Priorities USA to sit out 2014

posted at 8:03 am on February 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Last night, Ruby Cramer’s scoop for Buzzfeed generated a lot of, well, buzz, but how shocking is the decision by the Priorities USA Action PAC to sit out the midterms? It’s going to disappoint Democrats facing tough midterm election, certainly, but it’s not like Priorities USA did much for any Democrat but one before now:

The Democratic Party’s biggest Super PAC, recently retooled as an early pro-Hillary Clinton effort, will sit out the midterm elections this year.

A spokesman with the group, Priorities USA Action, confirmed to BuzzFeed on Wednesday night that it would not be involved in House or Senate campaigns. …

Priorities USA Action, which operates under loose campaign finance rules that allow it to raise and spend unlimited sums, put $65 million behind Barack Obama in 2012.

Yes, the super-PAC set up by former Obama staffers spent $65 million on Obama — and no one else. I mean no one else. In the 2012 cycle, they raised $79 million and spend $75 million of it according to Open Secrets, and the only “independent expenditures” it made were in opposition to one candidate, Mitt Romney. Priorities USA Action spent $65 million in that race, with the other $10 million going to various administrative and strategic tasks ($1.7 million of it went to salaries, for instance). Not a dime of their money went to down-ticket races in 2012.

So having Priorities USA Action sit on the sidelines in 2012 isn’t exactly a blow to Democratic midterm hopes, at least not directly. If they raise funds for Hillary Clinton in the middle of the midterm cycle, though, that could be a huge problem for Democrats, as it would suck resources away from their attempt to hold control of the Senate. Earlier reports about the retooling of the Obama super-PAC into a Hillary House hinted that the fundraising would begin immediately, but the Wall Street Journal reported this weekend that Priorities USA Action will try avoiding competition with midterm fundraising:

With Democrats fighting to keep control of the Senate in the midterms, the emergence of the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA could eat into donations that the party’s candidates need to win in November, some Democrats warn. A number of Democratic groups are soliciting donors for money, including super PACS devoted to House and Senate races along with traditional party fundraising committees.

Aware of the anxiety, Priorities officials are considering tailoring their requests so that donors would be asked to write their biggest checks after the midterm elections are over, people close to the super PAC said. For example, Priorities might ask a donor to pledge $1 million to the Clinton effort over the next few years, but write a check for only $100,000 this year, a person familiar with the discussion said.

That’s not the only worry Democrats have with the new focus at Priorities USA. In fact, they’re more worried about 2016:

More broadly, if Mrs. Clinton glides to the nomination without a serious challenge, some Democrats say, the party would be deprived of an important debate on issues that have split the party, including government surveillance, trade pacts and how best to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

“We need a vibrant, competitive primary process where not only can people sharpen their positions on different issues, but also get ready for what’s going to come in the fall [2016 general election], which is going to be brutal,” said Dick Harpootlian, a former Democratic chairman in South Carolina, which traditionally holds one of the first presidential primaries.

Bear in mind that Harpootlian’s idea of a vibrant, competitive process is getting Joe Biden involved in it, so take that with a grain of salt. Here’s the bigger problem for Democrats: This has all of the makings of an establishment takeover of their nominating process, perhaps especially if the only competition tolerated is Obama’s current VP. In this populist age, how well will this play with the party’s grassroots?


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It’s better to use the word “Democrat” as an adjective as well. “Democratic” has too positive a connotation.

bluegill on February 6, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Heh

And they call the gop divided

cmsinaz on February 6, 2014 at 8:08 AM

In this populist age, how well will this play with the party’s grassroots?

Biden for Prez? What could possibly go wrong? ;-0

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 8:08 AM

It’s better to use the word “Democrat” as an adjective as well. “Democratic” has too positive a connotation.

bluegill on February 6, 2014 at 8:07 AM

“Establishment Democrat” is a pejorative.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 8:09 AM

She earned it
-rendell

cmsinaz on February 6, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Heh

And they call the gop divided

cmsinaz on February 6, 2014 at 8:08 AM

The GOP is divided. The Dems have a different problem. They are facing a real power struggle to determine if they are the party of Clinton or if they are the party were the lazy stupid rat-eared coward is the kingmaker.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 8:11 AM

They’ll spend money as soon as they can figure out which Republican they most need to demonize, in preparation for 2016. Like Romney, that Republican wont be in a position to respond and, again like Romney, the indie voters will walk around fretting about whatever set of lies best take hold with the propagandized national press. So it goes,

MTF on February 6, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Meanwhile…
https://www.sarahpacdonate.com/wbr-032713

theotherone on February 6, 2014 at 8:13 AM

…who cares?

KOOLAID2 on February 6, 2014 at 8:14 AM

2016 is going to get ugly.

