The DNC’s NY-9 spin today doesn’t pass the laugh test. It’s a “tough district for Democrats” now? Seriously? That press release needs to go back to re-write.
In the hours leading up to the vote, Democrats came out on both sides of the race for the seat once held by Chuck Schumer. Former President Bill Clinton and current NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo made robo calls to help the Democratic candidate, David Weprin. Former NY Mayor Ed Koch came out strongly for the Republican, Bob Turner. That the Democrats were this divided on what should have been a fairly safe seat says quite a lot about where President Obama has taken that party. That the Republican won says a bit about the lingering power of Ed Koch, who in the manner of Yoda, is far more powerful than he appears. I’m not saying that his role in NY-9 was decisive, but it probably did help make up more than a few undecided minds in Turner’s favor. NY voters are comfortable with Koch; if he is comfortable with a Republican, then many voters conclude that they can be comfortable with that same Republican. Koch made the case that electing Turner would send a message to Obama regarding his hostility to Israel. And the race became a referendum on the entire Obama agenda and its manifold failures. Koch was on the right side of all this.
It’s not the first time Koch has come out to support a Republican, and for similar reasons. He vocally supported President George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004. Now Koch has helped defeat the DNC again, plus the Clinton and Cuomo machines. Not bad. Maybe 2012 really will be the year that the Jewish vote aligns with the party that actually consistently supports Israel. That re-alignment is long overdue.
Question: What if Ed Koch primaried Barack Obama? I think a lot of Democrats could get behind that.