote D, but Bush isn't there anymore. Toss in the fact that the job situation hasn't improved much and I expect the elastic band to snap back towards the Rs.

Yes, it's definitely unreasonable to expect Obama to fix the world in his first year in office, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking the American public is an incredibly reasonable beast. If that was true, we don't make a gigantic mistake in 2004.

You all need to drop out of grad school. No reason anyone other than me should be on the internet on the weekend.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 27, 2009 3:44 AM | Report abuse

Ah, I see: broad agreement that the GOP will remain a minority after the next election signals "A GOP-Friendly Environment."

I guess the Democrats will just have to deal with that grim fact.

Posted by: nodebris | September 27, 2009 2:31 AM | Report abuse

Just a little reminder of the history of the Republican Party a bit more than half a century ago. Then the Republicans kept being more and more obstructionist. They fought FDR tooth and nail about everything, fought Truman. Sometimes they got a majority in Congress and sometimes they lost it. Eventually enough people got fed up with them that the Dems got control of both houses of Congress and kept it, with a short exception in the Senate, for forty years.

After forty years in the minority Newt and company decided to get REALLY obstructionist, and brought Congress to a halt, held hostage against their getting control of Congress.

Enough idiots let the Newt blackmail them into giving the Republicans control, and THEN legislation really ground to a halt. The Republicans gave up even trying to get budgets in on time, and spent most of their time fighting each other over criminalizing abortion and gay marraige and anyother far right rantasy that struck them. for six of those years a Democrat in the White House served as a check on their idiocy, butwhen they got one of their own in running the country they went totally bonkers. The economy immediately tanked, and stayed tanked for the next eight years, after which it ran off and tried to go over a very high cliff.

WHEN we get to voting in 18 months, every democrat running will be able to quote that record against the Party of NO, and will.

A recovering economy, with coming universal health care and improving international relations will be a nice backdrop for Democratic Party candidates to remind the people of what awaits them the NEXT time they get careless and elect Republicans in quantity to Congress.

AND, just to make sure things don't go the way the Republicans want them to go, conservatives with lots of money will still be lurking in the wings ready to ambush any Republican who strays too far from the right hand shoulder of the political freeway, into a lane where reasonable people travel. By taking RINO heads as trophies and hanging them on Republican Party smoking room walls they will insure that the right center stays available to whomever wishes to court it.

When the progressives and moderates get tired of being the targets in Republican Turkey Shoots, they will sever connections with the TOP (Truth Optional Party) and start their own.

But what they hey, the Republicans got money and guns and candidates that only Attila could love. By their lights things are definitely looking up.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 26, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

"I'll bet that this election will find a single-digit loss by the party of no."

I think a single-digit Republican gain is fairly likely, simply because of how big the Democratic caucus is after two straight cycles of colossal expansion. Some retrenchment is probably inevitable, though there are some additional Democratic gains likely that will mitigate any losses.

Posted by: SeanC1 | September 26, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The way districts are drawn and redrawn it should be no surprise that the dems would be losing seats. It has nothing to do with Obama's ideas but rather the average americans dogmatic tendencies towards their party of choice. Although whoever spends the most has a good shot no matter what.

Posted by: bush_lies | September 26, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

These things go up and down.
I'll bet that this election will find a single-digit loss by the party of no.

Posted by: F_L_Palmer | September 26, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Just checkin' in. No comment on [the 37th or is it the 38th?] "GOP comeback" post. :)

On Turner Classic Movies at 2:00 pm today:

John Wayne's classic wide-screen epic, "the Alamo." This is the 3 1/2 hour "road show" version, including Overture and Intermission music by Dimitri Tiomkin, originally seen in 1960. The final out-of-control siege of the Alamo is simply unmatched in movie history.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | September 26, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

re. GoldAndTansonite's eyeroll

Aw, isn't that cute.
Little GoldAndTansonite must have learned that in that NJ kindergarten where he and his class all learned to recite the Obama-praise-a-thon sing-along song as they were taught to worship Comrade Obama (probably facing Mecca).

