Days of Change

Day 366

November 5, 2009

And we are in year 2. Only 1173 days until the next Inauguration. Now it looks like Jackass lost any credibility on stopping terrorism. Even if it is disgruntled deployment cowardice in Fort Hood, it shines the light on this president having no idea what to do in Afghanistan after running for a year and being president for 9 months. He’s been getting by with a plan Bush wrote, all the time blaming him for having no plan.

The health insurance reform fight will be pushed to next year. That will put it at the beginning of the primary process. The Republicans, the liberals and the tea party movement need to field candidates now. NY-23 should be especially muddled. At least now some of the people will decide who runs.

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Night 365

November 5, 2009

My opinion of NY-23 is a win is a win. The Democrat won the race. There were reasons for that outcome, but I’ve written before that Democrats could win three-way races with just 40% of the vote.

Given that, I have some perspective about how NY-23 went down. Call it the ingredients of spin. Here are 8 reasons why it happened.

1. Doug Hoffman was not running as a Republican. The Republican party lost this race on Saturday when Scozzafava dropped out. Hoffman ran under the Conservative Party line. The Republican Party did not endorse him, the NRCC only endorsed him after Scozzafava quit in a desperate attempt to keep a Democrat out of the race.

2. Bill Owens is an empty suit. No one really cared about him as a candidate. The only thing I know about him is that silly dairy industry ad he did. Hoffman talked about his credentials a lot and went on more national media than the other candidates. Scozzafava hid out, called the police when reporters asked her questions and was vetted by the conservative bloggers who knew more about her record than the Republicans who endorsed her.

3. Dede Scozzafava was unpopular all along. While she was ahead of Owens briefly, she never passed 35%. The fact that 46% of total voters would choose Conservative Hoffman on Election Day tends to prove that Scozzafava would never have gotten enough undecideds to win.

4. The story goes that 11 Republican representatives of the counties in the 23rd district met at a pizza parlor and chose Scozzafava to run. Hoffman stated on the Sean Hannity radio show that as few as 4 were needed to choose her if they spoke for the largest counties. I’m not a fan of the primary process in NY, but it might have put the brakes on what turned out to be a bad decision.

5. The NRCC (Republican Congressional Committee) gave about $1 million to the Scozzafava campaign. Some of that money was used to drive up Hoffman’s negatives as he became bigger competition than Owens. Hoffman was forced to respond in kind, but attacked Scozzafava and Owens as being the same. Owens attacked Scozzafava and Hoffman as being the same. Scozzafava was unable to equate Owens with Hoffman.

6. The Conservative Party of New York exists to kick Republicans’ asses into doing what they want. It was never really set up to campaign for a seat. The effort was somewhat disorganized with little professional staff and big names getting perhaps too involved. Still, Hoffman gained approximately 1% of the vote every day for a month. In another week, he might have won.

7. Scozzafava’s ACORN ties (via NY’s Working Families Party) began to show by last weekend. She suspended her campaign on Saturday without endorsing a candidate. After some undisclosed meetings with high-level Democrats, she endorsed Owens on Sunday. She was also able to scorch the earth where she suffered a defeat.

8. For weeks, the Democrats had nothing to do but campaign. Owens was able to go to local communities and talk about milk prices and stimulus pork til the cows came home, literally. Hoffman vs. Scozzafava was about national issues, none of which had to do with the Obama administration.

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