Barney Frank on having Bill Clinton come pitch for his reelection campaign:
“The notion that it’s a sign of panic is just silly. That’s just politics when they don’t have anything else better to say. It’s a tougher race, because once I became chairman of the [banking] committee in 2007, the right-wing media talk show hosts decided to target me.”
Shucks, Barney — it was nothin’.
Ever wondered what’s the opposite of a pep talk? This might be it:
President Obama will meet with Democratic leaders one last time on Thursday before a midterm election that could decimate their numbers on Capitol Hill.
Obama is expected to talk about a variety of issues along with what the party should do going forward, the White House said Thursday.
“It’s just one more opportunity to talk to some of his allies on Capitol Hill before they go out for the election,” said White House spokesman Bill Burton.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), her leadership position in jeopardy, will be joined at the White House by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.), House Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.) and Chris Van Hollen (Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), who is mired in a tough reelection battle, will also be there with Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Patty Murray (Wash.).
One President. One Speaker. Two Majority Leaders. One Whip. One Chairman. Three Senators.
Under Obamacare, if you like your current health plan, you can keep it — unless you’re one of about 30,000 McDonald’s employees:
McDonald’s Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.
The move is one of the clearest indications that new rules may disrupt workers’ health plans as the law ripples through the real world.
It appears that young, healthy kids — currently offered bare-bones insurance at a minimum price by McD franchises — will be forced into more expensive, Obama-approved plans. All to subsidize wealthier seniors.
And Obama still captures the youth vote. Well, wait until they figure out they’ve been had.
Honesty in politics? It’s happening right here in Colorado, as the Establishment GOP is trying its best to cope with the new crop of citizen-candidates. Read it and smile:
Republican Tom Janich of Brighton, running to unseat Democratic Rep. Judy Solano, has been arrested five times, including once for resisting arrest.
“It’s my record. I’ve got to own up to it,” he said.
But the 48-year-old said his run-ins with the law happened when he was younger, and he now has a record of public service.
“Heck, if everyone in Adams County who ever drank one too many or smoked a joint would vote for me, I’d win in a landslide,” Janich said.
Would I vote for Janich? No. Not until after I’d bought him a drink.
A Sketch in One Act, from The Tonight Show circa 1982
Carson: The Senate Democrats are so desperate today…
Audience: How desperate are they?
Carson: …they’re so desperate, they’ve agreed to block Obama appointees and cut spending.
Audience: [ROARS WITH LAUGHTER]
Cue: Doc Severinsen Orchestra then cut to commercial break.
There he goes again — President Obama picking on a news organization by name:
Officials in the Obama White House have long made Fox News a punching bag, launching a full blown offensive last year when aides declared the network to be “opinion journalism masquerading as news.” Then-White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said the cable outlet “operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party,” and top aide Valerie Jarret called Fox “clearly biased.”
But the new comments from Obama constitute the president’s most direct attack yet on the network owned by business mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Fox News pushes “a point of view that I disagree with. It’s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world,” Obama said.
Get that? Fox News is destroying the vibrant and competitive middle class with its point of view!
If you’ll recall, the Administration got pretty much nowhere with this line of attack last year, when Obama’s approval numbers were hovering around 60. Now that they’re bouncing around not much higher than 40, does Obama really expect better luck?
If it’s ratings Obama is looking for, maybe he should be phoning Rupert Murdock for advice, rather than slamming him in a wet-nurse faux “news outlet” like Rolling Stone.
Add Richard Cohen to the growing list of disillusioned lefties. He minces no words in today’s New York Post column:
The arena of the administration’s incompetence is the issue of West Bank settlements.
The Obama approach to the Israeli-Palestinian problem has been counterproductive. Either the Palestinians have to back down from their insistence that all settlements be frozen in place or Netanyahu has to back down from his pledge that any moratorium would be temporary. Either Abbas or Netanyahu has to lose credibility, and neither man can afford to.
