The Blog

Morning Jay: GOP Positioned To Take The Senate, Bobby Bright...Republican?, Obama The Scold, and More!

6:30 AM, Oct 8, 2010 • By JAY COST
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

3. New Democratic Strategy: Run As a Republican!  This story was making the rounds Thursday:

Rep. Bobby Bright (AL-2) on Thursday became the first House Democratic incumbent to say that he would not vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker if he is reelected and Democrats retain the majority.

"I am not going to vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. Neither the leader of the minority party, John Boehner, nor the present speaker, will get my vote," Bright told Montgomery station WSFA.

Bright added that he intended to cast his vote for a centrist "who is much more like me."

Other conservative Democratic incumbents in tough re-election battles have made statements that have fallen short of committing to vote for Pelosi as speaker of the 112th Congress, but Bright is the first to say that he would definitely not vote for Pelosi, the first female House speaker in U.S. history.

Ultimately, if Pelosi wins the backing of the caucus, Bright’s non-vote on the House floor would be as good as a vote for John Boehner.  So, in what sense of the word would he still be a Democrat?

I guess that is the strategy you have to pursue this cycle if you're a Democratic congressman from Montgomery, Alabama.  Of course, it raises an important question: if Pelosi is such a terrible choice, why did Bright vote for her in January 2009?

4. Obama the Scold.  I have been mostly bemused by President Obama’s political strategies since he jaunted off to Europe in the summer of 2008. And I just don’t get this:

President Obama returned Wednesday night to his get-off-your-duffs message, warning Democrats at a low-key million-dollar fundraising dinner against "sulking and sitting back."

"One of the strengths of Democrats is that we don't march lockstep. We like to have internal arguments and we're very self-critical. We tend to look at the glass as half-empty. And that makes us better," he said to a dining room filled with donors. "But that's also a weakness, particularly four weeks before an election."…

Yet as the president's time on the stump has increased, so has discussion within the party about whether criticizing the base, as Obama and other top Democrats have done, is effective.

Biden said last week that "our base constituency [should] stop whining," and Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D) said this week that liberals unimpressed by Obama's tenure need to "get over it. 

The latter remark sent Democratic strategist Donna Brazile to her Twitter account Tuesday to criticize Rendell.

"These attacks are becoming a nuisance. Stop it," she tweeted, adding, "I consider myself a fiscally sane progressive, but the attacks on 'Liberals' or the 'professional left' will not turn out the vote."

What?  Why criticize one’s own side like this before an election?  I can appreciate doing it after the election.  One of Harry Truman’s talking points on the stump in 1948 was that the farm and labor vote stayed home in 1946 and got the “Do Nothing” Republican 80th Congress.  But to scold people before an election even happens?  

Question: is this just self-indulgence from the president and his inner circle because they see the writing on the wall, or is there an actual political strategy here? 

5. Quotes For the Day. 

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 19 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers