SSP Daily Digest: 4/18


AZ-Sen: Board of Regents member Fred Du Val, who I don’t think we’d discussed before, said he won’t seek the Democratic nomination to replace Jon Kyl. The article also mentions another possible Dem name that I hadn’t previously seen, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke.

FL-Sen: This article makes George LeMieux’s candidacy appear exactly as lame as you’d expect. Not only is he lamely courting teabaggers, but a recent “Tax Day” rally drew “less than 100.” Sounds like a lot less.

MA-Sen: Apologies for the paywalled-link-not something I’d ordinarily do, but this story isn’t available elsewhere. Anyhow, bigwigs constantly talking about him to the media has just got to be frustrating for Newton Mayor Setti Warren. First it was Gov. Deval Patrick, blabbing to the press that he was sure Warren was going to run. (Warren had to publicly back away from Patrick’s remarks.) Now, it’s the opposite: Rep. Barney Frank for some reason thought it would be a good idea to tell the National Journal: “I think it’s a mistake for him to run, I’ve told him that.” Well, if Frank’s told Warren this, then why the fuck does he also have to tell the NJ and turn it into a public spectacle? And it’s not just one off-hand remark – Frank made multiple statements talking down Warren’s chances. Sheesh, just let Warren do what he wants to do. Jeez.

ME-Sen: Dem House Minority Leader Emily Cain says she won’t challenge Olympia Snowe next year. (Cain, just 30 years old, can certainly bide her time.) The same piece mentions another possible Democratic name, businessman Donato Tramuto, who may also be interested in a 2014 gubernatorial bid.

MO-Sen: As Eli Yokley of PoliticMo observes, Todd Akin’s visit with a bunch of teabaggers in Joplin, Missouri took him three hundred miles outside of his congressional district, as sure a sign as any that he’s interested in taking on Sen. Claire McCaskill. Akin says he’ll decide “in the near future.” Interestingly, at the end of this article, he also whined about Democrats “beating up” Republicans over wanting to end Social Security and Medicare as we know it. That kvetching means our attacks are already working-and when you have to start explaining yourself in full-length paragraphs (as Akin tries to do), you’re on the defensive and flailing.

NM-Sen: Auditor Hector Balderas said on Friday that he’ll decide whether to seek the Dem nod to replace the retiring Jeff Bingaman “within the next two weeks.”

TX-Sen: It appears that Democrats may have landed an interesting recruit in this race: Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former top military commander in Iraq. Sanchez said he wouldn’t “confirm or deny” the reports, but former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, a Dem, decided to crack out of turn, saying he spoke with Sanchez and that it sounded “like he’s close to being a candidate.” One black mark: Sanchez was in command of US forces during the Abu Ghraib scandal, and he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram it was “pretty fair” to say the event ended his military career (though of course neither he nor any high-ranking officers were ever held responsible).

In other TX-Sen news, another one of Ron Paul’s offspring, Fort Worth physician Robert Paul, says he has “thought about running” for Senate… but that’s pretty much all he’s said.


NH-Gov: Mark Connolly is an interesting figure in New Hampshire politics: He’s the former director of the state’s Bureau of Securities Regulation, until he resigned last year to publicly blow the whistle on the state’s mishandling of an investigation into a ponzi scheme run by an entity called Financial Resource Management. (You may recall that this scandal also tainted Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who had been NH AG at the time, but not enough to derail her Senate bid.) In any event, Connolly says he thinks Gov. John Lynch should seek a fifth-term and he’d support him if he does-but if Lynch declined to run, Connolly “would consider” doing so himself. (Note that Connolly also briefly considered a Senate run himself last cycle, but was wise enough to stand aside.)

WA-Gov: I’m not really understanding Rob McKenna’s path to victory. He’s spent most of his career trying to convince people he’s a “moderate,” non-insane Republican, but then he signed on to the multi-state suit by mostly red-state Republican AGs to try to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional. He’s since continued in that surprising vein: He just attended a teabagger “Tax Day” rally and seems to think he needs to court the wingnuts in order to be successful. Is he worried about a primary? Or is he concerned he can’t win without teabaggers pushing for him at full throttle? Either way, it seems like he’s screwing himself.


FL-22: Kinda interesting: Former Gov. Charlie Crist just gave $1000 to Democrat “no not that” Patrick Murphy’s campaign to oust Allen West. (They share a consultant in common.) Really, I can’t believe Crist just didn’t switch parties when he had the chance.

OR-01: Carla Axtman, writing at the you-should-bookmark-`em-if-you-haven’t-yet Blue Oregon, goes as far down into the weeds as it’s possible to go without spontaneously commencing photosynthesis. In a look at the possible Dem field shaping up to primary Rep. David Wu, she mentions a couple of candidates we hadn’t previously seen named before: state Rep. Brad Witt and Clatsop County Commissioner Dirk Rohne, a recent R-to-D switcher.

Other Races:

NYC-Mayor: Kill me now: Dick Grasso, the d-bag ex-director of the New York Stock Exchange, says that if Eliot Spitzer runs for mayor, so will he. I just pray Spitzer isn’t stupid enough to actually run, but if anything, this challenge from Grasso probably has Eliot’s blood flowing and makes him more likely to do it. God.

Grab Bag:

WATN?: Alan Hevesi, who had once served as NYC Comptroller and later comptroller for the whole state, was sentenced to one to four years in prison, after pleading guilty last fall to one count of official misconduct. Hevesi took bribes from financial firms (politely called “pay-to-play”) in exchange for steering the state to invest its considerable pension funds with those firms. What a piece of shit. Anyhow, he could be out of jail in less than a year.

Another ex-pol who has very much landed on his feet is former PA Gov. Ed Rendell. Of course, you’d expect nothing less from Fast Eddie, and if you really are curious as to what he’s up to, you’re going to have to click the link, because it’s way more than I can summarize.

224 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 4/18”

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever actually been mad at something Barney has done, but this really just smells. Maybe Frank is thinking of running himself? I just creamed myself thinking of the impossibility.

    (The dash-through was intentional).

  2. I’m going to take back every word I’ve said about Texas not being possibly competitive. I didn’t even know Sanchez was from Texas…

    Anyway, perfect figure to both raise Hispanic participation and soften suburban whites towards the Democrats. Combine those with higher black turnout from Obama being top-of-the-ticket and the fact that this is an open seat and we could squeak out a win. By the time he’d have to run for reelection, Texas would be just purple enough to squeak out another win.

    1. for Darling. The fact that the Olsen signatures came in at 160% of the required number suggests a lot of these campaigns are merely trying to build extra insurance into their totals and/or build up the list as a GOTV resource.

  3. Not the highest profile contest, but a big deal for folks out in the mountain west (especially since it’s been a springboard for its last three holders, Federico Pena, Wellington Webb, and now-Gov. Hickenlooper).

    Denver’s mayoral race is May 3, and though ten people are running, seems to be a contest between three:

    – former State Sen. Chris Romer (son of former Gov. Roy Romer), who has support of most of the Republicans (despite being a Democrat)

    – former city employee and preschools director James Mejia, who has support from the Latino community and progressives

    – City Councilman Michael Hancock, former president of the Denver Urban League, who has the support of much of the black community and lots of the moderates.

    Romer has been the front-runner the entire campaign, with support ranging from ex-State Sen. President Josh Penry (a conservative Republican) to the Denver Post, to liberal Rep. Ed Casso. Mejia and Hancock have been closing fast, though.

    All three men are polling between 18 and 22 percent in recent polls, and if no candidate reaches 50 percent (which no one will), we’ll have a runoff later this summer. It’s an all-mail election, and participation will probably be low, as it was in 2003 when Hickenlooper beat 4 others without needing a runoff in the last open race.

    Today, City Councilwoman Carol Boigon, who was polling in the high single-digits, dropped out and endorsed Hancock. Ballots are already out, and some have been returned, but it’s a boost that could help (Boigon was the highest-polling female candidate in the race as well).

    The race is interesting, with Denver’s White, Latino and Black communities all putting up a serious candidate. Of the three, Hancock would have serious potential for future statewide office were he to win.

    Should be a fun race in the closing weeks.  