Obama, too, has to husband his credibility. He foolishly demanded something Israel could not yet give. It was bad diplomacy.
What makes the Cohen piece so interesting is that it’s a complaint lodged against Obama’s foreign policy, where he’s largely gotten a pass from the left.
A Continuing Series
The latest installment, from David Freddoso:
Republican Christine O’Donnell claims to have raised $2.6 million in her longshot race to represent Delaware in the U.S. Senate. The DSCC evidently believes that she must be taken seriously. They’ve just purchased another $165,000 in airtime against her, according to FEC reports, bringing their total so far to $272,000.
So if you count Delaware, Pennsylvania ($3M), and Missouri ($1.5M), the DSCC has split about two-thirds of its expenditures so far between races it probably cannot win and races it supposedly cannot lose.
But wait! The AP has more:
Democratic Party Chairman Timothy Kaine says he sees no slight in Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold skipping a campaign rally tonight where President Barack Obama is appearing on his behalf.
Kaine tells CBS’s “The Early Show” that candidates “make their own decisions about these things.” And Kaine, a former Virginia governor, says Feingold understands that Obama can energize the party’s base.
We’ll see just how much the Toxic Avenger can “energize the party’s base” on Wednesday. If Toxie has a disappointing turnout or a lackluster response tomorrow in Madison, then this base wouldn’t voom if you put four million volts through it.
Coast to Coast Tea Party: Meet Ed Martin, the man trying to put the final nail in the coffin of Missouri’s Carnahan political dynasty.
This is a race to watch. Missouri’s third district is old-school midwest — manufacturing, farms — but practically very conservative. And yet it keeps electing Democrats, from Dick Gephardt to Russ Carnahan. Martin is leading the way to changing that.
You won’t believe the lineup on this week’s PJM Political. We’ve got Stephen Kruiser down in Texas shooting with Governor Rick Perry — plus Glenn Reynolds, Rand Simberg, Joe Hicks, National Review’s Deroy Murdock, Allen Barton, Hans von Spakovsky, and of course Five Questions for James Lileks.
It’s a damn good show.
Jay Cost looks at the collapse of the Fiscally Sane/Socially Moderate coalition Bill Clinton put together, and wonders what’s next for the Democrats:
Will President Obama and his Democratic allies adapt this time around? That remains to be seen. Staying the course might leave him with little more than the McGovern coalition, so the demands of electoral victory seem to require some genuine movement toward the center. But on the other hand, Obama is in office in part because of the McGovern wing of the party; all those liberals who hated Clintonian triangulation finally got the last laugh, triumphantly nominating him amid shouts of “Yes We Can!” What’s more, I suspect that President Obama actually believes he is in the political center, that he doesn’t see all the strawman nonsense as strawman nonsense. He looks over his left shoulder and really sees “the professional left,” then looks over his right shoulder and really sees ”dangerous” Tea Party “extremists.” So, I don’t know…
Well, I don’t know, either, but I have my suspicions. Obama’s entire career has been a series of double-downs, especially since assuming the presidency. He seems neither ideologically or practically inclined to triangulate. And Cost’s “strawman” theory comes the closest I’ve yet read to explaining why.
I’m not one of these people who think Obama should be getting down with the people, or getting emotional. A Slick Willie he isn’t, nor should he try to be.
But he’s being hammered in polls that ask Americans whether he cares about people like them. Where did Mr. Hope and Change go? Even if that was inauthentic, he should bring it back.
It’s a long time now since Obama was a community organizer. Even then, he might have been more comfortable dealing with communities than with individuals. Democrats are best with groups. If I break down on the side of the road, I hope a Republican stops — he’ll fix my flat and offer me a drink. A Democrat will get busy forming a Committee to Protect Women Who Own Vulnerable Cars.
So it’s come to this: One of the Democrats’ most dependable water-carriers is reduced to stealing old gags (from a libertarian!) and encouraging the President to be “inauthentic.”
Stunning. Just. Stunning.