Krauthammer: ObamaCare turned what should have been a landslide in Virginia into a cliffhanger

posted at 9:21 am on November 7, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

After it finally became clear that Terry McAuliffe was definitely going to win the Virginia governor’s race on Tuesday night, one of the big debates that instantly popped up was whether or not the floundering of ObamaCare had an eleventh-hour impact that tightened the race into such a surprisingly competitive contest, and in that vein, whether 2014-minded Democrats should have cause for encouragement or alarm. On the one hand, once the heavily Virginian-afflicting government shutdown subsided and the media began to turn to stories of ObamaCare in full force, Cuccinelli made ObamaCare the focal point of his closing arguments and emphasized his champion-status in trying to thwart the legislation. On the other hand, it’s possible that neither the shutdown nor ObamaCare punched above their weight, and both internal Democratic polling and exit polling data suggest that the electorate may have already been locked in by the final stages of the contest.

Krauthammer, however, went for the former argument on Fox News last night, via RCP:

Look what happened last night in Virginia. Obamacare single handedly — only a slight exaggeration, turned what should have been a landslide into a cliffhanger. Cuccinelli was behind by double digits after the shutdown really hurt him in northern Virginia, where there are a lot of government workers. He was way behind. He decided to gamble it all in the last week attacking Obamacare. He came to the point where by 10:00 last night, he was actually ahead in the count, and then he lost narrowly. That’s all due to Obamacare. And this is not new. Four years ago in Virginia and New Jersey, Obama campaigned for the Democratic candidates for governor and they both lost. And the issue was the beginning of the Tea Party revolt, the issues were the stimulus, high taxation, high spending and it was Obamacare. So this is now the second time Obamacare is striking and it’s going to continue to strike. It petered away after the last time because it was all in theory, it wasn’t happening, it was suspended. But it’s happening now. And unless they stop the avalanche here, the Democrats are going to get buried in this.


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Orrin Hatch said on Fox and Friends that “Cuccinelli would have won if the government wasn’t shut down.”

Marcus on November 7, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Can’t wait for 2014 elections!!

Khun Joe on November 7, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Unless the R’s find a way to screw the pooch, 2014 could be pretty terrific.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on November 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM

BTW, I caught Nicole Wallace on Moaning Schmoe for 5 minutes and I must say she is at her highest Conservative bashing, Obama loving, all time worst. You would have a hard time differentiating her from Debbie Waht’shername Shultz.

Marcus on November 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM

The Democrat Senator stampede the next day makes me suspect it was Obamacare.

forest on November 7, 2013 at 9:32 AM

And? This isn’t playing Hot Potato with a satchel charge, the only thing that matters is the final result and Virginites chose a greasy criminal doucheball who shouldn’t have been more than a write-in on the ballot.

I don’t have much faith that 2014 will be anything spectacular, there are just so many people out there who are grifters and losers.

Bishop on November 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM

You can smell the fear. To me it smells like Shalimar.

katy the mean old lady on November 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Orrin Hatch said on Fox and Friends that “Cuccinelli would have won if the government wasn’t shut down.”

Marcus on November 7, 2013 at 9:25 AM

I despise Orrin Hatch, but he may be right. If there’d been no shutdown which helped vault McAwful to that initial double-digit lead and then Obamacare’s rollout tanked McAwful’s numbers, perhaps the Cooch would’ve pulled off a 2-3 point win instead of losing by that margin.

That being said, I’m glad we had the shutdown. It’s going to help the GOP far more than hurt them next year when they can convincingly claim(well, most of them anyway) that they did everything they could(short of risking default) to stop the implementation of Obamacare while the Dems were steadfast in making sure the law went into effect.

Doughboy on November 7, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Yeah well. Cuccinelli still lost and McAullife will be the next governor of Virginia and I’m still depressed. I’m moving over to pissed steadily though, shouldn’t be long now.

Oldnuke on November 7, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Agree Marcus at 9:28

cmsinaz on November 7, 2013 at 9:39 AM

You can smell the fear. To me it smells like Shalimar.

katy the mean old lady on November 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Its no longer a whiff..gettin’ pretty pungent.
I small a porterhouse~ ;)

bazil9 on November 7, 2013 at 9:40 AM

That being said, I’m glad we had the shutdown. It’s going to help the GOP far more than hurt them next year when they can convincingly claim(well, most of them anyway) that they did everything they could(short of risking default) to stop the implementation of Obamacare while the Dems were steadfast in making sure the law went into effect.

