Democrats donors and strategists to concede defeat in the House?

posted at 8:41 am on January 30, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Just two months ago, Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz insistedrepeatedly — that House Democrats would run on ObamaCare and win back control of the chamber. Just a day after Barack Obama himself defended ObamaCare in the State of the Union speech, they’re singing a different tune. Donors and strategists will move resources away from House races and instead focus on trying to salvage control of the Senate:

With Democrats’ grasp on the Senate increasingly tenuous — and the House all but beyond reach — some top party donors and strategists are moving to do something in the midterm election as painful as it is coldblooded: Admit the House can’t be won and go all in to save the Senate.

Their calculation is uncomplicated. With only so much money to go around in an election year that is tilting the GOP’s way, Democrats need to concentrate resources on preserving the chamber they have now. Losing the Senate, they know, could doom whatever hopes Barack Obama has of salvaging the final years of his presidency.

The triage idea is taking hold in phone conversations among donors and in strategy sessions between party operatives. Even some of the people who have invested the most to get House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi back into the speaker’s chair are moving in that direction.

Even Wasserman Schultz has gotten out of the prognostication business:

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday sparred over Congress and midterm elections, with the DNC chairwoman saying she can’t “confidently predict” that Democrats will take back the House in 2014 but that they will gain seats.

“I’m not going to confidently predict that Democrats will take the House back,” Wasserman Schultz said when asked about the upcoming midterm elections during POLITICO’s post-State of the Union event. “But we will pick up seats.”

“Where?” McCarthy interjected.

“Down boy,” the DNC chair quipped.

Picking up seats also looks like a long shot. After shepherding the farm bill through the House yesterday, Blue Dog Democrat Collin Peterson of Minnesota told reporters that he’s going to have to think really hard before committing to a re-election run in his red district:

“I haven’t decided. I am going to take some time,” Peterson said. “I have been in limbo here, in farm bill hell for three years and it affects you.”

If he doesn’t run, Peterson’s departure would hand Republicans another top pickup opportunity in his Republican-leaning northwestern Minnesota that’s been heavily targeted by the GOP.
Peterson said he will take about three weeks to “get back to normal” before he makes a decision on whether to seek a 13th term.

“Then I have to do my regular process: get the campaign together, figure out what I am going to run on, all the different things that need to be done,” he said. “Probably by the first of March I’ll know. At this point I am raising money. I’m doing all that but I’m going to do a gut check.”

There will be more Democrats making a gut-check this year. Unless the political winds shift considerably, many of those in competitive districts will face an uphill battle against Republicans with the wind at their backs, and without a popular incumbent President at the top of the ticket. Thanks to the need to salvage the Senate, they knew well before now that, Wasserman Schultz’ empty bravado aside, they’d be on their own with an angry electorate that’s demanding accountability for ObamaCare.  Peterson’s district hasn’t been all that competitive despite its R+5 Cook rating, and if he’s seeing the writing on the wall, you can bet others will be looking to do something more pleasant this fall.


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For a change, they’re observing the first rule of politics – when the opposition is busy shooting itself in the foot head, stand back and silently grab the mop.

Steve Eggleston on January 30, 2014 at 8:43 AM

No worries for you Democratic socialists – rest assured the stupid party will jump in the snatch defeat from the jaws of victory – with amnesty for the illegal invaders .

Colbyjack on January 30, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Geez, do we really need to see Jar Jar Binks having a bad hair day, this early in the morning?

Thomas More on January 30, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Peterson must realize he can count on GOP leadership to screw up, big time. It’s probably his only way of getting re-elected but, happily for him, he knows its a tried and true way.

MTF on January 30, 2014 at 8:48 AM

OT: mj crew went after Atlanta mayor big time….don’t recall the lsm going after nagin or blanco…. it was all Bush’s fault back then

cmsinaz on January 30, 2014 at 8:53 AM

So the focus will be on keeping the obstructionist pederast Reid in power eh?

Winning!

workingclass artist on January 30, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Don’t worry, the economy will save the Dems.

NotCoach on January 30, 2014 at 8:56 AM

“Down boy”? O_o

Bishop on January 30, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Even if amnesty were to pass, the Dems would not win back the House. But they could pick up some seats due to the depressed Republican turnout. The GOP can still screw themselves(and the country) royally.

