It'a gonna Keith Fimian again he can do it again :)
GMU Hokie Wrote:
> Gerry is up for re-election next year. He must be
> concerned about the ramifications of the election
> Who will run against him? Jean Marie Devolites
> For parties, the soul-searching begins
> 'Do people think we're tending to the things they
> care about?'
> By Michael D. Shear and Paul Kane
> Washington Post Staff Writer
> Thursday, November 5, 2009
> Democrats on Capitol Hill began a nervous debate
> Wednesday about the course President Obama has set
> for their party, with some questioning whether
> they should emphasize job creation over some of
> the more ambitious items on the president's
> The conversations came as White House officials
> insisted that the party's gubernatorial defeats in
> Virginia and New Jersey had few implications for
> Obama's standing or for Democratic prospects in
> the 2010 midterm elections.
> But moderate and conservative Democrats took a
> clear signal from Tuesday's voting, warning that
> the results prove that independent voters are wary
> of Obama's far-reaching proposals and mounting
> spending, as well as the growing federal debt.
> Liberal lawmakers, meanwhile, said the party's
> shortcoming came in moving too slowly on
> health-care reform and other items that would
> satisfy a base becoming disenchanted with the
> failure to deliver rapid change in government.
> Voters in both states cited the economy as by far
> their top concern, and many lawmakers said the
> outcomes were a blunt wake-up call to put the
> issue front and center.
> "The question is, do people think we're tending to
> the things they care about?" said Sen. John D.
> Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) as he left a meeting of
> Senate leaders. He said there was palpable concern
> among his colleagues Wednesday that the main
> agenda items Democrats are pursuing -- health care
> and climate change -- resonate very little with
> voters focused on finding or keeping jobs.
> "Don't think people in my state are going to stand
> up and start cheering about Copenhagen,"
> Rockefeller said, referring to the European city
> that will host a summit on global warming next
> month. Critics of the climate-change legislation
> before Congress say it would be a job-killer in
> states dependent on manufacturing and natural
> Obama all but ignored the election results,
> calling to congratulate the winners and traveling
> to Wisconsin for an education speech. But his top
> aides worked furiously to rebut the idea that
> Republican victories in New Jersey and Virginia
> require a reassessment of the president's
> "People went to the polls and voted on local
> issues, not to either register support for or
> opposition to the president," press secretary
> Robert Gibbs told reporters hours after the
> balloting. Asked whether moderate lawmakers might
> view the results differently, and thus worry about
> casting tough votes on Obama's agenda, Gibbs said
> no. "I don't think they will, and I'm not
> concerned," he said.
> Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said that he
> and other White House aides will attempt to help
> the "merchants of conventional wisdom focus on the
> facts here." And he said there will be no change
> in the president's push for health-care reform --
> nor a change in tactics by his lieutenants.
> Signs of change
> But there were clear signs that the landscape has
> changed for Democrats in the past year.
> Independents, who were crucial to Obama's
> election, swung dramatically to Republicans in
> both Virginia and New Jersey. If that pattern
> holds a year from now, Democratic lawmakers in
> swing districts could find themselves losing
> reelection battles.
> The results left lawmakers less sanguine than the
> president's ever-confident advisers. Rep. Gerald
> E. Connolly (D) said the results in his state and
> elsewhere have "somewhat of a chilling effect,
> potentially, on the agenda."
> Connolly, who provided a detailed briefing on the
> results Wednesday morning to the 35 freshmen House
> Democrats, focused on what he called a "depressed
> Democratic base." Voters in the Old Dominion who
> had sided with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) last
> November showed up in greater numbers Tuesday than
> those who voted for Obama last year, Connolly said
> he stressed to his colleagues.
> "I concluded from last night, we've got to pass
> health care," Connolly said, adding that his
> message is: "Make sure I give Democrats something
> to be excited about."
> Steve Elmendorf, a veteran Democratic strategist
> who was a top congressional aide when Democrats
> were chased from control of the House in a 1994
> GOP landslide, said Wednesday that lawmakers are
> far less complacent today than they were 15 years
> "They need to pay attention to it," Elmendorf
> said. "Voters spoke, and I think the message they
> sent was they care about the economy and they care
> about jobs. I don't think there's any reason to
> panic here. We have to get health care done, and
> then we have to turn our attention to the economy
> and jobs."
> Elmendorf said it was a "big deal" that the
> Democratic gubernatorial candidates lost
> independents, who he said were "a key to Obama's
> victory. They are a key to the Democrats' strength
> as a party."
> Calls for more action
> But many of the party's leading progressives
> echoed the idea that the elections showed the only
> way to build toward victory is to aggressively
> push the agenda items envisioned in January. "We
> have to do it all," said Rep. Barbara Lee
> (D-Calif.), chair of the Congressional Black
> "It's a matter of tangibles being delivered," said
> Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a close ally of
> House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "Victory
> breeds victory."
> Others sought to take a pragmatic view of
> Tuesday's voting. Rep. Zack Space (D-Ohio),
> elected in the Democratic takeover of 2006 and a
> leader of the conservative wing of the caucus,
> dismissed the idea that the elections would have
> an impact on his vote on health-care legislation.
> That bill could reach the House floor as early as
> "The issues are particular to Virginia and New
> Jersey. You could just as easily turn to what
> happened in Upstate New York and extrapolate good
> news for Democrats," he said.
> Aides in the West Wing also sought to highlight
> the Democratic victory Tuesday in New York's 23rd
> Congressional District.
> "We won a congressional seat that's been in
> Republican hands since Ulysses S. Grant was
> president, in part because of the disunity in the
> Republican Party," Axelrod said. "That was the
> only truly national contest on the ballot."
> Axelrod argued that the intervention of national
> conservatives to push the moderate GOP candidate
> out of that contest would be the only lasting
> lesson of the night.
> "The most portentous thing that happened yesterday
> was that the right wing of the Republican Party
> ran a moderate Republican essentially out of the
> race, and lost a seat they had held for more than
> 100 years," he said. "I don't take that as
> Staff writer Ben Pershing contributed to this