Fallon on February 6, 2014 at 8:15 AM

In this populist age, how well will this play with the party’s grassroots?

They mostly won’t care. They’re mostly happy with their steady march to socialism. They’re not going to quibble over a trostskyite versus a stalinist. It’s not like they have to worry about a blue dog stealing the nomination, if you can even find one to run anymore.

crrr6 on February 6, 2014 at 8:17 AM

Hil-la-ry, Hil-la-ry, Hil-la-ry!

MT on February 6, 2014 at 8:18 AM

2016 is going to get ugly.

Fallon on February 6, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Well then, Killary is the go-to gal. Nobody does ugly better.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 8:20 AM

Charleston, South Carolina is rated the top tourist destination in the world. The state has much to offer, including wonderful people. Dick Harpootlian is not among them.

If Satan himself, Harry Reid, and the scum from a sewage lagoon were to engage in some perverted and unholy union, Dick Harpootlian would be the result.

If Hitler and Stalin were to be reborn, they would avoid Harpootlian so as not to damage their reputations.

The annual award for the worst human being on the face of the earth is called the Harpootlian Trophy.

If you were forced to choose two of the three Henry Waxman, Alan Grayson, and Dick Harpootlian to have dinner with, you would leave Harpootlian out – or wish you had.

Devout Catholics cross themselves immediately if they are forced to mention his name.

Not a good person. Not at all.

Adjoran on February 6, 2014 at 8:20 AM

In this populist age, how well will this play with the party’s grassroots?

All the Dem roots are on grass. They won’t even pay attention until October of ’16.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 6, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Bill S Preston, Esq, to Ted “Theodore” Logan: How old will Hillary Clinton be in 2016?

(Together): 69, dudes!!!

JohnGalt23 on February 6, 2014 at 8:23 AM

some Democrats say, the party would be deprived of an important debate on issues that have split the party, including . . . how best to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

That point will be moot before 2016, I suspect. And once Iran has the bomb, what difference, at that point, will it make?

michigansahd on February 6, 2014 at 8:24 AM

With members of Congress no longer writing legislation and instead crafting executive orders for the President to sign, why do we need Congress at all? Presidential elections are where its at, baby!

Nethicus on February 6, 2014 at 8:27 AM

2016 is going to get ugly.

Fallon on February 6, 2014 at 8:15 AM

No amount of spastic surgery was ever gonna make it pretty.

Lanceman on February 6, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Hillary 2016 is the Sochi candidate without the quaint charm.

Murphy9 on February 6, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Isn’t Harpootlian the guy who said Nikki Haley should go back where she came from?

vityas on February 6, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Democrat grassroots are mindless zombies….they will vote for anyone with a D after their name no matter how openly corrupt and inept and unsuited that person is or how destructive that persons policies and ideology are to the country our freedom and liberty, and their own families and futures.

Caseoftheblues on February 6, 2014 at 8:36 AM

“We need a vibrant, competitive primary process where not only can people sharpen their positions on different issues, but also get ready for what’s going to come in the fall [2016 general election], which is going to be brutal,” said Dick Harpootlian, a former Democratic chairman in South Carolina, which traditionally holds one of the first presidential primaries.

Dick Harpootlian has the phrase “I don’t want to buy the Black vote, I just want to rent it for a day.” around his neck.

rbj on February 6, 2014 at 8:37 AM

The progressive I know are all in for Fauxcahontas.

Viator on February 6, 2014 at 8:38 AM

HN granted but you never hear about it from the lsm

cmsinaz on February 6, 2014 at 8:42 AM

More broadly, if Mrs. Clinton glides to the nomination without a serious challenge, some Democrats say, the party would be deprived of an important debate on issues that have split the party, including government surveillance, trade pacts and how best to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

“We need a vibrant, competitive primary process where not only can people sharpen their positions on different issues, but also get ready for what’s going to come in the fall [2016 general election], which is going to be brutal,” said Dick Harpootlian, a former Democratic chairman in South Carolina, which traditionally holds one of the first presidential primaries.

Peter Nicholas and Carol E. Lee [wsj.com] on Feb. 2, 2014 at 7:44 p.m. ET

.
What should be spelled out here (but isn’t) is who exactly (within the Democrat party) would be “deprived of an important debate on issues.”

If this were said in reference to the Republican Party, then it would be obvious to most of us that ALL registered Republican voters, on all levels, should get to participate in the aforementioned debate(s).