Posted by: armpeg | September 26, 2009 3:22 AM | Report abuse

The more accurate polls, Rasmussen and Zogby,


Oh, I guess you really are.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 25, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Since Gallup always oversamples Democraps


Yeah pollsters should make sure that their samples include precisely equal numbers of "democraps" and "rethuglicans"

(rolls eyes)

you can't really be this dumb

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 25, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

50 The most important number today.

50% is Comrade Barack Obama's job approval rating today by the Gallup poll. Since Gallup always oversamples Democraps, and always has higher poll numbers in every election than what the actual outcome is, this 50%--50% approve--disapprove means Comrade Obama has dropped 20% since January, by a poll taken by Democrap--partisans.
The more accurate polls, Rasmussen and Zogby, have Comrade Obama at 49%--51% approve--disapprove.
The way Comrade Obama's poll numbers are going in only 9 months, he'll be in the 30's by next year, with a 70% disapproval number.
Just goes to show, that once the American people figure out that Barack Obama's idea of governing is Communism, they don't like it.

Posted by: armpeg | September 25, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh how I wish the MN 6th was on the line. Where are the 6th district Dems?

Posted by: StillwaterMN | September 25, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Just not sure why "please stay on topic" is such a hard request to follow. You know who you are.


Everyone who reads this blog knows who the two offenders are. The only question in anyone's mind is why you let them go on posting.

Before you banned anyone it at least had the patina of a wholly unmoderated forum. But then you banned two people and very conspicuously left the worst offender by far free to go on offending, and offend he did, taking his being spared as a mark of approval and as recognition. It was one thing when nobody ever got banned, but when you start to ban people and you're glaringly, shockingly, insultingly inconsistent about it, you make matters much worse.

Until you get around to banning JakeD, don't expect anyone to take this stuff very seriously.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 25, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Cao's R is probably going to kill him on election day, but if he does a better ad job than he did last time, he might have a shot. He's not that out of touch with the values of his district. He's very anti-abortion and very pro-business. For as blue as LA-2 is, it is also pretty anti-abortion and pro-business. I've never seen a city more cognizant of small businesses than New Orleans. Other than those Republican values, he seems to be pretty Democratic. At the town hall I went to, a few people were puzzled at why he's even Republican. This includes me.

But I have a feeling he's not going to get much institutionalized support. I believe I saw more Green Party ads than I did for Republican ads. In fact, I seemed to see more Dems come out for Cao than Republicans. Helena Moreno, who lost to Jefferson in the Dem primary was a supporter of Cao. I do expect her to run again, though. She's been relatively active politically since losing to Jefferson.

Also, one of the factors leading to Cao's victory was hurricane Gustav delaying the vote for a month which resulted in very low turnout. It's tough to predict how turnout will be in a midterm, but the lower the turnout, the better Cao's chances are.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 25, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Since the primary unknowns in any election for House of representatives won't begin to sort out until the end of the year, this is only name dropping. It does give the true junkie a chance to see names that he wouldn't otherwise pay much attention to early enough for us to go find ALL the dirt we can on those we really oppose.

But until the Health care contest plays out, and the economy figures out how it will respond to the stimulus, and the climate bill gets up and argued, trying to call THIS election is crystal gazing of the early 1800's variety. (a certain Joseph Smith of upstate NY made his reputation in the field before going on to bigger things.) You can claim anything and when it fails claim that there was this Spanish Curse and it had to be properly approached or the gold will go away.

Still, except in districts that were far out of character in electing a democrat in a district were his going to Washington and taking his wife reduced the population of registered Democrats to two or fewer it seems fatuous to hope that Republicans running on Obama's failure will have much traction should he be moderately successful, and where there are lots of ordinary non voters who really stand to lose should the republicans get a chance to undo Change we can believe in Republicans running on that platform can stir in the hustings lots of slumbering voters who won't be friendly.

You might want to leave the hardcore cheerleading 'till you see if the republicans have as much as one stump of a leg left to stand on.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 25, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Just not sure why "please stay on topic" is such a hard request to follow. You know who you are.

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | September 25, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I would say that Delaware-at-Large and the Idaho 1st should both be on this list before some of the lower-tier ones here (PA-7 and CO-4).

In Delaware, it's pretty clear that whatever Mike Castle is doing, it's not running for reelection in the House. And the once-might Delaware Republican Party is a gutted shell without him. John Carney should coast into that seat next fall.

In Idaho, Walt Minnick has done a pretty good job of fitting into his district, and he surprisingly snagged some support from a notable Republican in Steve Symms. But it's still nearly R+20, and Minnick only scraped in in 2008 against a tremendously flawed opponent (though, unlike some others, presidential coattails wouldn't have been a big part of his win, so he won't suffer from a lack of them).

Posted by: SeanC1 | September 25, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama is making more progress with Iran using "appeasement" diplomacy than President Swagger ever did with bluster.