        1. when it comes to assuming how many votes a third-party candidate will steal from the major party candidates, if it’s a minor third party and not one with a lot of resources? That could come in hand in a big way in this race.  

        2. I mean, Barbara Ann Radnofsky was an attractive candidate in ’06 and she only garnered 36 percent. I’d bump that up a bit solely on Hispanic growth.

    1. your shirt would be priceless….

      I think this is more about speculating who will be the next Secretary of State.  Biden would be a great SOS, but he’s somewhat tied up in his current gig.  I’m sure Obama will pick a great candidate to replace Clinton.

    1. Pawlenty, Romney, or Huckabee jokes. The GOP has some non-joke candidates, but even the best are just mediocre.

      1. and more on media as it’s hard to see candidates turn-over something as crucial as turn-out to a third party.


    This has been confirmed by the Recall Olsen facebook group.

    While it is nice to get two in one day (or maybe Harsdorf will file tomorrow), I think there is going to be a lull until late next week when I believe the Cowles and Darling committees file.  

      1. Frank might just want to scare away all non members of Congress from the Senate race. That way which ever MA congressman gets the short end of the redistricting stick can have the Senate race as a fallback option.

        To me this is just Frank doing a little CYA for redistricting.  

  5. Somebody last week suggested a weekly candidate rollout. Maybe they were right and this is part of it. Whatever, recruitment has certainly picked up the pace after a slow start.

  6. are both names that get floated occasionally as candidates, including last year (I think Andrew Burke, who was previous Napolitano’s COS, was seriously looking at the AG race before Obama appointed him USA). They’re both struck me as the milquetoast insider types that thrived during the generally disastrous Don Bivens era of the AZ Democratic Party (while, you know, actual people running for office interested in building grassroots campaigns suffered and were marginalized). I don’t know know enough about either to say whether or not they would actually make decent candidates.

    Also, I had a dream about Michele Bachmann last night. She told me she doesn’t like words that contain the letters “ou” together.  

  7. I found out a few of the numbers were off (mostly due to the GAB’s stupid Excel formatting):

    The 10th (Harsdorf – R) went for Kloppenburg with 51.3%, not Prosser with 50.5%.

    The 16th (Miller – D) went for Kloppenburg with 66.7%, not 69.8%.

    The 30th (Hansen – D) went for Prosser with 52.2%, not Kloppenburg by a hair.

  8. Could this be a move to get Rs to invest in Texas instead of a state like Ohio or Missouri? Say Sanchez gets in the race and polls around 45% by next summer and Obama is looking pretty competitive, wouldn’t a lot of the R money go towards low hanging fruit like Texas? Just hoping against hope that Ds still have a shot at saving the senate somehow.


    Harper is targeting immigrants specifically, I gather 20% of the Canadian electorate

    While Mr. Harper was in Markham to announce he’d guarantee loans for foreign-trained professionals to upgrade their skills

    In contrast, the Liberal leader sounds positively dismissive

    Since becoming leader, Mr. Ignatieff has avoided traditional ethnic politics, saying repeatedly that “a Canadian is a Canadian.” He has also criticized the Conservatives for identifying certain target ridings as “very ethnic” in a leaked strategy document.

    I suspect Conservatives might take a plurality of immigrants this election. Liberals took 50% (big, given the 5 Canadian parties) back in ’06.

    The trend at the ballot box suggests it’s the Conservative approach that’s working. The Canadian Election Study found that a once-huge Liberal lead among immigrants narrowed to six percentage points in 2008.

  10. McKenna shouldn’t be that worried about a primary challenge. Washington now has open primaries, with the top 2 vote getters going on to the general election. Moderates seem to do well under this system.

    1. This guy should be able to get into the mid 40s with a strong campaign. Especially if the Obama machine doesn’t have a strong presence here, TX Dems are going to need to be excited about something

      1. But, you can’t win if you don’t play…

        I was pessimistic about a lot of states in 2008, and we won a bunch.  I was pessimistic in 2006 in a bunch of states, but we won a bunch of those, too.

        Party building takes time, and you have to start somewhere.  Texas may be fools gold, but if it pans out someday then… jackpot!

      2. the fact that they’ve gone to the effort to recruit a candidate means they know Obama will be contesting Texas. It’s obviously not been friendly to us lately, but I think it could be, if we can devote the resources necessary to building the party. But it’s unreasonable to expect any normal candidate to do that by himself, so having a presidential campaign there makes sense.

        I also think the sheer number of seats we need to defend is misleading. We won’t have to worry about the senate seats in New York, Vermont, Delaware, Washington, California, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin (if Kohl runs), Minnesota, Hawaii, and Maryland. We almost certainly won’t have to worry about those in Connecticut, West Virginia New Mexico, New Jersey, Michigan, and perhaps even Florida and Ohio. The real contests in seats that we hold are in North Dakota and Nebraska, unless you consider them gone, Virginia, Montana, and Missouri. Nevada and Massachusetts will be toss ups until the end, I think, and while there are potentially huge oportunities in Arizona, Indiana, and Maine, it’s possible not all of them will pan out. Plus, all of those states are likely targets for Obama, if they aren’t safely Democratic. Adding one more, even one as difficult as Texas, isn’t going to break us.  

    2. How was Bill White last year not trying, or trying in a real f*cuked up way? How was Rick Noriega? How was Ron Kirk back in 2002?

      You’re whole point is that we haven’t tried in Texas, and we need to try. Just like you made the same point about Mississippi the other day, and other states that no one else thinks Dems have much of a chance in 2012. But have you ever considered that national Dems have looked at these states, and just determined that they aren’t winnable and aren’t worth spending money on. Maybe that’s why they didn’t try as hard as you want to.

      You’re whole premise is that Dems and Obama just have unlimted money to spend and should expand the playing field in every direction. And you know what – if Republicans keep screwing up like I think they did with this Paul Ryan plan – you may be right. But I don’t think we’ve gotten to that point yet and that’s why I’m going to hold a pretty cynical position on a lot of these races until we get to that point.  

  11. DavidNYC – Chris Bowers has a pretty good posting about the Wisconsin recall election on the front page of Kos. Do you think he’d allow you to repost it here?

  12. ….Count me among the pessimists on this one I guess. I’m hoping somebody else steps up to primary this guy, not that I think anybody could win this race or that the DSCC will spend money here(they’re going to be spread thin with all the incumbents we have to protect as well as open seats in Nevada and Arizona and helping whoever is going against Brown), plus I don’t think Obama will focus on this state when there are so many easier nuts to crack.

    Texas is just too big, too red and too expensive.

    I do hope I end up being wrong of course.

  13. Not something I’d lead, but at the very least it allows Michigan Dems to exercize their atrophied organizational muscles:

    Group begins effort to recall Gov. Rick Snyder


    April 18, 2011

    A recall effort is organizing against Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

    A group called Michigan Citizens United filed proposed recall petition wording with election officials today in Washtenaw County, Snyder’s county of residence.

    The group says on its website it plans to begin collecting voter signatures as early as next month if the wording on its petition is approved. The group says it will need about 807,000 valid signatures to make the ballot in November.

    Michigan Citizens United filed paperwork for a political action committee last month.

    Very likely won’t get the signature needed, but again, a very good class in political organizing.  

  14. Blue Arkansas:

    In the short months of Mark Martin’s tenure we have already seen well over a hundred thousand dollars of the taxpayer’s money wasted-70,000 of it on a car and a consulting fee, 54,000 of it on a survey.  One staffer has already resigned under mysterious circumstances and another had to resign because she drove a car without a valid license or proof of insurance. Oh and that staffer that resigned for the non-auto related incident?  She’s now saying she did so because Martin told her to delete an email rather than supply it in accordance with a FOIA request. Remember, this is the same man who told an idiot Republican state legislator (Donna Hutchinson less you think I’m calling anyone else an idiot) that he would work to disenfranchise Latinos and then had to show on camera that he didn’t know what he was talking about and has a childish temper.

    And this is all in just a few short months of taking office.  Imagine what will happen before the year is over.  Or his first term for that matter!  It is only a matter of time before Martin is indicted for something, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mrs. Stewart and any number of other staffers followed him right into orange suits and cushy white collar jails.

