Setting up the autopsy on Democrats’ dying chances of salvaging something good out of midterm elections that are now nine days away, the party’s house organ, also known as the New York Times, is close to giving up the ghost.
In a story published on the paper’s website Saturday headlined “On Campaign Road, Uneasy Democrats Show Obama Their Tail Lights,” the paper summarized the position as one of blame apportioning, finger-pointing and private in-fighting that’s going to burst into the open when polls close Nov. 4.
And the prime person fingers are being pointed at is President Barack Obama, the “newspaper of record,” projects. As The Times points out, Obama has made two statements recently that were particularly damaging to candidates running in close elections that could turn control of both houses of Congress to the Republican Party for the final two years of his term.
Democrats were angered when Mr. Obama said in an Oct. 2 speech in Illinois that his economic policies were on the ballot, and they were stunned last week when he said on Al Sharpton’s radio show that Democratic candidates who have done so much to distance themselves from him “are all folks who vote with me.”
With the blush long off the rosy vision of Democrat ascendancy that came with Obama’s 2008 victory, and Democrats doing everything they can to distance themselves from a widely unpopular presidency, those two statements were seen as body blows to Democrat campaigns, The Times reports.
And let’s not forget the helpful first lady, Michelle Obama.
As The Times continues:
Yet at times, Mr. Obama’s actions and those of his political team have seemed off key to the point of damaging to fellow Democrats. Many of them cringed this month when the first lady, Michelle Obama, traveled to Iowa to campaign for Bruce Braley, a Democratic candidate for the Senate, in one of the nation’s closest races and referred to him repeatedly as “Bruce Bailey.” She returned to the state on Tuesday and joked about the mistake, but when the White House distributed the transcript of her remarks, it referred to Mr. Braley as a candidate for governor.
All in all, The Times reports, it’s a pretty terrible showing for a first couple battling their last campaign from the White House. So terrible, in fact, that it can be summed up neatly:
Former Senator John B. Breaux, a Louisiana Democrat, recalled a conversation with a Republican official in his home state who said the party’s campaign against Senator Mary L. Landrieu could be captured in two words: “Obama bad.”
“Well, every single Senate candidate we have you can summarize the race by saying: ‘Obama bad,’ ” Mr. Breaux said.
And you know it’s true, because you read it in The New York Times.
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