But this story is about the Democrat Party, the party of the “Super Delegates”.
This being the case, the same “implications” don’t apply, as they would to the Republican Party.

listens2glenn on February 6, 2014 at 8:49 AM

HN granted but you never hear about it from the lsm

cmsinaz on February 6, 2014 at 8:42 AM

And you won’t. The LSM is like TASS-Pravda in the Soviet Union. You don’t get in the middle of a power struggle until you know who the winner will be. The winner could be establishment Democrats with Obama as the de facto king/queenmaker, the Killary Klinton Kamp, or maybe even the radical left (Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, etc.). The LSM is keeping their powder dry because they do not want to be overtly backing the wrong horse.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 8:55 AM

“AT this point what does it matter?”

albill on February 6, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Bear in mind that Harpootlian’s idea of a vibrant, competitive process is getting Joe Biden involved in it, so take that with a grain of salt.

Does that mean Dick’s in the pro-Biden camp? Would make sense given the following.

Biden:

You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.

Harpootlian:

Hopefully he’ll have sent Nikki Haley back to wherever the hell she came from.

steebo77 on February 6, 2014 at 8:57 AM

THIS!

listens2glenn on February 6, 2014 at 8:49 AM

mountainaires on February 6, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Well done!

Charleston, South Carolina is rated the top tourist destination in the world. The state has much to offer, including wonderful people. Dick Harpootlian is not among them.

If Satan himself, Harry Reid, and the scum from a sewage lagoon were to engage in some perverted and unholy union, Dick Harpootlian would be the result.

If Hitler and Stalin were to be reborn, they would avoid Harpootlian so as not to damage their reputations.

The annual award for the worst human being on the face of the earth is called the Harpootlian Trophy.

If you were forced to choose two of the three Henry Waxman, Alan Grayson, and Dick Harpootlian to have dinner with, you would leave Harpootlian out – or wish you had.

Devout Catholics cross themselves immediately if they are forced to mention his name.

Not a good person. Not at all.

Adjoran on February 6, 2014 at 8:20 AM

mountainaires on February 6, 2014 at 9:05 AM

It all comes down to an old question formerly only heard within the ranks of the Mafia;

Who is the new Boss of Bosses?

The problem the Democrats have is exactly that which La Cosa Nostra had when they went head-to-head with Reagan in the Eighties. Namely, that their leadership is aged. They have prevented the usurpation of those in authority within the “organization” for so long that now their “new, vibrant” choices are older than many retirees in the private sector.

Also, exactly none of them is an unknown. All have track records, and many have back trails littered with (not always figurative) bodies of their previously-disposed-of “associates” who became “awkward”. (Or just talked too much.)

Add in a lower echelon (OWSers, etc.) more accustomed to “civil disobedience” and outright violence than actual work, and a middle management level accustomed to gaming the system rather than actual productive endeavor, and the Democratic Party is basically an organization incapable of surviving in an honestly competitive environment.

Also like the mob, the Dems have their own version of “the thing” or “the big thing”. The Mafia sought total domination of political and economic interests in any country it operated in, to serve and enrich itself. The Dems’ leaders are determined to achieve the same thing to create their version of Utopia.

Unassisted, neither one could ever accomplish their goals. The mob solved this problem by bribery, extortion, and intimidation. Helped along by outsiders- “made men”- who saw mob support as helping them to fulfill their own ambitions.

How fortunate for the Democrats that, like the Mafia, they have so many willing accomplices in the media, academia, and yes, even in the GOP.

Without their “made men”, they wouldn’t have gotten as far as they have.

How much further they can get, with a leadership that looks more and more like the Commissione every day, remains to be seen.

clear ether

eon

eon on February 6, 2014 at 9:06 AM

It’s better to use the word “Democrat” as an adjective as well. “Democratic” has too positive a connotation.

bluegill on February 6, 2014 at 8:07 AM

I don’t think “democratic” is of any kind of positive connotation.

Democracy=mob rule=anarchy, the worst form of government imaginable. The whole point of our Constitutional Republic is that we have EXCLUDED certain things from being subject to a vote, ie: exempt from “democratic” influence.

IE: Our right to speak out against the Obama Regime can’t be taken away by a 50+1% vote. The power to regulate speech is expressly FORBIDDEN to government, and thus is also forbidden to voters as well.

ConstantineXI on February 6, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Theoretically, someone could file a complaint with FEC, that Priorities is doing exactly what the Dems accuse the Koch brothers of doing. They are raising unlimited amounts of funds to fund one candidate, circumventing the laws in place.

ConservativePartyNow on February 6, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Killery Never again, voted for her in the primary, even wrote her name in in the general but after watching her in action (lack of )she SUCKS !

P Bonz on February 6, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Well, these news are sure welcome, but not unexpected. Let us just hope the GOP national leadership does not do anything to botch away , or klanta bort, as we swedes says it, these upcoming mid- term elections.

And if, any here, wants to complain on my understanding of the
English language, dont blame me, but the lousy state of the swedish public schools systems.