    If you’d like some links,

  15. To be honest, I suspect that Balderas won’t run, he’s already going to start behind Heinrich in both fundraising and name recognition and honestly, he has to know that he’s more likely than not to lose against him.

    Plus, as I’ve said before, I suspect that Udall isn’t a lifer, Balderas can always run for governor against Susana Martinez and/or wait to see if Udall retires come 2020 (yeah, I know, but my own view has always been that Udall isn’t a lifer, he’ll probably serve two or three terms and then call it a day, for those who remember, he did have to be coaxed into running in 2008).

  16. he’d have a significant leg up in 2018, unless there’s a huge Republican star up against him and/or it’s a bad year for Democrats. I’m not sure it’s possible for the state to be any less friendly to Democrats, so wouldn’t it become more friendly to them over time?  

  17. Popular black former mayor of Dallas (Ron Kirk) ran for Senate and Hispanic businessman (Tony Sanchez) ran for Governor.  It was supposed to be the coming out party for minorities in Texas, sadly both lost by double-digits.

    Even putting Obama at the top of the ticket won’t help much, unless he’s against a very flawed candidate.

  18. How can we support Sanchez?  His involvement in Abu Ghraib indicates that he’s possibly a war criminal.

  19. Simply put, not only was he not held accountable for it, but Texas is a conservative place with very anti-Muslim and pro-torture views. With some voters, it might actually help (sadly)…

  20. I honestly don’t see Republicans attacking him for an Iraq-related issue; not only is it something that conservative voters might actually have sympathy for him with, but either way, bringing up Iraq is a lose-lose strategy for them because it hurts them more.

    And as has been noted, Sanchez wasn’t involved or implicated in the scandal, so trying to drag him into it would be a difficult feat, and one that might anger military-Republicans in Texas.  

  21. I honestly don’t see Republicans attacking him for an Iraq-related issue; not only is it something that conservative voters might actually have sympathy for him with, but either way, bringing up Iraq is a lose-lose strategy for them because it hurts them more.

    And as has been noted, Sanchez wasn’t involved or implicated in the scandal, so trying to drag him into it would be a difficult feat, and one that might anger military-Republicans in Texas.  

  22. Simply put, if there’s one state where even tangential involvement in Abu Ghraib wouldn’t hurt a candidate, it’s gotta be Texas.

    And Patty Murray gets a giant gold star for finding a candidate who might just be able to make Texas competitive.

  23. if the GOP were to attack him for the connection to the despicable case of Abu Grahib that a Republican administration tried its best to cover up.

  24. Here’s the YouTube:

    It was the “Tax Day” protest at The Grant Sawyer State Building (HUH??!! We pay no state income tax!) in Vegas.

  25. and picked a patriotic song written by a Republican.

    Scene I’d like to see: a teabagger singing along to “Born in the USA”.  

  26. I did kind of laugh at how she was acting like she’s a real singer or something, even though she was just doing a form of karaoke.

  27. Any other way. According to Sharrrrrrrrrrrrron, we’re all un-American commies trying to force taxes and “illegal aliens” and homosexuals on her.

    And I’m still laughing over her coming down to Las Vegas for that rally. It was at the STATE building (again, we pay no state income tax!), and it was way outside NV-02!

  28. Definitely more likely. There’s definitely a chance Angle doesn’t know who Woody Guthrie was.

  29. His two biggest assets are, obviously, his military experience and his ethnicity. (No, maybe the diehard liberals in the state, whomever they are, won’t love him, but their choices are limited, and unless he’s really offensive to them, I would think most would vote for him, even if they had to hold their noses doing so.) Piss of voters who might be more inclined to vote for him because of those two characteristics, and you’ve probably given him a big advantage.  

  30. would underperform the polls because of Whitman’s “magical, gap-closing turnout machine.”  Oh wait….

    Seriously though, Cuomo would not even be halfway through his first term then.

  31. of ten names in less than one minute who would bring more to the ticket than Cuomo, regardless of what you think about him.

    Can we take this prediction as seriously as his claim that Brown and Boxer were in trouble because of the lack of a turnout operation on the part of the Democrats and a huge, powerful one on the part of Whitman, Fiorina, and the Republicans? We all know how great that one worked out.  

  32. But the one positive would be synergy between Sandra Lee and Michelle Obama in fight against obesity.

  33. 1) New York Post … eww.

    2) Andrew Cuomo? Really? Of all the people in the world, he’d pick Andrew Cuomo?

    3) He better not dump Biden. That would be a big fucking deal to me because I fucking love Joe Biden.

    4) The only acceptable reason for dumping Biden is that he gets someone even better–folksier, more prone to “accidentally” telling the truth

    5) Seriously, Biden is my favorite person in the entire Obama administration–even over Hillary and Steven Chu.

  34. As Veeps go, Biden has done a good job of supporting his President, sans his usual verbal gaffes.  From what I can tell, the chemistry is strong between Obama and Biden.  Furthermore, if Cuomo ever had a desire to become President, I think he has more of a chance if he kept his current gig as Governor of NY.  

    I truly like Biden, and I doubt if he would ever be dumped by Obama.  I think the true question to ask is “who will replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State?”.  

  35. regarded on the West Coast as one of the savviest political analysts around.

    Even putting aside the questions as to why it would have to Cuomo, anybody who has yet to realise that “the VP will be dropped from the ticket” speculation is the quadrennial pastime of clueless, bored political insiders isn’t “savvy”.  The last time it actually happened was 1976. Bush was pushed to drop Quayle, but didn’t pull the trigger, and there was speculation of Cheney, but it came to nothing. Eisenhower refused to drop Nixon in ’56, to name another example. There’s a simple reason why; if they were picked in the first place, there was a reason, and changing your mind later is a show of weakness and an admission of your prior ill-judgement. Also, Biden’s “gaffe-prone-ness” has been overplayed, no one beyond the Washington press cares, and I doubt Obama does. Didn’t Biden reveal a few months ago that Obama already asked him to stay on the ticket?

  36. There was plenty about Jim Webb in his past that didn’t derail him so maybe the same is operable here.

  37. I was watching CSPAN last night for some odd reason and they were replaying a speech he was giving in Boca raton.  I have no diea when it was, but he literally was ranting from point to point and whenever people in the crowd would yell something he would go off on a tangent about it.  It was beyond surreal and I’d love to see it in a campaign commercial.

    Quite simply he may want to run, but some of his speeches combined with his desire to hide his finance means he;’ll never do it.  Like Palin he wants the attention (Palin also wants the $$$) so they’ll not run but still be the loudmouths out there.  

    Gingrich is starting to seem sane by comparison…shiver.

  38. The worldwide ridicule of our human rights abuses was truly the cherry on top of the Iraq War.  I for one need to read up on him more because just the blurbs I’ve read are absolutely not enough.  And the ability for Abu Ghraib to now be a Democratic thing because of our TX-Sen nominee, no way.

    My own rebuttal would be it won’t become a thing unless the media makes it a thing and those types of stories would most likely start in Texas, where that issue wouldn’t get touched most likely.  Now if the race is heating up and the NYT’s wants to investigate, well maybe it’ll just be like CT-Sen and I’ll eat crow.

  39. but via Twitter, I came across a link where he supposedly endorsed the idea of a one-time super tax of 14.25 percent on all holdings over $10 million, except for real estate, which would be payable over ten years. He claims it would help eliminate the national debt fairly easily.

    As the seeming conservative that linked to this said, “who is his econ adviser? Merlin?”  

  40. big reporter in state politics, even though he works for the New York Post. He’s the dean of the Albany press corps, as they say. He’s been around for a long, long time, and from what I can tell, he’s pretty rough on everyone.  

  41. While he works for The Post you will find no reporter in NYS who writes more favorable articles about Cuomo than Fred Dicker.

  42. For politics in Albany.  He’s rough but I remember watching him on local news and don’t remember him being a jerk so much as just intense and rarely seeming happy with anything.  Of course that was 15 years ago so who knows.

  43. In your final comment, you state Hancock has future statewide appeal.  Any reason Romer, former son of a gov with what sounds like big crossover support, wouldn’t have the same statewide ability.  His pedigree sounds almost like Bob Casey in PA or Mark Pryor in AR.

