Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

PA, CO Senate races prove Obama not being served well by Rahm Emanuel

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The White House, in a political move, tries to get a candidate in his own party to not make for a messy primary, and tries to give an incentive of some kind to not run.

Sorry, this isn’t a political scandal.

The better question is why the White House is working so hard to bump off the best candidate in a race that can try to keep as many of its party in the Senate.

In Pennsylvania and Colorado, the White House put its best efforts behind the incumbent, regardless of whether that person had the best chance to win in November. In a sea of threatened incumbencies, you could argue that Arlen Specter was in serious trouble. And Michael Bennet wasn’t that strong of an incumbent candidate, given that he hasn’t been elected.

This isn’t to say that the Obama White House should have poured money and effort into the candidacies of Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff. You can nod in favor of the standard incumbent, but when you work this hard and details come out, such as what has been disclosed, you look bad.

You can say that it is up to the voters of said party to decide the best representative for the party in November. Sure, the line is cheesy and lame, but the Obama White House would rather have that scenario than where they are now.

The Pennsylvania race is over, and the candidate the White House didn’t want is the one Obama will pull for in November. Oops. And if you’re Andrew Romanoff, maybe you’re glad the president’s people stepped in and gave your opponent the endorsement.

If this is some master plan to get Sestak and possibly Romanoff elected in November, there might be genius in insanity. But this speaks to the ineffectiveness of one person: Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Obama wanted Emanuel because he thought Rahm could get things done in Congress.

Rahm’s bull with china spirit hasn’t worked within Congress, and is now growing worse outside of the Congress.

Joe Sestak was, and still is, the Democratic Party’s best chance to keep the Senate seat in a blue state such as Pennsylvania. In this “kick the bums out” climate, imagine if Specter, a former Republican, was up there against Pat Toomey. Those who would vote for Specter would have held their nose to vote for him. Such lack of confidence doesn’t win races. Voting against Toomey would not have been enough of a reason to vote for Specter.

And why pick between Bennet and Romanoff? You will support the winner. But no, Emanuel had to make a point.

The Democratic Party may suffer losses in November. And Emanuel will get the blame if that happens. If the Dems have to worry about Pennsylvania and Colorado, the donkeys will have a long night.

The better way to go is a shakeup in leadership now before the disaster kicks in. Obama can reassign Emanuel to some other post. But the chief of staff is a vitally important post in the White House, and Obama hasn’t been served well by Emanuel.

Presidents become isolated and they need guidance, those with ears on the outside to tell the president on the inside. From oil spills to the 2010 elections, Obama is not being served well.

Despite what the pundits say, this isn’t 1994. But President Clinton was unable to do a lot of what he wanted as a result of 1994. President Obama needs to learn the lessons, and do a better job of the whole politics thing. A fresh start would be a new chief of staff. And if not that, Obama needs to think of something else, but things need to change.


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