Even before the polls closed, the recriminations – something short of panic, and considerably more than mere grumbling – had begun. On a high-level campaign conference call Tuesday afternoon, Democratic donors and strategists commiserated over their disappointment in Obama. A source on the call described the mood as “awful.”Just keep talking. You're doing wonders for the GOP.
“People feel betrayed, disappointed, furious, disgusted, hopeless,” said the source.
Less expansive but equally telling were the remarks of House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, who in a conversation with reporters Tuesday morning said bluntly that Obama would take some blame for the two special election losses.
“I think every election reflects on the person in charge, but do I think it is an overall statement on the president alone? No,” said Hoyer. “Do I think it will be interpreted as being a statement on Obama? That’s probably correct.”
A senior Hill Democratic aide was more direct in attempting to explain the New York loss: “The approval ratings for the guy at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue cratered.”
A Turner consultant, Steve Goldberg, validated that assessment: “It was all Obama — not even a thought of anything else.”
The president’s feisty new jobs plan has probably preempted open revolt in his party – though a Bloomberg poll released Wednesday morning found that 51 percent of Americans don’t believe it will help lower the unemployment rate. Senior party figures are on board with – or are at least resigned to – the White House’s leadership. And some Democratic insiders sought to put a better face on their diminished state - before adding that they wanted to see a tougher Obama.
“Let’s face it - it has been a tough summer for Democrats,” said Jack Quinn, a top lobbyist and former White House Counsel to President Clinton. “But I really do think that people are feeling better.”
Quinn said, however, that Obama must confront the GOP.
“They didn’t get the House and say, ‘We want half a loaf.’ They’ve said, ‘we want the whole goddamn oven,’” he argued. “It’s time for the president to really draw some hard lines here.”
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), among the most senior House Democrats, sketched out those lines.
“The Republicans want us to repeal the 20th century, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, to turn us back to the robber barons running the country, and to eviscerate the environmental and other regulations to protect public health and safety,” said Waxman. “And to cut spending in ways that would be very harmful to people who rely on government.”
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Democrats React Calmly to NY-9 Loss: 'The Republicans Want Us to Repeal the 20th Century'
They have nothing to offer but fear itself.