  44. Kretzy,

    I know this is probably a stretch, but could you add Councilman-At-Large Linkhart to your post.  He won’t make the runoff, I know, but he deserves props as the real progressive here.  He is the most pro-union, really understands what existent small business means here in Denver and won’t bend backward to call in the big boys.  

    To me, this is a heart-head election.  Romer will almost certainly make it through and is fairly progressive (I’m not at all sure he isn’t to Mejia’s left), and we’ll see who the other is.  I’m kinda hoping not Hancock.  But the situation gives liberal Denver Dems a choice to heart-vote with Linkhart first and then assess the runoff.

  45. if only because of his charm and his likability. Perhaps it’s just me, but I feel as though he’d be a huge asset to us in almost any endeavor, considering he could sell ice to an Eskimo.  

  46. For me, nothing will top Roger Stone harrassing Elliot Spitzer’s father. Well, maybe Crazy Carl threatening Andrew Cuomo with a baseball bat as part of a planned speech.  

  47. He’s still loved in Philly too, which is interesting.  There is some, though it’s not tragic, racial polarization in Philly elections these days.  The god-awfulness of John Street I think tempered that a bit and Philly, except for John Street has had solid mayors the past 20 years or so (Rendell, Nutter).  To me, Rendell is one of the few white Democrats whose opinion could mean anything to black Philadelphians.

    That being said, he has appeal to most cross-sections in the Deomcratic party outside Philadelphia.  Heck even Republicans who hate Democrats begin to see him in a different light with his Phillies/Eagles post-game show, he’s balanced in those and comes off as quite likeable (Philly sports is odd in that self-loathing is a common trait, and Ed handles this very well).

  48. And how.  Is he actually going to come out as a Dem and say “fooled you?”

    I know you don’t have the answer, I’d just love to ehar the end of your pop’s thoughts….

  49. Hello? Trump is announcing his presidential plans on the freak’n season finale! “Stay tuned after this short commercial break to find out if Donald Trump will be you next US President!”

    Who wants to bet all that “The Donald” will announce on the season finale is that he is establishing a PAC or some sort of exploratory committee to bring “common sense” to Washington and asks all the viewers watching to send him a check!

  50. I should have said “best” chance for statewide appeal; he’s following the Hickenlooper-Bennet model on education reform and is much more charismatic than Romer. Romer has never been super-popular, even as a state Senator, and though he’s an “ideas man”, he has a penchant for saying any idea that comes to his mind and fiddling with it publicly as a policy position (for instance, he put out a position paper on building an old-style trolley line on one of the main avenues through Denver, as part of a transportation plan).

    Any of the three could “move up” from mayor one day were they elected, I just see Hancock as having the best shot.  

  51. Sadly, Lazich and Glenn Grothman are out of reach.  It’s the reason why Grothman can call protesters “slobs” and other insults and get away with it.

  52. And yeah, if not today, I’d be shocked to see the Harsdorf people not be able to get it done by Wednesday.

    Darling will be running up against the deadline, and I think there’s a decent chance we won’t get the signatures for Cowles.

  53. Universal healthcare?

    A birther/pro universal healthcare republican.  Gosh this Republican primary could be epic.

  54. The next mayor of Denver probably has the clearest shot at being the next governor of Colorado?

  55. Last year, I would’ve said Treasurer Kennedy was next-in-line (would’ve been Romanoff, had he not ran against Bennet), but she lost in November. If she were to reclaim her old post in 2014, I could see her taking over for Hickenlooper were he to last two terms.

    There are a TON of young folks on both sides who would like to be Governor. CO has a history of Governor’s coming up from within state politics (Lindsey, Romer, Owens, Hick, etc.), so I’d count out most of the current Reps. With term limits in the state house, the next Governor may not hold elected office right now.

    Of those who do or did, I’d say the next mayor would be in the top-tier for Democrats, along with folks like Treasurer Kennedy, State Sen. John Morse, and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia (if he’s more active than his predecessor). There are plenty of others, I’d imagine, but those are the names coming to me off the top of my head.

  56. hypocritical for the Republicans to attack Democrats over cutting some Medicare spending. Yet, it happened quite frequently during the 2010 election.

  57. I can’t imagine that the GOP would be so stupid to use this (well, I can imagine it, but I hope not).  I think, if anything, it would help him gain votes in the center.  Then again, given who my congressman is, it would be beyond hypocritical.  This is a good candidate for the Dems.  They still need to have several other lucky breaks to win the seat, but it puts them in the game.

  58. What would it be then if progressives ignore Sanchez’s Abu Ghraib background and support him just because he’s electable?

  59. due to post-9/11 Bush’s popularity?  2002 was one of the rare times an incumbent president’s party picked up ground in a midterm.

    I’m not saying he’s likely to win, either, but he could help Dem performance in Texas and possibly score in the mid-40’s.

  60. work necessary to get their voters out? Any time I read about the state of the party, I come across some complaint that they just aren’t mobilizing voters like the Republicans. Even after they had so much success in Dallas in 2006, they just went back to their old ways. I’m not sure why this is the case; you’d think after trying the same bullshit and not having it work time after time, you’d try something else, or try what worked after it worked very well, but apparently not.

  61. I think Obama is making a play for Texas now. Or at least he’s interested.

    “President Obama will conduct interviews today with KCNC Denver, WRAL Raleigh, WFAA Dallas and WTHR Indianapolis on his budget plans”

    Colorado, North Carolina, Indiana, Texas.

    Swing, Swing, Swing, . . . Texas.

    Opening salvo at the Texas electorate has been launched. I think we’re in.

  62. if the Democrats can’t use that to at least make the campaigns of every Republican House member more difficult, they should just give up, particularly because, as David Frum said, they will have Obama’s $1 billion to help them in this process.  

  63. and Ron Kirk both received 43 or percent of the vote. Assuming Sanchez doesn’t implode and it’s not a repeat of 2010, that should be the base. Of course, with the Obama campaign likely contesting the state hard, he should have a higher floor.  

  64. I just doubt it is all.  

    I don’t know as though Obama will be truly popular in texas in 2012, so I just don’t know that anything above 40% should be expected for down-ticket races.

    I think 2002 is exactly that, a fluke election.  Heck, of the their Senate pickups, which people pointed to at the time as a shift, I think all the GOP pickups have already been replaced (Sununu, Talent and Coleman) so 2002 is a paper tiger of an election from a historical point of view nationally.

  65. 43% is where Noreiga, Obama and Bill White all ended.

    That seems to be the ceiling for a Democrat in Texas.  

  66. This isn’t like Washington or Oregon where the voting (due to mail-ins) hits high %’s.  In 2002, 4.5 million of a possible 12.6 million voters actually voted.  36% total probably isn’t a great result for either side.  There were 5.0 million voters in 2010, but given the overall population growth, I’d guess the turnout % was about the same (I can find registration for 2010 right now).

    The Dem vs GOP vote % over the last decade or so haven’t varied much between presidential and non-presidential years (though 2006’s gubernatorial race muddies waters).  55-43% seems to be about what is expected.

  67. What worked for them, they kept doing. The wave that hit the state in ’10 knocked out several Dallas state reps but no one else. All the county offices stayed blue, we flipped the last 6 GOP judges (GOP is now 0 county wide in Dallas) and we flipped one of the 4 county commissioner seats bringing the county commissioner court to a 2-2 split.

    There’s a lot of talk about Obama and Texas in 2012. I’m not buying it. The goal is just to get re-elected. He may throw a few bucks into the larger counties just to see how high he can run up the numbers and how that would move the state as a whole. He may see if he can get Harris from 51% to 53/54%, Fort Ben from 49% to 52%, See if Dallas can go over 57%, and the big one, see how some investment in Tarrant goes because going back to 2004, whatever the top of the ticket dem did statewide is about how they performed in Tarrant as well. The rural stuff I think hit it’s floor in 2008 and will probably stay about the same in percentages in gives to Obama. I’m expecting Obama to finish around 46% in Texas from 44% in 2008.

  68. He’s already proven that point.  Then again, when he’s taking pages from Sarah Plain’s playbook, I don’t know what to think.