Doughboy on November 7, 2013 at 9:36 AM

With the shutdown, and thanks to Cruz/Lee, the GOP catagorically went on record opposing Obamacare. For that reason, the shutdown was a good thing. Beyond the inept and incompetent roll out of Obamacare, the whole program is a debacle. One party stood up and tried to stop it. The other party yelled at them to sit down and shut up.

Happy Nomad on November 7, 2013 at 9:41 AM

BTW, I caught Nicole Wallace on Moaning Schmoe for 5 minutes and I must say she is at her highest Conservative bashing, Obama loving, all time worst. You would have a hard time differentiating her from Debbie Waht’shername Shultz.

Marcus on November 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM

You are watching MSNBC… Why does a conservative give ratings for the most lunatic liberal network? The best way to hurt the liberal media is by reducing their ratings… Do your part…

mnjg on November 7, 2013 at 9:41 AM

BTW, I caught Nicole Wallace on Moaning Schmoe for 5 minutes and I must say she is at her highest Conservative bashing, Obama loving, all time worst. You would have a hard time differentiating her from Debbie Waht’shername Shultz.

Marcus on November 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Well, that’s why she’s been relegated to the wasteland that is MSDNC. She and Steve Schmidt.

Doughboy on November 7, 2013 at 9:41 AM

smell..
more caffeine please.

bazil9 on November 7, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Unless the R’s find a way to screw the pooch, 2014 could be pretty terrific.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on November 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM

They are already getting started on that. Look how we are being divided. And what is also reality is that because the Republican establishment and their moneyed interests are as spiteful as the President they refused to help KC at all in VA and wasted an opportunity. In fact we know that moderate republicans helped the Democrat. With their new push on infighting and killing the conservatives and tea party off I am sure they will manage to piss away many other opportunities in 2014, especially if they are unhappy with the choices the people have made in the primaries. Watch and see.

magicbeans on November 7, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Yeah well. Cuccinelli still lost and McAullife will be the next governor of Virginia and I’m still depressed. I’m moving over to pissed steadily though, shouldn’t be long now.

Oldnuke on November 7, 2013 at 9:37 AM

And what would McAuliff achieve when 2/3 of the Virginia House is Republican? The answer is nothing…

mnjg on November 7, 2013 at 9:43 AM

One party stood up and tried to stop it. The other party yelled at them to sit down and shut up.

Happy Nomad on November 7, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Well one half of a party tried to stop it. The other half of that party kept complaining about the shut down and attacking a Senator on their own side. Then they talked about it for a week more. The only party that stood up and tried to stop it was the tea party and they got hammered by their own party for doing so. In fact, they still are.

magicbeans on November 7, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Just in time for the election of 2014, the employer mandate will hit our nation like a runaway freight train. Enjoy.

slickwillie2001 on November 7, 2013 at 9:44 AM

The pundits keep describing Virginia as a “purple” or “blue” state. I tend to disagree. If you look at this link (if you can’t see it, picture a state where all the counties are red with 6 or 7 smatterings of blue intermixed), you’ll see that it is very red indeed.

Virginia is analogous to a barrel of vintage red wine that has been polluted by six or seven highly concentrated tablespoons of liberal sewage thus making the whole barrel polluted. That’s what liberal/progressivism does to a state – it becomes the “tail wagging the dog” where a few highly dense population areas run roughshod over the majority of the state. Look at Chicago and Illinois and Denver and Colorado.

If I were Texas or some of the other red states, I’d be careful about trying to attract people to your states for jobs from liberal enclaves within the country. They’ll leave the place they sullied by voting for liberals and do the same to your area. Virginia is a prime example.

iamsaved on November 7, 2013 at 9:44 AM

In order to capitalize on this, you need a competent political party. We don’t have that. We have a bunch of squishy country club republicans who will do the cowardly thing and try to “improve” Obamacare once their faced the demagoguery of “taking away peoples’ healthcare”

The GOP will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, because we have a party run by f–gots like Lindsay Graham, Bob Corker, & John McCain. There just aren’t enough Ted Cruzes.

SAMinVA on November 7, 2013 at 9:45 AM

But in the end the Democrat won and ObamaCare is still here and will stay here…unfortunately.

albill on November 7, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Well, that’s why she’s been relegated to the wasteland that is MSDNC. She and Steve Schmidt.