And after the Bush DHS wet its pants rounding up ineffectual loudmouths with no actual plans much less access to real mayhem material, Obama's has managed to nail and honest-to-Betsy terrorist.

And we're not going to the the fourth empire buried in Afghanistan.

And healthcare is going to pass without any Republicans doing any more than holding their breath till they turn blue.

And MA threw out that frivolous GOP lawsuit.

No wonder you're so damned mad.

Choke on it.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 25, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama on his clueless dealings with Iran:

weakness is strength.

Posted by: snowbama | September 25, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

There's only so many pumpkin spice lattes the Fix can chug!


Ugh, that sounds absolutely ghastly. Only mint sounds worse.

Here in Seattle the coffee comes from such good beans that you really don't need to cover up the flavor. Hell, you can get a decent cuppa in a gas station around here. Matter of fact you can get some REALLY good perc in a gas station around here.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 25, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Wow CC - not even 100 postings today. If you exclude the three or four who post 70% of the text, you seem to have a shrinking fan club.

Perhaps allowing the entire blog to be run into the ground by the increasingly irrational liberal mutual admiration society is finally taking its toll on all the thinking, intelligent bloggers.

but huff, Kos and Moveon already have a corner on that market.

It's not like your writing skills are going to bail you out.

Maybe another front page link to a "Sarah Palin is coming back" article could temporarily boost your traffic.

Otherwise I see you going the way of air america, MSDNC, CNN, NBC, NYTimes and the rest of the sinking left wing media dinosaurs.

not that I ever considered you a left winger. you have always been fairly even tempered. But your audience is absurd.

Look at the two or three kooks that took up all the space this am. and now we enter into chris fox hour. that ought to bring them in in droves. ha.

check in over the weekend and observe his conversation with himself long into the night. pitiful. your number one fan.

Posted by: snowbama | September 25, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Q. Upon reflection, why have the "Top Ten" of only 33 or 34 races in the Senate and only 10 (or even 20) out of 435 House races?

A. Baby Fix and Mrs. Fix. There's only so many pumpkin spice lattes the Fix can chug!


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | September 25, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

ONE of the things that I hate about Sestak running against Specter in the primary is that Sestak has not held this congressional seat long enough to establish it as a Democratic seat.

I know being a Senator is an attractive thing, but there was a Democrat in the Senate seat when Sestak jumped in. Now we have two incumbents running for one senate seat, and a congressional seat twisting in the wind. That isn't paying attention to the needs of your party, and that is why Obama is raising money for Specter.

The one thing I like about Sestak's move was that it put Specter's feet to the fire and he has become a much better Democrat for it.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | September 25, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Cris, I suggest you do a better job of moderating this forum.


Moderation here means making it a safe place for tedious repetitive birther trolls, nothing more.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 25, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

There used to be interesting give and take on this blog. Not anymore. I will check from time to time to see if the crazy people from both the left and right have stopped posting off topic crap. Based on what I have seen the off topic crap will not stop anytime soon.

Cris, I suggest you do a better job of moderating this forum.

Posted by: ModerateVoter | September 25, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

turn the blame to the Democrats.


considering that they hold all three houses, that should not be too difficult, even for tiny brained liberals to follow.

the calamity is already in place. BHO.

Of course, even with majorities everywhere, somehow it will not be their faults. that is what you call Dem "leadership".

Look for Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin to be blamed for all the liberal incompetence.

Posted by: snowbama | September 25, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Note that there is no way back to power for Republicans that doesn't involve the nation suffering some sort of major catastrophe. They're not going to get back on with ideas, because they don't have any. They're not going to get back through the charisma of some leader because they don't have one.

So the GOP and its nasty minions pray for calamity, pray openly, and failing calamity they seek to obstruct and confuse and delay and hope they can make things fall apart and turn the blame to the Democrats.

There was a time not long ago where such a plan actually could have had a shot, but not anymore. This GOP couldn't manage a trip to the toilet.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 25, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Way too early to make any prognostics about 2010.

If the economy is improving in Fall 2010 then Democrats will be just fine. If it is not then they won't.

It is as simple as that.

Posted by: maritza1 | September 25, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

chris fox cancels his trip to Poland:

"The purpose of this action is to improve the mental health of the convict, to lower his libido and thereby to reduce the risk of another crime being committed by the same person," the government said in a statement.

Posted by: snowbama | September 25, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The weaker Obama becomes politically, the more readily Democrats and liberal reporters alike will acknowledge that attacking US allies while scraping and bowing before US foes is a ridiculous strategy for foreign affairs. Certainly no self-proclaimed realist can defend a policy based on denuding the US of its power and forsaking a US-based international system for one dictated by its foes.