  69. but the Republicans have an advantage in the state, both partly natural and partly manufactured because of their previous efforts. The Democrats need to match that in order to compete. So far, it seems, they haven’t come close, and in fact you could argue they have barely tried. In the end, it might not make enough of a difference for our candidates to win, but I don’t think we can write anything off until we try what has worked so well in other states.  

  70. Voting percentages have always been high in these two northwestern states. Even with the ease of voting by mail, the “turn out” percentages have declined slightly from the high water marks set decades ago.

  71. At least in this economy.  

    Of course with a Republican AG, that is the primo spot to run from, so Dems would be wise to try and oust him next cycle.

  72. This sounds a lot like Rick Noriega, who also was Latino and had a military background. Maybe he can make it close, but I doubt it. He’ll still have a big D by his name.

    Sanchez was obviously of higher rank, but I don’t really see how that makes a difference.


  73. …so perhaps he just couldn’t resist commenting on the local boy.  That said Frank should know better than anyone (besides Lois Pines) that having “Newton” next to your name is the equivalent of having “Ann Arbor” next to your name in Michigan.  Good for getting lefties to support you in the primary.  Not so good for getting the nomination or actually winning a general election.

  74. And this asshole stunt compounds that sentiment for me. I appreciate that he’s been willing to stand up and defend the progressive agenda and gay rights, but I think he’s corrupt, I think he’s conceited, and I think a lot of the time he’s just talking out his ass.

    I’d strongly prefer Rep. Baldwin be the first openly gay person elected to the Senate, for my money.

  75. So I’m all for local Texans funding things how they want.  Just the same I’m not entirely sure starting with a statewide race given how the results have trended is the way to go.

    Gathering more power in urban areas and taking back some of the congressional seats should be more realistic results than winning a statewide race.

    Also, I thought Texas wasn’t a party-ID registration state.  If that’s the case, then mobilizing will be harder, because outside of historically high-Dem areas how will you target new potential Dem voters.  As discussed in many other threads, all Hispanics are not Dems.

  76. I don’t think anybody thinks it would suddenly jump into the top tier but at the same time it is better than not bothering at all.

  77. the Texas senate race in 2008 was a top priority for them. This time, however, it sounds it’s being given a lot more consideration, which would obviously entail more resources being devoted to it.  

  78. And I suppose you’re right, but given Patty Murray seems to be heavily involved in recruitment I would hate to see the DSCC spend money on this race rather than a more winnable one.

    But yeah, I guess I have nothing against trying. I just tend to view politics as a zero sum game, especially in terms of money, and I think Dems will have enough seats to defend, as well as potential opportunities, to write off Texas unless there really seems to be a chance they can win there. And right now, beyond b.j.’s whole “we just need to try harder” argument, I haven’t seen any real evidence they have a chance.

    It’s early, obviously, so who knows. I wrote off Indiana until recently, but now I think there’s more of a chance Lugar could be primaried, and we could win. So I’ll try to keep an open mind (even though it may not seem like it).  

  79. Do people really come out to vote for secondary races?  For the cost of a statewide race, could some local organizations take that money and start building an infrastructre?  Would that be a wiser investment?

    I’m by far the most pessimistic person on texas on this site, but I just don’t see the path as investing in the top tier races.  Personally I think a 100% un-funded Bill White would get 40% and a $100 million Bill White would get 45%, so I don’t think that money is well spent.  

    However I’d love to build up Dem organizations in unlikely places, especially those with large/growing colleges.  Obviously Austin isn’t as negative to Dems as other parts of the state, but places like Denton with UNT’s huge college population and other “college towns” are sure targets I’d rather start with.

  80. the Democrats in the state can spend their money however they want. But it clearly isn’t working, and the strategies that have proven to work–those that target voters instead of those that involve simply running ads–need to be adopted. Granted, it’s an enormous undertaking, particularly because it’s been ignored for so long, but that’s why it’s important for the Obama campaign to be there. It can provide a level of funding that nobody else could.

    I don’t think focusing on the urban areas comes at the expense of the rest of the state. Remember that a lot of it is composed of rural counties where just a small number of people live. If we can maximize turnout in the urban areas and hold down the margins in those surrounding them, we could win, even if we continue to get killed in the rural areas.

    And yes, there is no party registration in Texas. But we can still look at a map based on past results, and simply use our brains, to figure out which areas to target. It’s not that hard.  

  81. And really:

    On average, any unregistered voter in Texas is a plus for democrats if they can get them registered

    You don’t win on JUST democrats in Texas

  82. In Boulder County DA Stan Garnett. Suthers is popular, though, and was the only Republican statewide candidate endorsed by the Post. Garnett didn’t stand much of a chance.

    Kennedy was (and still is) popular, and really did a stellar job at Treasurer. It would’ve been hard to run for Gov. from it this last year, but if she can retake the seat in 2014 I think her job is much easier.

    Dems have a tough time recruiting for AG. In 2006, when Suthers narrowly beat a Some Dude (Fern O’Brien), Dems likely would have won the office with a competent candidate. That O’Brien only lost by 8, despite barely campaigning against a really formidable Republican, was a testament to how much of an opportunity CO Dems blew that year.  

  83. First, we see this:

    Texas Democrats haven’t enjoyed many election nights in the past 15 years, but Nov. 7, 2006, was a memorable one. Sure, Republican Gov. Rick Perry was re-elected (again), and Democrats lost every statewide race (again). But the party did pull off one big success: a sweep of all 47 elected offices in Dallas County.

    It was a stunning coup that offered hope for the future to a beleaguered party. Dallas County, once a GOP stronghold, after a century of Democratic domination following the Civil War-was suddenly without a single elected Republican. The reasons Dallas turned Democratic were varied and complex. The area’s demographics had shifted radically; local Republicans had grown complacent; and Democrats recruited a strong slate of candidates and crafted a compelling, anti-incumbent message. But the victory wouldn’t have been possible without a well-funded, devastatingly effective grassroots turnout operation. Volunteers knocked on thousands of doors and called every Democratic-leaning household they could find to ensure voters showed up at the polls.

    Then we see this:

    In their effort to replicate their Dallas success in Harris County in 2008, Democrats spent roughly $1 million on media buys and consultants and less than $200,000 on their field operation, according to campaign finance records.

    I’m not sure what would convince them to abruptly change course, but they didn’t focus on the same methods in 2008. Maybe the article skews something about what went on in 2008, however.

    Regardless, I think it’s pretty clear that the state party hasn’t been focusing on mobilizing voters in the same way that the Dallas party operation has.

    As for Obama, I’m convinced he’s going to contest the state. Like I’ve said a few times, I am trying to think of a reason they’d go to the trouble of recruiting Sanchez only to let him fend for himself, and I can’t come up with one. Whether he wins is a different story. Maybe he would pull put after a while. But at first, I’m almost certain his campaign will be there.

  84. I just don’t see big OfA dollars going to Texas.  

    I also think targeting voters based on past results doesn’t solve too much.  If you want to increase turnout, then looking at vote totals jsut tell you who is voting.  the whole premise is based on non-voters, not switching existing voters.

    Trying to find non-voters and increasing turnout in high Dem, high non-voter areas is waaaayyyyyyy more difficult than it is laid out here.  Urban voter turnout is extremely difficult to increase and its the most likely source of Dem non-voters.  

  85. There’s a big difference between trying harder and not trying at all and/or doing so in a very fucked up way. In Texas, I’d say the Democrats’ problem is the latter, not the former. We’ve basically ignored the state for a long time, and when we haven’t done so, we haven’t used the methods to get voters that appear to work best. I don’t think we can say it’s entirely pointless to try to get the seat until we change course and try something different. Maybe we won’t win in the end, but we aren’t sacrificing better opportunities to try to win in this race.  

  86. Patty’s job is to try to recruit the best possible candidate for every seat that’s up this cycle.

    That she succeeds in what happens to be a tough state where we’re not likely to win, does not mean she promised the guy DSCC ad buys.

    I am guessing she promised Sanchez DSCC help to the extent that he demonstrates through various metrics that he can be competitive.  I would bet she told him he has to show he can raise lots of money on his own, work hard, have a good competent staff, and come off publicly as a competent candidate.

    I’m very happy with this recruit simply because it says something great about Murray.  She’s working it, she’s not throwing her hands up in the air.  She’s doing the right thing.

