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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brown wins, Obama loses

The voters of Massachusetts decided to celebrate Martin Luther King Day (a day later) by voting against Martha Coakley, President Obama's personal choice to replace Senator-for-Life Ted Kennedy.

Republican Scott Brown won, 52-47, in a state which has three and a half times as many Democratic voters as Republican. (Massachusetts was the only state to vote for George McGovern in 1972, and Obama won here by 26 points.) Has there ever before been such a quick shift in voter sentiment?

You constantly hear that despite the fact that Obama's coattails have gotten so slippery, and despite the fact that the public doesn't support his policies, Barack Obama is himself still very popular.

I don't believe that. I think if the Presidential election were held tomorrow, and Obama were running against Mitt Romney, Obama would lose, and by more than Martha Coakley.

One has to wonder exactly how Rahm Emanuel is going to not let this Massachusetts crisis go to waste.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

If Obama has any sense he'll fire Rahm's **s today with a good number of his cabinet to follow. Or is the bullying fixer the real leader of the administration??
G

John Craig said...

Guy -- Emanuel IS a bullying fixer, but I don't think you can lay the whole thing at his doorstep. The reason Obama has surrounded himself with leftists is because he himself is a leftist, and that's not about to change. And as a leftist, he has no common sense, so he'll probably try to double down at this point.

What he has is an ability to bs, which he will continue to use.

Anonymous said...

John,

I wonder if Obama could even beat Bush.

Stu

John Craig said...

Stu --
Good to hear from you. That's a good question.

Anonymous said...

John,
Enjoyed your post today. The president sure does speak well, to bad he can't back up his talk. Isn't it great to experience that rich Chicago type politics that we were taught about in grade school. I'm wondering if next month we'll be able to have a reproduction of the St Valentines day massacre. Maybe it can be covered by Oberman at MSNBC...wouldn't that be great. Maybe we could put his whole cabinet up against the wall and pull the Thompsons out !!
Mad Dog

Anonymous said...

On the Friday before the MA senate election a conservative talk radio host said that in his opinion it would be a bad sign for Brown if Obama came to campaign for Coakley because he would ONLY come to MA to stump for her if she was likely to win. The humiliation to Obama would be too great if he campaigned for her and then she lost.

Obama came, Coakley lost by a good margin.

I think the pundit misunderstands Obama. Obama is a socialist zealot. This explains why he continuously sticks his neck out when prudent politics would say its time to lie low.

- Ed

John Craig said...

At least we can feel secure in knowing that if al Qaeda pulled a St. Valentine's type massacre, they'd get a regular civilian trial.

John Craig said...

Ed - If the pundits misunderstand Obama, then they are doing so willfully. I think they realize what he is, but so many of them are simpatico with his views that they purposely put the best possible interpretation on his every action. Plus most of the pundits are so pc that they are afraid to criticize him in any way for fear of appearing "racist."

Anonymous said...

One of the most interesting interviews I saw yesterday was with Mort Zuckerman, who was a strong Obama supporter but is on the threshold of losing the faith. He is angry with Obama and said that he is waiting to see how Obama responds to the Brown election - will he be a "pragamatist" (in the Clinton mold) - and move to the middle - or an "idealogue" - and seek to drive through an unpopular agenda? I know you and many others are already convinced that O is the latter, but you don't fund him. I think the good news is that if O and the Dems fail to hear the electorate and adopt a more pragmatic and centrist line they will not just lose big in the elections but also lose big in the pocketbook. Of course they may lose big on both counts anyway.
G

John Craig said...

Guy -- I should be clearer. I think Obama is a hard core leftist, and that won't change. But he is enough of a realist to know that he has to talk centrist, no matter his actions. But the problem for him now is that he's always done that, and his credibility is now quite low as a result. During the campaign he said he's reach across the aisle for a new, post-partisan kind of politics. Obviously he hasn't done that. He said he was going to go with the public financing option during the campaign, and scuttled that as soon as he saw that he could get more money privately. Before he picked a Supreme Court nominee, he said he wanted someone who would interpret the Constitution as it was meant to be interpreted, and not legislate from the bench. Then he picked Sotomayor, a quota queen. He said that he wouldn't endorse a health care bill which raised taxes "one dime." But all versions of the bill included a $3700 penalty for people who didn't buy insurance. What is that if not a tax? He said that he would open up negotiations on C-Span, but even the Republicans in Congress were shut out of the negotiations. He said he would bring a new kind of politics with no earmarks in his administration; the first thing he did was sign a stimulus bill which was nothing but $787 billion in earmarks and pork for Democratic politicians. So his credibility is zero. But he has issued a nominal mea culpa (see post after this one) for the electoral mood shift, and will continue to make the right noises, even if he doesn't follow up with corresponding actions.

Anonymous said...

Well said John. It's difficult to disagree so I won't try. (As an aside, it maybe that O actually thinks he is a moderate leftist - if so Lord help us if he were radical left in his own terms!)

I care less about ideologies than outcomes (the Republicans have also been very good at professing one thing and doing another, particularly when it comes to fiscal rectitude.) I'll be happy if the agenda is a middle line enforced by the looming electoral, and possibly funding, threat for the Dems. I do want to see health care and financial sector reforms, but I don't want them to be a tax-and-subsidy bill and nationalisation of the banks.
G

John Craig said...

Guy -- I suspect that Obama realizes his core beliefs are pretty far out on the left, which is why he takes such great care to disguise them.

I agree that we need health and financial reform. I think the kind of health reform we need is more regulation of insurance companies, more competition among them, sort of like the way mortgage brokers had to compete, malpractice caps, and monitoring of unnecessary care (not just at end of life, but throughout life). I also think we should have different premiums for different lifestyles and health records; as it is people who take care fo themselves have to pay for people who don't. The financial reform should include clearing markets for credit default swaps to insure that whoever sells them has the capital to pay them off. And the AIG thing really rankles; that money should be paid back as well.