Posted by: snowbama | September 25, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Steady string off off-topic I-hate-Obama posts from the inmate. Helpless to stop himself.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 25, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Personal to snowbama:

It might just take revelations from the likes of the deposed Honduran leader to get the ostriches in mainstream media to realize the American government has turned these classified microwave and laser radiation directed energy weapons against its own people...

...a nationwide torture matrix apparently disguised in one iteration as faux cell phone towers.

Bob Woodward, feel free to seek confirmation with your most trusted sources. Perhaps they will confirm by their silence... like in your first book.

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 25, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh - President Barack Obama and the leaders of France and Britain declared Friday that the revelation of a previously secret Iranian nuclear facility puts heavy new pressure on Tehran to quickly disclose all its nuclear efforts — including any moves toward weapons development — ''or be held accountable.'' (Snip) French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Iran has until December to comply or face new sanctions.

the sanctions include moving the deadline to February if they don't comply. If that doesn't work, Obama will punish them with a blitz of TV appearances. That worked in this country to defeat himself.

If all that fails. perhaps another round of asking nicely will do the trick.


If the wheels keep coming off Obama's bus, how will he be able to throw more people under it? It's getting crowded under there. Two items reported by Garance Franke-Ruta at the Weekly Standard: Obama Gitmo policy collapses. Greg Craig gets the blame and is thrown under the bus. Yosi Serant of the NEA propaganda arm joins him there.

Posted by: snowbama | September 25, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Obambi's newest war czar speaks out:

Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has purportedly urged European nations to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan, in a new tape posted on the internet. He said that "an intelligent man does not waste his money and sons for a gang of criminals in Washington".(Snip)It is shameful to be part of an alliance whose leader does not care about spilling the blood of human beings by bombing villages intentionally,"

Posted by: snowbama | September 25, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse


I thought you were holed up in honduras:

But he still doesn't feel safe. Why not? Speaking to Frances Robles of the Miami Herald , Zelaya

""claims his throat is sore from toxic gases and "Israeli mercenaries'' are torturing him with high-frequency radiation. "We are being threatened with death,'' he said in an interview with The Miami Herald, adding that mercenaries were likely to storm the embassy where he has been holed up since Monday and assassinate him.""

Posted by: snowbama | September 25, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse


Don't underestimate Sestak's appeal in PA 7th. The power of the PA Dem machine is greatly overestimated; Obama's coat-tails may be more like an Eisenhower jacket.

It's up to Specter to demonstrate that he's now a reliable Democrat. He could best prove it, and reinforce his human rights bona fides, by convening hearings on the unconstitutional and inhumane targeting of American citizens with warrantless GPS-activated, fedederally-enabled community stalking and covert assaults with silent, injury- and illness inducing microwave and laser directed energy weapons -- some apparently mounted on what look like cell phone towers...

...crimes against humanity enabled by the government. OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 25, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I would say one of the most contentious delegations is the Murkowski, Begich relationship with Palin thrown in to make it interesting. Murkowski grew up in D.C. as the daughter of a Senator for Life, but Begich is the son of a former congressman who died while Begich was growing up in D.C.. Not sure about Palin, still waiting to see birth certificate... long form.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | September 25, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Upon reflection, why have the "Top Ten" of only 33 or 34 races in the Senate and only 10 (or even 20) out of 435 House races? The Governor's calendar is uneven, but also over-represented by a top 10 list.

You're hightlighting a third of the Senate races, which by number 4 on the list is actually "unlikely" to switch hands. Conversely your top 20 and more could switch in the House.

But I do appreciate the effort!

Posted by: justjoeking | September 25, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Setback and Opportunity for U.S.
Analysis | Disclosure spells end of engagement effort, but also presents clear path toward building international consensus for sterner action.

could it be, could it possibly be? the messiah was completely wrong all along and his surrender and apology was exactly the WRONG approach.

Of course.

Posted by: snowbama | September 25, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza: Thanks for the updated House Line.

You updated the Senate Line last week. Could you please "Fix" the graphic? -->

Posted by: justjoeking | September 25, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"That near-evenness among the most vulnerable seats is slightly misleading, however, as the seats that would occupy spots 11 through 20 on the Line are almost all held by Democrats."

That is useful information, thanks.

Posted by: bsimon1 | September 25, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Wonder what joked will have to say about Rep. Cao's spot at the top of this list.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | September 25, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

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