    And yes this is a longshot, but it’s not the longest of longshots.  There is a plausible path to victory if certain things happen, and yes they all likely must happen, but if they do, we can win.

    The worst thing in the world is not if the DSCC were to throw money away on a losing race, but for a race to become surprisingly winnable, but we don’t have a candidate who is capable of taking advantage of it.  You never want to leave a win on the table.

  87. I’m trying to stop posting on Texas just because I feel like I’ve become so cynical and negative about Dems chances, but it just seems to me so many people become optimistic at the slightest news (not even good news), that I always feel I have to jump in and give people a reality check (even though I sorta agree with Conspiracy that there’s nothing wrong with trying, as long as trying doesn’t go beyond spending money Dems could spend to win elsewhere).  

  88. The Dallas County party is very healthy and is keeping with what works. The state party, meanwhile, is broke and shows no signs of that changing. We need a GOTV operation south of San Antonio and Corpus and it’s not happening. Doing GOTV in that part of the state alone would boost statewide results prob by 3%.  The state party is . . . non-existent.

  89. Otherwise, it’s just too expensive a state to play in when there are so many easier ways to 270. If Obama’s winning Texas, he already has 270 electoral votes.

  90. how to target voters?

    I don’t think any of this is easy, but I think I think it’s possible. What makes Texas different from a lot of other state is that it has very low voter turnout. It’s usually near the bottom of the lists for every state. And the groups that are most friendly to us in the state seem to be dragging down that average. In a very general sense, this means that we aren’t close to tapping out our strength in the state.

    That’s just the voters that are already in the system. There are plenty who aren’t. Supposedly, Houston has about 600,000 voters that aren’t registered. Not all of them will be registered, of course, and the ones that end up going into the system won’t all vote for us, but that’s a huge block of voters in an area that seems, at worst, decent for us.

    I could be wrong about this, but I don’t think any one area of the state votes that much more than other areas. If it’s all more or less equal, looking at past results as a starting point seems obvious.

    I almost wonder if I am missing your point, because to me, this seems pretty uncontroversial.  

  91. His deficit reduction proposal sell is taking him to various cities, and everyone who pays attention has recognized that almost all his visits are to swing states.

    That’s true this week, too, with the one eyebrow-raising wrinkle being Dallas.

    Also, it’s been well-reported already that Team Obama is looking at Texas as one of several states Obama lost last time that could be a possibility this time.  A lot depends on who wins the Republican nomination, and how bloody and long a fight that turns out to be, in addition, of course, to the economy’s condition and Obama’s job approvals.  But they see Texas as a possibility worth exploring.

  92. I don’t see Obama dumping Biden at all.  Biden has great integrity and would do a great job as Secretary of State, but I like him in his current role as Veep.  He’s just a good man.

  93. I appreciate your responses a lot. It’s an example, to me at least, of how the back and forth on this site can be very constructive.  

  94. Prepare for every eventuality. The Republicans always do. I certainly don’t advocate treating TX as a path to 270 or for holding the Senate. It shouldn’t be a priority. But if it looks like Obama is going to win and some of the seats that look vulnerable now look safer later in the cycle then Texas is ripe for investment. At the end of the day when you get to a certain point with funding then diminishing returns does kick in.

  95. Three percent? Considering Obama received 44 percent last time without doing, well, anything, that’s absolutely enormous. (I know it’s not a hard figure, by the way, before anyone says anything. :])

    I don’t think there’s anyone, anywhere, that would argue we are close to maximizing our potential in the state. We are quite literally leaving a lot of votes on the table by not even trying. Perhaps doing all we can still won’t be good enough–I’m about as optimistic a person as you’d find about this state for 2012, but even I acknowledge it will be difficult–but we won’t know until we try. And since we aren’t looking at a number of better opportunities in 2012 and since we won’t have access to a money machine like the Obama campaign forever, now seems like the perfect time to get started.  

  96. Like, the school? I take it she’s a UT groupie, then? I never thought I’d agree with her on something 😉

  97. However, unlike Indiana in ’08, I think the GOP’s confidence is pretty justified. I don’t think Obama or especially Sanchez can break 45 percent there.

  98. but it seems like an awful lot of work, and a lot of wasted resources, to focus on this seat as nothing but a head fake.  

  99. Because things are in such a mess and the campaign only has limited funds, I think we need a targeted 3ed party to focus on a border turn out machine. Have some rich trial lawyer donate his funding to create a machine, and register every (legal) person they can find. I don’t think OfA should or would be willing to invest in creating the new machinery for the state of Texas and creating a new voter pool for us.

  100. what his campaign was like, I suspect that he was trying to win but didn’t focus as much on the ground game as he should have. I could be wrong about that, of course, and if I am, please tell me.

    Then again, I suspect he was blown away by the horrendous year more than anything else. And the power of the other party and the strength of Perry as a candidate only made things worse. He didn’t do all that badly, but he really didn’t come close.

    As for Ron Kirk, given the history of the party in focusing on ads more than ground game, I’d guess he suffered for the same reasons. I’d guess the same for Rick Noriega, but his race seemed to be less of a priority for the Democrats than Kirk’s did.

    Sure, in a sense my point is that we haven’t tried, but I think you are being too broad. “Trying” in Pennsylvania, for instance, and “trying” in Texas are two different things. What I’ve been trying to emphasize more than anything else is that we aren’t close to being tapped out in the state. I’m more than willing to acknowledge that even if we do everything right–everything involved with organizing that helped us in Virgina in 2008–we still might fall short. But given that we really haven’t been doing anything in the state–in the sense of grassroots stuff throughout the entire state–I don’t think we can make that call just yet.

    I’m not sure which comments you are referring to in particular about Mississippi, but that sounds like something I’d say. That state is obviously different than Texas and presents its own set of difficulties, but we haven’t focused on the state in the past. There was obviously a good reason for worrying about other states, of course. But considering that we haven’t focused on the state, actually doing so would almost naturally increase our returns. It’s like having a person begin a weight lifting routine after never trying one before: he’s bound to see improvement simply because it’s never been tried.

    And yes, money is a factor. The reason I want Obama to be so aggressive is that he will have a lot of it. No, it’s not actually limitless, but in a sense, it is. He obviously fought an aggressive campaign in a lot of states last time, and even if he were to increase some of this spending significantly based on what Republicans were doing, he’d probably have a lot left. Last time, he raised about $750 million. Let’s say that he raised $1 billion this time. He doesn’t have a primary challenger, of course, so there’s likely to be a lot of savings from that, and from the fact that he’s building on what he already spent last time. Let’s say that after increasing spending in states where he is guaranteed to be, like Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, by $100 million, he has $150 million to spend however he wants. That’s a huge sum of money, and it could do a lot of good, both now and in the future in regards to party building, particularly in cheap states.

    I’ve certainly considered why the Democrats have chosen to bypass certain states and areas in each state. But then I look at what Obama did in 2008, and what Republicans did in 2010 and usually do in every election, and I think that maybe he had and they have the better way of looking at things. We don’t want throw down money and expect it to work by itself, but we can look into areas where we haven’t been doing much of anything, try to build up the party, and then see what happens. The worst that we will see is a minor improvement.  

  101. Targeting rural voters doesn’t return a huge bang for the buck, otherwise Joe Sestak would be in the Senate.  Sure its where there’s more voters in total and more likely voters, but they are hard to get to the polls.

    I like the idea of targeting Texas’ ever-growing college population centers, their out-of-state student populations are growing and many stay in texas after graduation.  To me its a far easier source of future voters….even if its a smaller quantity.

  102. RedState is already using it, and it’s not unknown for Republican to use such argumets; for example, witness the “our medicare proposal is just like Obamacare, wait, didn’t we oppose Obamacare?” insanity at the moment. However, it won’t stick, for the reasons said above. RedState did raise a slightly more harmful angle, which was the Senate Dems (possibly including Patty Murray herself) blocked his promotion based on Abu Ghraib, but the fact that he’s still willing to be recruited by her and run as a Dem probably negates that, plus the fact that it puts distance between him and liberal Senate Democrats like Murray if it’s pointed out that they’ve clashed in the past.