Swedish Patriot on February 6, 2014 at 10:02 AM

The progressive I know are all in for Fauxcahontas.

Viator on February 6, 2014 at 8:38 AM

Warren and a few others will be trotted out to make Hillary’s traditional move to the “center” easier to stomach. That, along with distancing herself from BHO and the whole it’s time for a pantsuit in the white house thing is all she’s got. Unfortunately, with the press pushing her and a mostly clueless electorate, that may be all she needs. Ugh.

polly2150 on February 6, 2014 at 10:03 AM

God help us if the establisment pushes jeb or christy down our throats.

shutter man on February 6, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Here’s the bigger problem for Democrats: This has all of the makings of an establishment takeover of their nominating process, perhaps especially if the only competition tolerated is Obama’s current VP. In this populist age, how well will this play with the party’s grassroots?

Huh. Who knew both parties were so similar?

/s

cs89 on February 6, 2014 at 10:19 AM

The Democratic establishment took over the nominating process in 2008 – that’s how we got Obama.

Hillary got more primary votes and she had more regular delegates until the Rules and Bylaws Committee took some of hers and gave them to Obama. Even after the RBC meeting on 5/31/08 neither candidate had enough regular delegates to win the nomination.

It was the superdelegates (aka the establishment) who gave it to Obama.

myiq2xu on February 6, 2014 at 10:25 AM

In this populist age, how well will this play with the party’s grassroots?

I’m sure the Democrats will all love having Hillary! back.

GarandFan on February 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Just what does the Bungler of Benghazi have to offer other than becoming the 1st woman president? If the GOP came up with a native American Indian as a Candidate, they would probably crush her in an election. The Liberal Hags would go totally ballistic, the streets of Chicago and NYC would be covered with their brain matter. OH, I just remembered the Democrats already have a possible Native American candidate from Mass.. I mean a real 100% one from the Reservations west of the Mississippi.

Danske Viking on February 6, 2014 at 10:43 AM

In this populist age, how well will this play with the party’s grassroots?

Oh come on Ed, they will do exactly as they are told to do, as usual.

JusDreamin on February 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

All the Big Manhattan/Big Hollywood money will flow to Wendy Davis in 2014 anyways. Anyone else will be shut out.

will77jeff on February 6, 2014 at 11:29 AM

“how to best keep Iran from getting a nuclear bomb”?

Are you kidding? Obama wrote and cashed that check already, in the process bankrupting our best, and arguably, only ally in the middle east. Remember Israel? Obama doesn’t.

tired of the BS on February 6, 2014 at 12:53 PM

I guess a Demwit organization finally understands why us normal schmos don’t throw good money after bad.

COgirl on February 6, 2014 at 12:56 PM

The only reason they’re sitting out 2014 is to keep the stink of defeat off of Queen Hillary. The dems are gonna get waxed this year, and there’s no way Hillary’s peeps are gonna let any of that wax end up on her.

She needs a clean pantsuit for 2016.

dinahmoehumm on February 6, 2014 at 3:01 PM

“Priorities USA to sit out 2014”

Politics is a big linear equation with an infinite number of variables that can effect the out come in an infinite number of ways. There needs to be a way to view it with reason.

The House has a complete reelection cycle every two years. This cycles’ committee chairman maybe next cycles’ co-chairman. Then the following cycle he may again be the committee chairman. Who is in charge does not seem as important as longevity. It might not be as important as to how many Democrats or republicans there are but rather what is the total combined number of years of service to the house that one party has over the other. What does become important is when there seems to be a number of senior representatives that are leaving. For the 2014 election it is a bit of “At this time what difference does it make” they still have the President locked down tight.

The Senate is a bit different. In the mid term election 36 Senate seats. 21 Democrats and 15 Republicans will be coming up most of which are minor players. Even if the Demonstrates lose half of those seats the balance in the Senate will be very close. In 2016 the Senate has 34 seats up. 10 democrats 23 republicans and 1 independent. All pretty heavy hitters. This give the Democrats much better odds at coming back with a vengeances in 2016 when it will really count for them.

The Presidential race is different again. Hillary needs to avoid any early fights such as a party primary. She has to much baggage. In an all out fight she can get through it but not twice. The Political Machine did not say they are backing her, only that they are saving for an all out fight in 2016.

If the Public wants to keep Hillary out of this, then keep here bad baggage foremost in the public view. Make here answer for here failures. Hold her accountable for here former actions.

Let the Hunger Games begin.

jpcpt03 on February 6, 2014 at 3:08 PM

2016 is going to get ugly.

Fallon on February 6, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Yeah, she’s not aging very well.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 6, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Democrat grassroots are mindless zombies…

Now, now, you just went and insulted mindless zombies.

jazzuscounty on February 6, 2014 at 4:58 PM