Doughboy on January 30, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Down boy?
Oh the outrage if McCarthy said down girl

cmsinaz on January 30, 2014 at 8:57 AM

No worries for you Democratic socialists – rest assured the stupid party will jump in the snatch defeat from the jaws of victory – with amnesty for the illegal invaders .

Colbyjack on January 30, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Yes. It’s as if the GOP is determined to complete the Democrat’s wish list and hand them the election(s), too.

One might well conclude that the donors for both parties have the same priorities. Control of wages, labor distribution, and resources. Certainly seems that what’s best for this nation, and its working citizens overall, doesn’t matter to either party at all, just so those big money donors are satisfied.

thatsafactjack on January 30, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Doh!

No worries for you Democratic socialists – rest assured the stupid party will jump in the to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory – with amnesty for the illegal invaders .

Colbyjack on January 30, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Colbyjack on January 30, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Blue Dog Democrat Collin Peterson

Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and a Blue Dog Democrat are standing on each of the four corners of an intersection. It starts to rain.

Q: Who gets wet?

A: Nobody, because there’s no such thing as…..

Kafir on January 30, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Haven’t we reached the point where D and R donors and strategists can all just meet and decide together?

MT on January 30, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Don’t worry, the economy Republican Amnesty will save the Dems.

NotCoach on January 30, 2014 at 8:56 AM

FIFY

Ukiah on January 30, 2014 at 9:10 AM

you mean the democratic sugar daddies wont cough up the millions needed to take back the house and senate. the don’t need to do anything, just bring up immigration reform and let the Republicans implode like they always do.

RonK on January 30, 2014 at 9:11 AM

No worries for you Democratic socialists – rest assured the stupid party will jump in to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory – with amnesty for the illegal invaders .

Colbyjack on January 30, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Yes. It’s as if the GOP is determined to complete the Democrat’s wish list and hand them the election(s), too.

One might well conclude that the donors for both parties have the same priorities. Control of wages, labor distribution, and resources. Certainly seems that what’s best for this nation, and its working citizens overall, doesn’t matter to either party at all, just so those big money donors are satisfied.

thatsafactjack on January 30, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Perhaps said donors should think of what would be good for the country and the cause of liberty instead of the balance sheet for the next two quarters – it would help immensely with the perception of whether or not said people are Traitors to freedom.

Just a ‘Pro-tip’ from someone who can see beyond the next 8 months or so.

Colbyjack on January 30, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Republocrats vs the Tea Party. Game on.

MT on January 30, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Colbyjack on January 30, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Since Boehner and some of the House Leadership aren’t getting the message, (other than a stand alone secure the border bill, no immigration reform goes to the floor this year, period), how about a we start passing out some recall petitions?

Rovin on January 30, 2014 at 9:13 AM

What’s with the pic of the Escapee from the Sanitarium?

ToddPA on January 30, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Doh!

No worries for you Democratic socialists – rest assured the stupid party will jump in the to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory – with amnesty for the illegal invaders .

Colbyjack on January 30, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Colbyjack on January 30, 2014 at 9:01 AM

LOL

“Paging Dr. Freud – Dr. Freud to the white courtesy phone.”

Midas on January 30, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Ah, nuts, the copy doesn’t include original formatting/editing. *sigh*

Midas on January 30, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Even if amnesty were to pass, the Dems would not win back the House. But they could pick up some seats due to the depressed Republican turnout. The GOP can still screw themselves(and the country) royally.

Doughboy on January 30, 2014 at 8:57 AM

I dunno.

I’m of the opinion that with the passage of amnesty, the GOP could very well be on the receiving end of a base repudiation and reduced voter turnout of biblical proportions. The political equivalent of Egyption-plague-style devastation.

Midas on January 30, 2014 at 9:18 AM

I’m just singing in the rain.Take it away Gene

celtic warrior on January 30, 2014 at 9:18 AM

if he’s seeing the writing on the wall, you can bet others will be looking to do something more pleasant this fall.

Yes, lots of K-Street lobbying firms will be making new hires.

Time to cash in on all that selfless “public service,” right Dims?

AZCoyote on January 30, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Jim Moran isn’t leaving the House because he’s old and has looted more than enough from the American people that he can live in comfort despite his multiple alimony payments and lawsuits from injured children. He’s leaving office because he doesn’t think he’ll be the chair of a committee for the foreseeable future. And when it comes to stealing from the taxpayers, ranking member doesn’t bring in the money the way that a chairmanship would.