    In any case, I’m glad Dems are fighting for Texas. A moderate, Hispanic military Democrat is the ideal candidate here. Rick Noriega was a prototype, but was too low profile and perhaps too liberal. Sanchez might not win, but Dems need to keep contesting Texas and building an organization, and they’re gonna have endure a few losses like Noriega’s and White’s before they start winning. Going on raw demographics, it should already be a purple state- only low Hispanic turnout and the sheer expense of contesting the state have kept it solid GOP, I think.

  103. He can’t win Texas.  We can’t win the Senate race even with Democratic jesus (a new candidate..I don’t think he always has to be a Republican Jesus).  And we won’t be knocking of many incumbent congressmen in texas with whatever map they come up with.

    The Senate is the firewall this election.  Obama will win.  But will McCaskill win if Obama doesn’t overspend in KC and SL, no.  Does Kaine win if Obama doesn’t over-spend in Fairfax, no.  Does Shelley berkley win if Obama doesn’t over-spend in NV, no.  

    Trying to pickup a Senate seat in Texas just isn’t a top priority at this time.  

  104. His ground to media to direct mail funding was fine. He was well funded and you have to go big on media in Texas because you can never hit all the ground targets on time. You just can’t. The ratio he hit, I was happy with.

    He had 2 problems and one is his fault.

    Messaging: He was trying to build up Perry as out of touch, and it ended up ala Ron Klein vs. Alan West where it seemed he was hitting him on stupid stuff that didn’t effect normal people. The mansion, forcing the HPV vaccines, etc. This stuff was too prominent, nothing on unemployed, the Texas budget, fair business laws.

    County Parties weren’t doing their part. Harris is a perfect example of a county that took what worked in 08 and abandoned it, They jumped back to media buys after having a good ground game modeled after Dallas. Denton, where I was/am had a county party that was not turning out base democratic voters. White was turning out and hitting all the swing voters, but the county parties were not hitting the base dems or doing voter registration. There’s 2 colleges in Denton, TX and there was no voter registration drive. No one worked to turn out primary voters. It just . . . nothing. This was not White’s fault, it’s a poorly built party apparatus. Dallas is hitting on all cylinders, Tarrant has their act together, Harris is figuring things out and Bexar is currently impeaching their County Chairman for bashing teh gays.

    Yeah, we got a ways to go.

  105. Sanchez supported Leahy’s call for a “Truth Commission” to investigate Bush-era torture programs.

  106. But I think you got it on MO and VA. He might need to go for broke in MT as well. Plouffe says he wants MT (or he did in Dec 08) so I expect a big buy there. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

  107. I’m not saying he’s going to win, but I think it’s a lot more possible than others. That should be obvious by now, of course.

    But rather than go into all of the reasons why yet again, I’ll just state that the money advantage that he’s going to have will allow him to be very aggressive. He will, in other words, be able to compete in Missouri, Virginia, Montana, and all of the other states with competitive senate seats, but also in Texas, if he wants to do so. You can argue that he shouldn’t, but I don’t think he will be stretching himself too thin by trying to do so.  

  108. regarded on the West Coast as one of the savviest political analysts around.

    *why it would have to be Cuomo

  109. of the required signatures! A huge tally.

    I thought each committee was going for 140%. They must have really been on a roll.

    What a great GOTV resource this will be!

  110. Appreciate yours as well. I don’t mean to give offense – I’m absolutely sure we agree far more often then we disagree (in fact, I believe once or twice I accused you of pessimism regarding Dem chances).

    Plus I’m always wrong – I predicted Kloppenburg would win easily (friggin’ DCCyclone was right again!) – so take comfort in that!  

  111. You’ll have a very interesting election season. Trust me, as a Virginia Dem, having Obama targeting your state is a game-changer. Not saying Texas can be won but you’ll have a fun time trying on the ground.

  112. Take in mind that in 2004 Bush beat Kerry in Indiana by nearly 20%, in 2008 Obama just edged McCain; it really made a difference in perception. It has made you think Indiana is a swing state when it has cemented its status as a very conservative Midwestern state. It could have possibly swung 1.5% the other way for McCain and we would just be as easily discussing Indiana as a prospect for 2012 like we are with Texas.

    Texas needs to be contested, just look at Indiana it may just budge a lot closer due in part to the large urban populations of Texas and the very large minority populations that can be tapped. It is a herculean effort but it will reap rewards in 2014, 2016 for sure for the state Democrats as well as the nominee in 2016.

  113. Both here and with Sanchez. There may be no follow through but I see no harm in laying the groundwork. This way they can take advantage later if conditions allow.

  114. they’re going to contest the state. These people are nothing if not good planners when it comes to campaigning, and I would imagine they’ve got fairly good idea of when and how they will be trying to secure their boss a second term. The list of states where there will be a considerable campaign presence can grow or shrink depending on the circumstances, but at this point, I’d be astonished to not see them in Texas.  

  115. Yes it’s up.  They’ve filed.  I gave money on Day 1.  And in return I got a t-shirt:  “Obama-Biden.”

    Everything is Obama-Biden.

    I’m not trying to dissuade fun converation here in saying this, but for purposes of evaluating what is serious discussion, anyone but Biden on the ticket is not worth discussing.  It’s Obama-Biden, done deal.

    I can’t imagine why anyone talks about a switch.  Biden has proven a great asset in every way.  He’s even learned to watch his tongue and avoid gaffes, something he’d never been able to do.

    He’s been impressive enough from my vantage point that I wouldn’t be shocked if he decided to run for Prez in 2016.  If Obama is reasonably popular, at least in the low 50s, Biden certainly would be the clear frontrunner if he chose to run.

  116. to win the state as a way to get to 270. It’s to build the party there and hopefully flip some House seats and the senate seat in the mean time.

    Also, name me one candidate besides Mitch Daniels that isn’t a joke. Not all of them are as bad as Palin or Trump, but none of them are very good.  

  117. I get why she didn’t mention the seats in Utah, Wyoming, or Mississippi, although I hope there is some sort of plan in place in case something unexpected happens. She seems to be playing this very well, and it raises my opinion of her even higher.  

  118. Rove had the campaign spend over $1 million in California in October, trying to goad Gore into panic.  The Gore campaign refused to bit, and Gore won the state by double digits.  Bush might have had a clean win had he spent that money elsewhere.

    The difference this time is that Obama will have more money than God.  He raised literally more than he could spend last time, with his $750 million haul ending up with enough left over that he gave every campaign staffer one-month’s salary as a post-election bonus.  Seriously, yes, they did that.

    If the $1 billion campaign comes to fruition this time, and I bet it will, and they don’t have to spend against primary opponents, Obama will have a lot more flexibility to expand the map further than last time.

    Money and opportunity cost will not be issues for playing in Texas.  The only issue will be the likely inelasticity of white Texas voters.

  119. Pawlenty is vowing to return DADT as official policy? That’s a pathetic, laughable position, and it’s an indication that no idea is too stupid to be mentioned in a Republican primary.

    Basically, while I don’t doubt that these guys are probably competent, even if they don’t agree with me on much, they are going to make huge fools of themselves trying to get the nomination.  

  120. Here, the “major left party,” the Democrats, accept the reality of ethnic/racial politics and harness it for votes.  Republicans condemn it and refuse to try to go after minorities beyond the most token efforts.

    What you just cited says that the Liberal leader is pretending to take a high road, while the Conservatives are saying screw that, let’s appeal to minorities directly.

    Of course, the difference is today’s Republicans in America have inherited many generations of emotional discomfort with minorities, not even to mention slavery and segregation.  Canada doesn’t have that history of racism and xenophobia, although I realize it’s not nonexistent.  So the Conservatives up there have a much more credible starting point with people of color than Republicans have here.

    I had read a piece by Ben Smith of Politico where he said Republicans here can only envy how well Conservatives in Canada are doing at appealing to minorities.  Conservatives even featured a biracial couple and their children in a recent TV ad.

  121. He’s already 68 years old, but stranger thing have happened….

    I’d definitely consider supporting Biden should he run in 2016.

  122. Reagan got elected at 69, turned 70 just a couple weeks after his inauguration, and was reelected at 73.

    Biden will be 73 in 2016 (turning 74 in late November, post-election), yes older than Reagan, but Reagan proved people don’t care as long as you seem to be just as sharp mentally as younger candidates.