Doughboy on November 7, 2013 at 9:41 AM

It was stunning to me. I can’t think of a comparable Democrat since Zell Miller. Nicole Wallace actually seemed buoyant and had the biggest happy face as she was just relishing in bashing Conservatives. All these vermin seemed to be tied to the head of the snake: McCain.

Marcus on November 7, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Liberal Ballotts in da Trunk!!
(le sarc)

canopfor on November 7, 2013 at 9:50 AM

all of those Fed employees in NoVa who are benefiting from being exempt from O’care may have had a huge impact if they were victims of the disaster…

hillsoftx on November 7, 2013 at 9:50 AM

But in the end the Democrat won and ObamaCare is still here and will stay here…unfortunately.

albill on November 7, 2013 at 9:46 AM

token governor is all they got, House still super-majority R’s…

hillsoftx on November 7, 2013 at 9:51 AM

It was stunning to me. I can’t think of a comparable Democrat since Zell Miller. Nicole Wallace actually seemed buoyant and had the biggest happy face as she was just relishing in bashing Conservatives. All these vermin seemed to be tied to the head of the snake: McCain.

Marcus on November 7, 2013 at 9:47 AM

It’s the only way she can remain on TV. The moment she stops being the token Republican who trashes her own party(and in particular conservatives), MSDNC no longer has any use for her.

Doughboy on November 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM

And hidden/buried in the headlines of this VA race, was the little fact that VA House Republicans picked up two more (of the three seats available), to have a super-majority—67 Republicans, 33 Democrats—leaving McAuliffe basically a lame duck Governor. Whoo Hoo!

Rovin on November 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM

But in the end the Democrat won and ObamaCare is still here and will stay here…unfortunately.

albill on November 7, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Yeah and 2/3 of the Virginia House is Republican so McAullif can do nothing… Obamacare it is self destructing…

mnjg on November 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM

He would have won if establishment cranks like Krauthammer were on the Tea Party’s side. Kraut is one of the enemy.

Mr. Arrogant on November 7, 2013 at 9:54 AM

With the shutdown, and thanks to Cruz/Lee, the GOP catagorically went on record opposing Obamacare. For that reason, the shutdown was a good thing. Beyond the inept and incompetent roll out of Obamacare, the whole program is a debacle. One party stood up and tried to stop it. The other party yelled at them to sit down and shut up.

Happy Nomad on November 7, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Very true! And the shutdown had another effect, though more subtle… it exposed low information voters to the vindictiveness of a Democrat-led administration. (We need to be careful to pin this on Democrats, not Obama… since he will not be running for re-election.)

When our family went on our scheduled vacation to Gatlinburg during the shutdown… lots of people were very upset about the very obvious vindictiveness of the Democrats in shutting down the parks. People knew there was no reason for it (since it took more power to shut down than allow open)… and people were ticked! People around us not only moved the barricades (park rangers had to go in and cable them together) and were moving/stealing parking cones. With that I finally saw a hint of the American pride/rebellion that the TEA Party members hav been feeling for a while!

dominigan on November 7, 2013 at 9:55 AM

And hidden/buried in the headlines of this VA race, was the little fact that VA House Republicans picked up two more (of the three seats available), to have a super-majority—67 Republicans, 33 Democrats—leaving McAuliffe basically a lame duck Governor. Whoo Hoo!

Rovin on November 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM

EXCELLENT!!! I did not know that!

dominigan on November 7, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Well one half of a party tried to stop it. The other half of that party kept complaining about the shut down and attacking a Senator on their own side. Then they talked about it for a week more. The only party that stood up and tried to stop it was the tea party and they got hammered by their own party for doing so. In fact, they still are.

magicbeans on November 7, 2013 at 9:44 AM

True enough, sadly. The surrender weasels should not be given credit for trying to stop Obamacare. They were ready to cave from the beginning and ultimately did with the kind of jackassery that only makes sense on Capitol Hill- that surrender is necessary now in order to live and fight another day.

But, after the surrender, the GOP should do nothing but say that they tried and failed to convince Dems to defund or delay Obamacare. It’s time to let it go into effect.

Happy Nomad on November 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

McAwful will suck as Governor. If he doesn’t get indicted for his white collar crimes, he will quickly lose any favor with the House Republicans as he spent his whole life in Democratic power broker bubbles, trying to destroy Republicans & conservatives. Never held elective office and never had any experience in political leadership and working across aisles. Basically Obama 2.0.

