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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

Sarah Kliff’s Wonkblog post “Don’t believe the hype: Health insurers think Obamacare is going to be fine” provides a welcome antidote from industry experts to the GOP hysteria.
HuffPo’s Jason Linkins illuminates Christie’s ‘Shadow Primary’ problem with this quote from Matthew Yglesias: “…in order to win, any candidate needs to first gain the allegiance (or at least nonhostility) of a wide range of elites outside his immediate political circle. House members from South Carolina. State senators from Iowa. Anti-abortion activists in New Hampshire. Talk radio hosts. Fox News executives. Donors. Lobbyists. State-level Chamber of Commerce chiefs. These people are paying attention right now, and they’re thinking about who they want to back and who they want to bandwagon against. And there’s just no way this bridge thing is making any of those people more likely to support Christie than they were six months ago. Republican elites are mostly looking to find a candidate who is both conservative, effective, and electable and this makes him look less electable and less effective without making him look more conservative…” Linkins adds, “When you consider that Christie is likely to draw competitors like Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan and Scott Walker, as opposed to Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain, there’s no reason for party elites to be desperate or settle early.”
WaPo’s Paul Kane discusses prospects for a Blue Dog resurrection.
But at The Hill, Mario Trujillo’s “Blue Dogs recruit four vulnerable Dems” notes that “All the new members won their last elections with less than 55 percent of the vote. The National Republican Congressional Committee has singled out both Barber and Rahall, who represent red-leaning districts that went to Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.” However, “Democrats have also looked to protect the swing districts held by the new Blue Dog members. All but Rahall have been named to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline Program, which protects vulnerable incumbents.”
In an NYRB cover story, Gary Wills concludes that Joe Scarborough’s plan to save the GOP from itself has a few major blind spots: “Scarborough’s silly picture of American politics leaves out most of the things that matter–including (but not restricted to) race, religion, and money. And the greatest of these is money.”
Politico’s Tal Kopan, Politico and Gallup headline writers have what strikes me as a textbook example of biased poll interpretation for government-bashing. Here’s her lede: “Americans continue to identify government itself as the biggest problem facing the nation in a new poll, although the numbers have come down since the end of the government shutdown…Asked to name the most important problem facing the country today, 21 percent of those surveyed in a Gallup poll out Wednesday cited government and politicians.” But the exact wording of the choice that received a 21 percent response to Gallup’s question was “Dissatisfaction with government/Congress/politicians/poor leadership/corruption/abuse/power.” Some of the blame, however, should be shared with the ejits who crafted the response choice, which is so broad as to make the poll worthless.
Politico’s Manu Raju and Carrie Budoff Brown have a more nuanced analysis of “Obama’s Plan to Save the Senate.”
E.J. Dionne, Jr.’s profile of Rep. George Miller, “The Lost Art of Tough Liberalism” merits a thoughtful read by m.c.’s and their staffers and offers an interesting suggestion: “Congress could use more liberals who can brawl and negotiate at the same time. Perhaps Miller will now open a school for progressive legislators. He could name it after Ted Kennedy.”
Can the Koch brothers buy a U.S. Senate seat for the Republicans in N.C.? Kris Kromm discusses the disturbing possibilities in his Facing South post “Hagan, Southern lawmakers targeted in Obamacare attack ads.”

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