    The big question will be, will Biden even want it?  I think when he agreed to be Obama’s running mate, he probably saw that as his big last hurrah in politics.  But what if 2015 rolls around, and the Republicans appear to have a more prominent field of wannabes than we do, and yet Obama’s job approvals are just fine?  I could see Biden reconsidering, and indeed I could see people asking him to run for the good of the party.

    That said, I wouldn’t bet on Biden running.  I bet we’ll have a decent field of wannabes come 2015.

  123. But the lessons apply — we as Ds have to keep our eyes on the ball, and remember the needs of each group.

    The Liberals in Canada are a bit handicapped by their heritage of central gov’t. They were the bulwark keeping Quebec in Canada for the longest time.

    AFAIK, core Conservatives in Canada are sorta like our midwestern socons, without the southern influence. But they’re also more used to federalism — their Provinces have a –lot– more power than our states. So they are used to dealing with blocs are separate groups. They’ve had some “successes” that would make us cringe, e.g. government funding of parochial school systems.

    Maybe 40% of Canadian immigrant voters are Asian, with a huge influx based on looser immigration standards. IIRC, anyone with $250k in cash can get in. So the economic demographics of immigrants are also quite different.

  124. …citizenship and voting rights?

    The political reality in today’s America is that there’s a very long lag time for legal immigrants to join the electorate.  Not only do they have to wait 5 years to apply for citizenship, but the cultural reality is that most wait much longer, and even after that are not easy to get registered to vote, and then tougher to turn out.

    Of course if most of our immigrants were affluent and educated and also massive as a share of the electorate, as you inform is the case in Canada, we, too, would have massive immigrant voting.

  125. What Canada may do (that we stupidly do not) is allow its foreign graduates an easy path to a permanent visa.  

  126. and before one of the Quebec quasi independence referendums, Canada brought in a bunch of extra judges into Quebec to speed up the process there, as immigrants are a huge anti-independent Quebec voting bloc.

  127. I thought the US version of the same visa required 1 mil, but could be wrong or out of date. In any case, I think a lot of that immigration made it possible to turn Vancouver into Hollywood North.

  128. I mean, I wholly disagree with it, but that’s hardly comparable to supporting the birther movement or being a 9/11 truther or something. When I think “joke,” I think the people whose candidacies would be a “joke”: Palin, Bachmann, Huntsman, Cain, Roemer, Santorum, Bolton, Giuliani, Trump, Johnson and the Johnson/Paul libertarians. “Joke,” as in they haven’t the slightest shot and are merely out there to raise profile. The “serious” candidates would be Romney, Pawlenty, Daniels, Huckabee and Christie. Gingrich is somewhere in the middle, but his quiet profile of late suggests more “serious” to me.

  129. I assume you mean because he can’t win the nomination correct? I actually think he might be a formidable general election candidate.  

  130. But even the “serious” candidates, as you list them, aren’t impressive. DADT repeal isn’t on the same level as the birther movement, in the sense it’s not a fantasy, but it’s hardly better. (And Pawlenty, by the way, is courting the sponsor of the bill in the New Hampshire legislature. Would it kill him to shun the guy entirely?) If that doesn’t seem ridiculous, we have Romney pretending his health care bill at the national level is a path towards communism and forced executions. What, he hasn’t gone there yet? It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s there by the end of this week.

    I guess you could say that when being at the top of the pack means denying  a conspiracy theory, your candidates suck…hard.  

  131. The demographic trends favor Democrats right now.  The opposite was and is true of California.

  132. I had some friends on the campaign but didn’t know they all got a full months’ salary bonus

  133. …of the dKos homepage:

    © Kos Media, LLC

    Site content may be used for any purpose without explicit permission unless otherwise specified

    It’s unclear if individual authors retain copyright on their diaries or if they give them up posting on dKos.  The statement above suggests the latter.

    You can contact Chris on twitter at @thisbowers or use private messaging on dKos if you are concerned.  

  134. but Bowers’ posts aren’t news to anyone here. They’re recycled news that we’ve all already seen, intended to motivate activism.

    For instance, he just put up a post saying that signatures against Olsen were “to be filed” today, when they were filed around noon. We were discussing that news early this afternoon on SSP.

  135. The White House has all but admitted that they’re terrified of Huntsman, but luckily, the things that make Dems fear him will simultaneously kill him with the GOP base. Tea Partiers in Utah described him as a “socialist on a good day and a communist on a bad one”.

  136. might be strong candidates, if they managed to make it through the primary. Huntsman’s actually pretty decent, but I doubt he’ll be the nominee. In fact, I didn’t even think of him when I made that comment–that’s how little I think of his chances.  

  137. Actually, I suspect he’ll completely bomb. He’d need Romney to drop out. As far as the general election goes, I guess Huntsman is a competent candidate, but he’ll hardly excite the GOP base in the slightest. He’d have to select a Palinesque right-winger.

  138. also found some emails from Huntsman where he praises his ex-boss, the POTUS.  That won’t play well with the base, sadly.

  139. They needed 15,744, so again getting over 140 percent.  

    There are some rumblings on Twitter that the Darling effort has enough signatures.  

  140. His 1Q funding was virtually non-existent: only $19K. Granted, Justin Amash was only at $48K, but that is a very low number for a veteran. I wonder if Marty Knollenberg has advance word of a McCotter retirement and plans to run in the 11th?

  141. Everything I’ve read about her says that while she wasn’t a Pallidino-esque candidate, she wasn’t particularly great, either. Plus, Hutchinson was running that year, and she’s been in office for a long, long time, and I doubt the Democrats placed much emphasis on the race. Randofsky raised very little money, which shouldn’t come as a shock.  

  142. assuming he doesn’t have other baggage.

    Obviously the floor for a Dem candidate in Texas will both vary and be lower than White’s total.

  143. I happen to know a prominent election law attorney in D.C., a guy I went to law school with, who told me at dinner once a few years ago that Radnofsky called to retain him, and he refused to take her call.  He would not accept her as a client because she was such a hopeless sacrificial lamb.  

    This is how poorly Radnofsky was regarded as a candidate here.

    That’s not to impugn her as a person, she might very well be a fine lady of the highest character and a great Democrat.

    But as a U.S. Senate candidate, she was not taken seriously by anyone.

    And her 36% came against Hutchison who at the time was as broadly popular as anyone in Texas.

  144. I heard he’s a very unpleasant person to work with and thankfully McDaniel & Beebe are going to out of their way to work around him in redistricting the state legislature.

    Martin’s approvals are falling fast though. I think this rules out him being a candidate for any other office in 2014. Hopefully, there is a good candidate for this office…

  145. In the dream I was mediating a panel on gay rights, because I have very academic dreams apparently? I just can’t remember what word containing “ou” set her off…

  146. In my head, I compare TX to what Mississippi seems like; we can get close and work our butts off with the dream candidate, but going from 43% to 46% is about all we can do.  As Indiana was more about just needing the attention while Texas is about ripe for the picking.  i don’t think Obama will win it in 2012 nor anyone else save for HIllary in 2016.  2020 is when things start to get interesting, I think.

  147. Unemployment dropping rapidly by re-election time (we’ve got a long way to go) could be mean a lot of things if Obama decides to not be modest and talk about how great his economic policies have turned out with stabilization and it slowly mending itself now.

  148. the comparison I have in mind when I think of being very aggressive with the map. Part of our success in the state was McCain not getting as many votes as Bush did in 2004, but even if McCain had matched Bush’s total, we’d still be in a good spot. We have a better infrastructure than we had before and would, in theory, be better able to compete in the future.  

  149. decision. I mean, if a county has less than 500 voters, as some in the state do, then he can ignore them. But holding down the margins in other areas is key.  

  150. Rep. Frank vocally and influentially opposed efforts to further regulate and audit Fannie and Freddie. He continued to receive significant campaign contributions from those outfits while a ranking member and eventually chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and he continued to use his position to argue against making them more transparent and accountable.

    Quite frankly, while I mostly fault Republicans for the financial crisis, I think there’s some blame to be heaped on Frank as well.

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