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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

A Daily Kos Jed Lewison comments on Gov. Christie’s latest shift to the “incompetent buffoon defense,” which Lewison describes as: “Christie is basically saying that people shouldn’t hold it against him that he’s got a bunch of staffers who did something bad because he’s such an out-of-touch boss that he didn’t know what they were up to.” Or how about, “Don’t blame me just because my judgement in selecting people for major staff posts and appointments sucks bad.”
NYT’s Michael Barbaro, Nicholas Confessore and Jonathan Martin explain how “Democrats Aim to Capitalize on Christie Problems,” basically by making him poster-boy for GOP Governors: “…Democrats are determined to transform him into a toxic figure, whose name is synonymous with the ugliest elements of politics: partisan bullying and backslapping cronyism…”If Republican governors want to keep embracing him as their chair, as their model for the future, we’re happy to help them out,” said Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.”
Olivia Nuzzi has a Politico profile, “The man Who Keeps Christie Up at Night,” of the most likely beneficiary of the Christie mess, Assemblyman John Wisniewski, whose impressive commentary on the Christie debacle has put him on the short list for Democratic nominations for Gov. in New Jersey.
Can the Koch Brothers buy the 2014 elections? WaPo’s Matea Gold has a scary update on record-level early spending to attack Democratic candidates by the Koch Brother’s Americans for Prosperity.
Greg Sargent elaborates at The Plum Line: “Meanwhile, in North Carolina, the source says, AFP as of today has spent a staggering $7.2 million against Senator Kay Hagan, versus only $1.4 million by the SMP…Those are lopsided imbalances. And it’s going to get a lot worse. Dems expect the Koch network to spend as much as $200 million this cycle. Meanwhile, the money from the left just isn’t there yet, Dems say privately. If it were, you’d see groups like the Senate Majority PAC, Emily’s List, and the League of Conservation Voters (which is up with an ad hitting Scott Brown in New Hampshire) spending much more in these races, to match AFP’s spending.”
Good news for Marianne Williamson: Sandra Fluke has decided to run for CA state senate instead of Waxman’s House seat. But Williamson will likely face formidable opposition anyway.
David Callahan has an interesting post at Demos Policy Shop discussing the political ramifications of the terms “middle class” and “working class.” He crunches some self-i.d. data and observes “The term “working class” isn’t uttered so often by politicians in a stand alone way..The term almost seems dated, as if whoever uses it is stuck in a Laverne and Shirley re-run. Sure, we hear a lot about low-wage workers and “working families,” but the clear class component here has drifted quietly out of political and media discourse — even though tens of millions of Americans still think of themselves as working class…You’d think that progressives, at least, would talk often about the working class, but that’s not really the case. Instead, we prefer “working families,” which is bad choice for a few reasons — starting with the fact that many affluent professionals actually work longer hours than low-wage workers, who are more likely to be underemployed or unemployed. But the big problem is that when we drop the word “class,” we lose that all-important reminder that there is a rigid economic hierarchy in America, more rigid than in many European countries, according to mobility research.”
At ProPublica Charles Ornstein addresses “As the Media Gets Bored With Obamacare, Is the Public Starting to Get on Board?” Lots of interesting detail here, including: “…we are close to being able to say that the March 31 open enrollment period is already a success. And let me break it down for you. We have 2.2 million people who’ve already selected plans through the exchanges [as of the end of December], which is about 30 percent of what CBO [the Congressional Budget Office] predicted. We have about 6 million people who have been found eligible to enroll in Medicaid, and we have 3 million young adults who weren’t previously insured who are now insured under their parents’ policies. …You’ve got about 11 million people who’ve been touched by the law, maybe as many as 15 million. That’s really quite an astonishing number for the first six months.”
Here’s why Georgia Democrats are hoping that Rep. Paul Broun will get the keys to the GOP clown car.

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