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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Will the 2014 mid-terms look like 2010? Results from Florida suggest yes

Here's what Adam Smith, the political editor of the Tampa Bay Tribune, has to say:

If I'm a Democratic House member in any competitive district in America or a Democratic incumbent senator up for re-election this year in a moderate-to-conservative state like North Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado, Alaska or Louisiana, I'm waking up more than a little anxious about what happened in Pinellas County on Tuesday.

In Alex Sink, Democrats had a better-funded, well-known nominee who ran a strong campaign against a little-known, second- or third-tier Republican who ran an often wobbly race in a district Barack Obama won twice. Outside Republican groups — much more so than the under-funded Jolly campaign — hung the Affordable Care Act and President Obama on Sink.*

It worked.

Sink and Jolly both tried to argue repeatedly that the race to succeed the late C.W. Bill Young had more to do with local politics than it did national. Nonsense.

More than $12 million spent on hundreds of TV ads and Lord knows how many direct mail fliers weren't talking about Pinellas recreation fees and bus routes. They were flooding Pinellas residents with mostly negative attacks about Obamacare and misleading charges about why Sink or Jolly should not be trusted on Medicare and/or Social Security.

Of course, if ObamaCare didn't suck, Sink the Democrat would have had a better shot.

Nobody seriously expected Democrats to win back a majority in the U.S. House in November, but Sink's loss in a winnable swing district makes Democrats' hold on the U.S. Senate majority look more tenuous than before the special election.

Obama at this point looks like a drag for Democrats in November, just as he consistently has been for Sink.

Four years ago, she narrowly lost a campaign for governor in a tough political climate against a little-known, first-time candidate who cast her as an Obama/Obamacare cheerleader.

One big difference between the two Sink races? This time she has little to apologize for. She ran a hyper-disciplined campaign with a far more robust get-out-the-vote effort than Republicans.

Two invisible political players stand out in this race: Obama and Gov. Rick Scott. Both sides wanted them as far away from Pinellas County as possible.

In their stead, Bill Clinton starred in robocalls for Sink, and Jeb Bush starred in TV ads and mailers for Jolly. Maybe that's yet another sign that Clinton and Bush remain the most formidable names in politics.

Ha ha. ObamaCare is a boat anchor. Obama himself is a boat anchor.

Free advice, Democrats! Stop sucking!

NOTE * The beauty part, of course, is that ObamaCare is RomneyCare, which is a Republican plan. It would be funny to watch the Republicans beating Democrats like a gong based on a rotten health insurance scam they themselves invented, if what that said about Democrats weren't so sad, and so many people weren't suffering.

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tom allen's picture
Submitted by tom allen on

If Democratic politicians stopped sucking at the teat of corporate America, how would they get rich and powerful? Alex Sink ran the scandal-ridden Florida branch of Bank of America, then ran for and won the Chief Financial Officer position in the Florida state government. Weird how that works.

Submitted by lambert on

Gosh, the Democrats run a candidate who's a former bank executive, and on her watch her bank defrauded elders. And the Republicans didn't even mention that, either. Wowsers.


[Scott] said that Sink's "tellers were paid kickbacks for directing elderly consumers from ... safe deposits to risky ones." While Sink was state president of NationsBank, bank tellers in Florida were being paid a 5 percent commission for directing bank customers to bank-related stock brokers. The stock brokers were then selling riskier investments under the guise that they were protected either by the bank or the federal government. We rate this claim is True.

No wonder Sink faced headwinds. What a horrible example of what's wrong with the two-party system, since Columbia/HCA was fined $1.4 billion on Scott's watch for defrauding Medicare. Both candidates in Sink's first race vs. Scott were fraudsters.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

in regards to Dems' 2014 and 2016 strategies and maneuvering.

From what I've read today, I'd 'bet the farm' that one, if not two "stalking horse" candidates were lined up yesterday evening, for the 2016 Presidential election.

The description of Sinks' campaign strategy was very similar to the one outlined by one of the "Ready For Hillary" PAC fundraisers at an Aspen Institute shindig months ago (she was on the XM Radio program, "Polioptics," with host Josh King, who worked in the Clinton White House as a production manager--whatever that is, LOL!).

What I'll really be curious to see is if Dem candidates for the House and Senate will actually run as populists, as John Nichols appears to suggest.

They, of course, don't have the same options as a major Establishment Presidential candidate (meaning a shadow candidate to carry the populist message for them).

BTW, I didn't waste my time watching the "Fern Show," but when I checked Begala's Twitter Feed, I did see this Tweet, which was interesting--and very surprising to me.

OTOH, I'm not sure that I'd consider Kliff to exactly be impartial on the topic of the ACA.


Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

this out--will be back to post answer later (if I find it).

Just read last night that Barbara Bush "retracted" her disapproval of Jeb's run. And, of course, some conservative blogs believe that the two families are behind "No Labels."

The "timeline" of the initiation of No Labels and the demise of the DLC, certainly could lend some credence to the notion that the No Labels organization could be a DLC-reincarnated "bi-partisan" organization. And some of the so-called "founders" (political operatives) are both friends and political "insiders" from both families.

But I'm still checking out this theory. So, for now--dunno.

What I really had in mind was one or two former/present (DLC) governors, when I made the comment about "stalking horses."

IOW, maybe DLCers Martin O'Malley, Brian Schweitzer, Cory Booker (although not as likely), and maybe even Deval Patrick (not sure if he was actually a member of the DLC--he worked in the Clinton Justice Dept, and is considered a "centrist").

Reporters that I hear are somewhat dubious (before the Sinks' election, even) that FS Clinton--or for that matter, VP Biden--would want to be "out there" all by herself for three years--to be picked apart by a hoard of Republican candidates, vying for the Republican nomination.

Sort of makes sense to me. But who knows?