Happy Nomad on January 30, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Amnesty NOW!
Let’s stay home & spend time with the family in November.

philw1776 on January 30, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Ah, nuts, the copy doesn’t include original formatting/editing. *sigh*

Midas on January 30, 2014 at 9:17 AM

That’s okay – I think I got it, but maybe I don’t.

Colbyjack on January 30, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Colbyjack on January 30, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Since Boehner and some of the House Leadership aren’t getting the message, (other than a stand alone secure the border bill, no immigration reform goes to the floor this year, period), how about a we start passing out some recall petitions?

Rovin on January 30, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Sounds like a good idea, and if that doesn’t work we pass out the torches and pitchforks…. ( oh wait… did I say that out loud?)

Colbyjack on January 30, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Man, that’s a neat trick, teaching the dog to be the one to say “Down, Boy”…

JohnGalt23 on January 30, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Which means all of their money goes to Senate races…

right2bright on January 30, 2014 at 10:14 AM

When the Dems lose the Senate, there will be many positive changes in this country, and will indeed make Obama a “lame duck” presdent.

Amazingoly on January 30, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Even some of the people who have invested the most to get House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi back into the speaker’s chair are moving in that direction.

Besides ObamaCare, Nancy Pelosi is the other reason the Dems won’t win back the House.

GarandFan on January 30, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Gee, I thought all dims everywhere were running on zer0care and would win in a landslide. Why is DWS waffling on this?

clear quadruped

Elephant

MisterElephant on January 30, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Just two months ago, Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz insisted — repeatedly — that House Democrats would run on ObamaCare and win back control of the chamber. Just a day after Barack Obama himself defended ObamaCare in the State of the Union speech, they’re singing a different tune. Donors and strategists will move resources away from House races and instead focus on trying to salvage control of the Senate:

Well, you know, it all depends on whether they can convince House Republicans to actually try to push through immigration reform.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 30, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), one of the most prolific and successful lawmakers of the modern era, has decided to retire at the end of this congressional session.

“Forty years have gone by very quickly. I have a great deal of satisfaction in our legislative accomplishments. There’s obviously more to be done,” Waxman, 74, said Wednesday in an interview. “But I’m in good health, and my family is in good health. This is a good time to move on and have another chapter if I am to do anything after Congress.”

I’d say CEDE is the right word

J_Crater on January 30, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Buck up, Democrats.

Republicans can still snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and they apparently intend to try by passing an amnesty bill in the House.

It ain’t over.

novaculus on January 30, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Lord, I loathe this woman….

ladyingray on January 30, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Some days I’m convinced there is a god.

Schadenfreude on January 30, 2014 at 11:52 AM

“I’m not going to confidently predict that Democrats will take the House back,” Wasserman Schultz said

Right. Stick to confident predictions that the economy’s on the right track and Democrats will run and win on Obamacare this year.

de rigueur on January 30, 2014 at 11:56 AM

figure out what I am going to run on

Ha! There isn’t anything the DEMS can run on except Obozocare. In we all know how well that is going. DEMS, the ultimate divisive party.

Patriot Vet on January 30, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Some days I’m convinced there is a god.

Schadenfreude on January 30, 2014 at 11:52 AM

.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m all too glad to say “Don’t let the door hit you in the ASS, Henry !”. But how much danger does that seat have, in becoming “conservative”?

listens2glenn on January 30, 2014 at 12:33 PM

The Repub’s have had the Dems on the ropes many times and then they do something awfully stupid and the Dems kick their a$$. I get tired of it but it happens over and over again and it will happen this time. Time for new Conserv leadership. It is maddening

rjoco1 on January 30, 2014 at 2:50 PM

“Down boy,” the DNC chair quipped.

The Democrat’s war on men!

liberty0 on January 30, 2014 at 3:06 PM

“Down boy”? O_o

Bishop on January 30, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Heh, she wishes. BTW where were her eyes gazing when she said that?

rottenrobbie on January 30, 2014 at 5:24 PM

What I wouldn’t give to see the spawn of DWS and Henry Waxman. If they had a daughter, it would look like Hillary.

NoPain on January 30, 2014 at 6:33 PM

re: That picture.
Don’t know why but the photo of DWS reminds me of a turtle.

Missilengr on January 30, 2014 at 6:54 PM