'Trouble' Rhymes with Carville
September 16, 2011 - 7:30 AM
Trouble, oh we got trouble,
Right here in River City!
With a capital "T"
That rhymes with "P"
And that stands for Pool
Yesterday the Democrats had trouble with a capital "T" that rhymes with "C" and that stands for Carville.
As in James. As in my former back-door neighbor. As in husband to Mullfave Mary Matalin.
The James wrote an essay for CNN in which he stated it was time for President Obama to panic. I am not paraphrasing. He wrote it after thinking about the drubbing Obama and his fellow Democrats got in two special Congressional elections - one in Nevada and one in New York City, he wrote: "What should the White House do now? One word came to mind: Panic."
The election win in Nevada would not normally have raised any eyebrows because it was in a Republican district. But the winner, former State Sen. Mark Amode1 won by a much larger margin than Sen. John McCain won that district in the Presidential election of 2008.
This is called "over-performing."
That wasn't the big news. The big news was not just that the Congressional seat formerly held by Anthony "Not Sure If That's a Photo of my Tighty-Whiteys or Not" Weiner was won by a Republican for the first time in 90 years; it was that the Republican won easily and that the heavily orthodox Jewish voters in the district went for the Republican.
As Larry Sabato, University of Virginia professor of political science, correctly Tweeted after the results of the NY-9 special became obvious, it is dangerous to use special elections or polls as predictors of future events.
I replied, via Twitter, "Yes, but in both specials and polls it's better to come in first than to come in last."
In a segment on John King's CNN show last night, Carville and Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher got into it when Belcher pointed out that as bad as President Obama's poll numbers are, the Congress' numbers are worse.
James retorted, "But they keep electing Republicans!
James suggested the President fire people who aren't doing their jobs. Cornell said it was a messaging problem and that's why Obama has gone out to the states to deliver the message himself.
Carville said, "Then fire the communications staff. Communications people are a dime a dozen."
Well, hold on there just one second, Babba Louie.
I was on in the next segment and I took umbrage at that. I said, "I'm a communications person and I don't think I'm a 'dime-a-dozen' guy. I often get 12 or 13 cents a dozen."
I'm going to throw the Carvilles' Washington Post into their bushes every morning for the next two weeks.
James' advice was heavy on the firing business. He wrote: "Bill Clinton fired many people in 1994 and took a lot of heat for it. Reagan fired most of his campaign staff in 1980. Republicans historically fired their own speaker, Newt Gingrich. Bush fired Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "For God's sake, why are we still looking at the same political and economic advisers that got us into this mess?"
Democrats lost two special Congressional elections, the numbers for initial jobless claims show that employment may be going in the wrong direction, that solar panel company for which we guaranteed a half billion dollars in loans went belly up last week, and James Carville thinks the President is surrounded by morons.
Politico reported that the non-partisan Field Poll showed, "For the first time since Obama took office, fewer than half of state voters approved of his overall performance. In March 2009, 65 percent approved of his job was doing as president and just 21 percent disapproved. By September 2011, just 46 percent approved while 44 percent disapproved."
It is not likely that the Republican nominee - whomever he or she is - is going to win California, but it shows a deep, broad, maybe irreversible erosion of support for the President.
As one pollster who was following that New York race said, "Where [Obama] has lost his support in New York is among the Democrats."
That's trouble. With a capital "T" and that rhymes with "D" and that stands for Democrats.
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the "Music Man," to Carville's essay, and to the Politico analysis of Obama's poll numbers. Also a Mullfoto from our trip to Pennsylvania last weekend and a Catchy Caption of the Day.