If Virginia ends up looking funny to the other states, it’s because McAwful is the governor. Gonna be an interesting 4 years, if he lasts that long.

22044 on November 7, 2013 at 9:58 AM

Krauthammer misspoke on a key item last evening. He said that Tuesday’s elections were the 2nd election impacted by Obamacare — 2009 and 2013. He forgot 2010, which was the largest of all.

matthew8787 on November 7, 2013 at 10:00 AM

The sad and troubling fact, however, is that resistance to Obamacare is predicated on the fact that the voters are angry that they’re going to have to pay more, not because of an understanding of how this policy is unconstitutional or that the Obama administration’s political philosophy runs counter and is hostile to the founding principles of the country.

Most thought it was going to be “free” healthcare.

Cleombrotus on November 7, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Just in time for the election of 2014, the employer mandate will hit our nation like a runaway freight train. Enjoy.

slickwillie2001 on November 7, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Exactly – many of the rest of us will receive termination notices next year because of Obamacare’s “grandfathering clauses”. Vote AGAINST Dems.

EA_MAN on November 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM

OT: MSNBC talking heads will explode over this videoclip.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/363354/brad-paisley-carrie-underwood-mock-obamacare-cmas-andrew-johnson

BuckeyeSam on November 7, 2013 at 10:05 AM

But, after the surrender, the GOP should do nothing but say that they tried and failed to convince Dems to defund or delay Obamacare. It’s time to let it go into effect.

Happy Nomad on November 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Concur. And, happily, thus far Harry isn’t pushing the panic button; doesn’t believe his majority is at risk, or doesn’t care.

So, can/will Obama unilaterally delay the individual mandate? The reporters on FNC seem to indicate that he cannot without congressional approval, in which case this puts the GOP in an obvious difficult position.

For the benefit of their constituents, the House GOP will have to go along but they should extract an enormous political price from Obama.

I would prefer to have McConnell and Boehner talk a good game but not lift a finger to help the RATs. It’s gonna be interesting.

matthew8787 on November 7, 2013 at 10:06 AM

If I were Texas or some of the other red states, I’d be careful about trying to attract people to your states for jobs from liberal enclaves within the country. They’ll leave the place they sullied by voting for liberals and do the same to your area. Virginia is a prime example.

iamsaved on November 7, 2013 at 9:44 AM

I disagree. Texas attracts people from blue states that are tired of the blue state bullshit. Will some of them continue to vote blue? Probably, but I think most realize why they left in the first place.

Virginia, on the other hand, was invaded. Washington DC filled up with government teat-suckers and then spilled over into VA. They should consider some kind of reverse secession wherein VA kicks Fairfax and Arlington counties out of the state.

Kafir on November 7, 2013 at 10:07 AM

What is also being overlooked in the media is this little tid-bit that HHS just implemented last week:

Health and Human Services quietly giving unions Obamacare fix

If this isn’t a poke in the eyes of the 4 million now receiving cancellation notices, I don’t know what it will take to rile these folks up.

Rovin on November 7, 2013 at 10:13 AM

People speak of a year delay after at least 4 to 5 million cancellations have gone out. How is that supposed to work? Are insurance companies really supposed to put aside all their work to deal with Obamacare just to extend policies for…one year? I think these Dems Senators now running around with their heads cut off are crazy. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle.

As a practical matter, the cancellations are done and will still be coming. The only legislative solution seems to be some kind of waiver on the penalty and deadline so that individuals need to comply only by the time employers need to comply next year. Of course, that solution means that the roof will cave in on Obamacare because of the adverse-selection problem.

Rather than feverishly working on amnesty, House Republicans should be agreeing on the free-market solution for when Obamacare caves in by this spring or summer.

BuckeyeSam on November 7, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Unless the R’s find a way to screw the pooch, 2014 could be pretty terrific.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on November 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Are you guys serious? One snap of the racism/war on women whip and you’re done.

HB3 on November 7, 2013 at 10:31 AM

You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. BuckeyeSam on November 7, 2013 at 10:19 AM

More like a pandora’s box Sam.

Rovin on November 7, 2013 at 10:33 AM

I disagree. Texas attracts people from blue states that are tired of the blue state bullshit. Will some of them continue to vote blue? Probably, but I think most realize why they left in the first place.

