Resistance Begins at Ohm!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm just sayin' (political strategy)

A sequence of "ifs." I'm not sayin' this is what happened, but it is as good a fairy tale as "not spending more on 17% of the budget will save us $25 billion a year." Right. After increasing the budget by 27% in 2009. You have to love the pure flights of fancy in this 'burg. Spinning like a top.

After looking at the situation on the "ground" (meaning floors), I imagine a conversation something like this:
"A geez, Harry, is this the best you can do? This is poo!"
"Nancy, look what I had to do to get the votes. Heck, Nebraskans can't even stand the smell of their pork, and they raise hogs there. Hopefully, they will forgetr that deal, and he doesn't loose re-election."
"Harry, there is no way this pig is going to fly in the house. Even asking is going to cost me cred."
"Nancy, look, I may not get re-elected, this thing stinks so bad. What do expect me to do? You're just going to have to go build some consensus because it's all your getting. There is no way the house bill is even going to get 50, let alone 60."
Then some discussion of options a, b and c and some talking at the WH.

Option a is to try and pass the really bad house pieces in reconciliation, option b is to vote out of the Senate what the house can tolerate and put the rest in appropriations and omnibus bills, option c is, well, there isn't an option c.

Finally, this discussion
"OK, Harry look, I can't bring back a functioning majority if we pass this poo, I'm not sure our own bill would survive another vote."
"I have the same problem except I may not get re-elected myself. It doesn't matter that I have 60 dems because it's just too hot to handle again."
"So what do we do? This thing is radioactive and we need to get it off the table and move on to something else people care about."
"OK, so if I don't have 60 votes, we can just let it die, right?"
"No! You have 60 dems, you'll look like an idiot if you can't get it passed."
"Well, what if I didn't have 60 votes? Wait a min, I know, what if Coakley lost?"
"Are you nuts, Harry? She can't loose, not possible, not in Mass."
"Well, I don't know, if we don't give her any more money, maybe Scott can just out do her running ads. She gives him lots of ammunition every time she opens her mouth."
"Yes, I can see that is a possibility. At least it is more likely than getting this thing signed."
"She spent all the money on the primary, my sources say she only had less that a half-million coming in"
"You know, Harry, it just might work. You shrug you don't have the majority, I shrug I can't pass that disaster in the House."
"Yeah, just don't tell the Whitehouse."

And then:
[clipped from blogs]
-- Coakley campaign noted concerns about "apathy" and failure of national Democrats to contribute early in December. Coakley campaign noted fundraising concerns throughout December and requested national Democratic help.
-- DNC and other Dem organizations did not engage until the week before the election, much too late to aid Coakley operation
-- Because of the failure of national Democrats to support Coakley, she was forced to devote significant time to fundraising in December.
-- Coakley's failure to release television advertisments until 12 days before the election was the result of a fundraising problem that national Democrats failed to resolve.
From Politico

[Celinda] Lake argued that the underfunded campaign didn't have money for tracking polls, and so didn't see Republican Scott Brown's comeback until it was well underway. The campaign also didn't have money, she said, for television ads that could have shaped a populist message and defined her opponent as a friend of Wall Street. The party establishment didn't back the campaign with significant resources until the closing days of the campaign.
"I think [the criticism from Emanuel] ignores -- there were a lot of mistakes made all the way around, but number one, we had no tracking data. Number two, we said to the campaign, we have to get up [with ads on TV] earlier. Number three, in the primary, when we had money, we ran a populist economic message," she said. "And number four, we had no money and there may be lots of critiques about that, but we should remember that there were [Democratic] institutions" that could have kicked in campaign cash.
From Huffpost

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to a source familiar with their financial standing, will report that it ended 2009 with $16.7 million in the bank after raising nearly $56 million in the last year including $3.8 million in the month of December.
From WashPost

Many people had expected the four-way primary to be tougher than the general election against Mr. Brown, a little-known Republican state senator. So the Coakley campaign, which spent roughly $5 million to win the Democratic nomination, entered the general election with only about $450,000 left and plans to spend only about $1.8 million against Mr. Brown in the final stretch, which was less than two months long.
At first things looked like they were conforming to plan. A poll the campaign conducted just before Christmas showed Martha Coakley, the Democratic attorney general, with a 19-point lead over Mr. Brown, said Dennis Newman, the Coakley campaign’s chief strategist. Ms. Coakley took some time off the trail to celebrate Christmas, prepare for the debate, film ads and try to raise money.
From NYTimes blogs

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News,” that he has “no doubt” the race for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s seat was winnable by Democrat Martha Coakley, but the White House was informed of her political peril too late.
From Politico


  1. Rahm Emanuel clearly lied straight-faced to Katie Couric. The DC gurus were asked by the Caokley campaign for help with money as soon as the Primary was over...they were told "You don't have a problem. There's no race there." So now the WH and DSCC can spin all they want how they were not at fault...but they were asleep at the wheel and deserve what they got.

  2. @HLPeary, thank you for your comment, and thank you for your patience until I published it. I don't get home until almost 8 on my workdays.