Kafir on November 7, 2013 at 10:07 AM

I used to think that about Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Oh not to worry, people will remember why the left Massachusetts for New Hampshire. I no longer console myself with that fantasy. People do resort to their blue-state ways.

rhombus on November 7, 2013 at 10:49 AM

I don’t have much faith that 2014 will be anything spectacular, there are just so many people out there who are grifters and losers.

Bishop on November 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM

I’m starting to feel like it might just be spectacular, Bishop. The fact that a good deal of the folks who thought they were changing the US into a utopia through other people’s money are starting to discover it’s their money the Democrats were talking about. They didn’t know they were the rich guys. I’m pretty surprised there isn’t a full court press already to make the point these people are well below the 250k mark and getting tax by obamacare unmercifully.

smoothsailing on November 7, 2013 at 10:57 AM

I used to think that about Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Oh not to worry, people will remember why the left Massachusetts for New Hampshire. I no longer console myself with that fantasy. People do resort to their blue-state ways.
rhombus on November 7, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Oh, it’s much worse than that. I know a Democrat activist in New York who boasted to me that he and a bunch of his well-healed associates were responsible for Shaheen becoming the first Democrat woman governor of New Hampshire.

Do not underestimate the spirit that is driving these people.

Cleombrotus on November 7, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Unless the R’s find a way to screw the pooch, 2014 could be pretty terrific.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on November 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Are you guys serious? One snap of the racism/war on women whip and you’re done.

HB3 on November 7, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Lies are your sides best weapon.

smoothsailing on November 7, 2013 at 11:00 AM

The GOP Establishment and its media shills never let the facts stand in the way of a good narrative.

The biggest lie is that the shutdown hurt Cuccinelli… This despite exit polls showing both parties were blamed equally by the electorate.

Cuccinelli lost simply because the GOP Establishment abandoned him right from the start and worked covertly and overtly to defeat him… PERIOD!

TheRightMan on November 7, 2013 at 11:01 AM

The ideology must survive. Obamacare is pure, it’s the implementation, Republicans, etc. that is at fault. Not the premise.
Rinse, repeat.

LeftCoastRight on November 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Cuccinelli stunk as a canidate the reason he lost is on HIM no one else. OBAMACARE is an anchor that is going to sink the demicrates for the next TWENTY years or more. This just the begining of the begining. Just remember we havent even gotten to the employee madate yet. If you think THIS is bad just you wait until 100 milion americans are paying sharply hirer insurance prices.

falcaner on November 7, 2013 at 11:50 AM

And what would McAuliff achieve when 2/3 of the Virginia House is Republican? The answer is nothing…

mnjg on November 7, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Nothing, not a damn thing! I fully understand that. It’s still depressing that so many people could actually vote for that jackwad McAulliffe. He’s nothing but a slimy clintonista. It’s Ok though I’m getting over it just like I did when The Jugeared Jackass got reelected. This recovery will be shorter.

Oldnuke on November 7, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Orrin Hatch said on Fox and Friends that “Cuccinelli would have won if the government wasn’t shut down.”

Marcus on November 7, 2013 at 9:25 AM

It’s time for us to turn Hatch into Soylent Green…….

He no longer serves…….and must BE served……

williamg on November 7, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Cuccinelli stunk as a canidate the reason he lost is on HIM no one else.

Pure, unmitigated BULLCRAP!!!

williamg on November 7, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Like many have commented already, that shutdown could wind up being a real plus for the GOP. I was steadfast against it at the time. I thought it could have short term gains, but inevitable long term disasters. It’s now looking like the opposite will be true.

Then again, the GOP is the master of effing up golden opportunities.

CaliforniaRefugee on November 7, 2013 at 12:53 PM

BTW, I caught Nicole Wallace on Moaning Schmoe for 5 minutes and I must say she is at her highest Conservative bashing, Obama loving, all time worst. You would have a hard time differentiating her from Debbie Waht’shername Shultz.

Marcus on November 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Saw this too. She’s an idiot. The government shutdown was about Obamacare. Cruz spoke for 21 hours about the horrors of Obamacare.

monalisa on November 7, 2013 at 1:06 PM

So, he still lost? At this point, what difference does it make?

nazo311 on November 7, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Fine. But you have to win by 5% to beat the Margin of Democratic Fraud. Moral victory-schmictory.

The Obama support of the libertarian shocked me because that strategem appeared to be legal. What is the world coming to when Democrats use legal means to defeat the opposition?

virgo on November 8, 2013 at 2:51 AM