Quotes of the day

Claiming new momentum 48 hours before polls open across America, Republicans on Sunday assailed President Barack Obama in a final weekend push to motivate voters as Democrats deployed their biggest stars to help preserve an endangered Senate majority.

GOP officials from Alaska to Georgia seized on the president’s low approval ratings, which have overshadowed an election season in which roughly 60 percent of eligible voters are expected to stay home.

“This is really the last chance for America to pass judgment on the Obama administration and on its policies,” the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, said in a message echoed by Republicans across the country on the weekend.


Burdened by association with the deeply unpopular President Obama, Democrats have seen little political benefit from the steadily growing economy, which, for many voters, has failed to translate into a sense of greater well-being…

Adding to the onslaught has been a seemingly endless barrage of bad news — about Ebola, Russian hegemony, hostages beheaded in the Middle East — and a series of Washington missteps, including the botched rollout of the healthcare program and scandals at the Internal Revenue Service, the Secret Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The result is a surly electorate, and it goes beyond Colorado…

For their part, Democrats have largely shunned the president, or at least his presence on stage or in their TV advertising, while insisting his policies have worked better than voters might think.


Democrats have an even tougher challenge this year than Republicans faced eight years ago. Obama is just as unpopular with independents as Bush in 2006, but according to a CBS News poll his approval rating among the Democratic base is just 66 percent. Moreover, according to Gallup, only 25 percent of Democrats are extremely motivated to vote this year — compared with 44 percent of Republicans in 2006. So Democrats have to persuade their own unenthusiastic base to turn out and vote. But the more they try to persuade their base, the more they alienate the center.

Case in point is Landrieu’s decision last week to blame race for President Obama’s unpopularity in Louisiana and to absurdly claim that she faced an uphill challenge in her reelection campaign because she was a woman (in a state that has elected her to the Senate three times). This is clearly a last-minute Hail Mary play to energize women and African American voters. But Landrieu’s comments have also surely offended independents (and much of the rest of the Louisiana electorate for that matter), whom she has essesntially declared to be women-hating racists.

Of course, Republicans don’t deserve all the credit for putting Democrats in this bind. Obama certainly helped them along the way. Democrats would have loved for Obama to spend his time at closed-press fundraisers so that they could focus their campaigns on local issues. But Obama kept inserting himself into the conversation, declaring recently that “I am not on the ballot this fall . . . But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.” Those comments made every vulnerable Democratic Senate candidate in the country cringe. The last thing they want is for these elections to be about Obama’s policies — from the Islamic State to Ebola to the economy to Obamacare.


He’s gone from being a shining, youthful beacon of audacious hope to a greying, increasingly defeatist purveyor of disappointment

What happened to the charismatic, courageous, quick-fire political firebrand who charged to victory in 2008? Obama’s speeches have become repetitive and turgid, his pressers a monument to mind-numbing, professorial tedium, and his endless heavily-controlled media interviews a sycophantic, pointless embarrassment to him and the carefully selected journalists who conduct them. No wonder audiences have started running for the exit when he turns up on the stump…

I’m sick and tired of Obama constantly berating his political opponents for his own inaction. I’m no fan of the way GOP leaders have tried to strangle his every policy at birth – often at the expense of America’s national interest – but that’s the nature of modern politics. He’s the President and has extraordinary powers, not least of which via his personal fiefdom of Executive Orders. Stop incessantly bleating about ‘Washington intransigence’ and damn well lead.


“I sense a certain fatalism there, and it’s disturbing,” says a former adviser on Obama’s campaign who, like many others we talked with for this story, requested anonymity. “There’s a sense that ‘I’ve tried everything, and look where it got me.’ People misread it as disengagement. It’s frustration. But who cares? It’s a bad mind-set.” Another Obama veteran adds, “the bully pulpit is gone, maybe forever.”

Administration officials tell us that Obama’s political and policy teams are planning a big counterattack if the Republicans win the Senate—introducing a slate of legislative proposals and executive actions on immigration, infrastructure and early childhood education that are popular with the Democratic base and that he will dare the GOP to oppose. Time and history, however, aren’t on his side. The six-month period between Election Day and next summer is likely the last chance for Obama to make his mark before the 2016 presidential campaign to succeed him really kicks into high gear. But the implacable opposition of a GOP that has turned him into his party’s albatross and his own hard-to-pin-down state of mind cast doubt on a major comeback.

Many are convinced he has already given up, more or less. “He appears tired,” says Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican and one of the few in his party who sees himself as a potential dealmaker in a GOP-controlled Senate. “It is almost as if he is wishing for a six-year term instead of an eight-year term,” added Corker, who would ascend to the chairmanship of the Foreign Relations Committee if Republicans win the chamber. “But if he can get motivated and reenergized, I think this is a tremendous opportunity for the country.”


For the record, this designation — “failed president” — may be premature by objective and historical standards (though I don’t think it is), but his presidency is already in the books as a failure by the standards Obama set for himself. If you promise to turn water into wine and then just run out of water without providing any wine, there’s really no way to plausibly shout “Success!”

He wanted to transform America, not just via policy, but by restoring faith in government itself. He’s had some success on the former but has been a catastrophic failure on the latter, which means the policy successes aren’t nearly as secure as the Left thinks they are…

For progressives it’s always five minutes to Brecht-O-Clock. What I mean is this desire to fix the people, not the government always seems to be lurking behind liberalism. It was there when Woodrow Wilson said the first job of an educator is to make your children as unlike you as possible. It was there when Obama explained in 2008 that Hillary Clinton’s Pennsylvania primary supporters weren’t ready to vote for him because they were too busy clinging to their sky god and boom sticks. It’s the central theme of Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas? It was whispering in John Podesta’s ear when he said the American political system “sucks.” It is at the heart of the Voxy “explanatory journalism” craze, which holds that if you call proselytizing “explaining” it will help the rubes come to their senses. It runs riot in the mainstream media and their sovereign contempt for these stupid, stupid, Americans and their parochial “unscientific” concerns about an organ-liquefying disease (even as the MSM caters to those concerns for the ratings they deliver). It runs like an underground river through the White House’s national-security policies, as they constantly downplay the dangers Islamic terrorism (“Let’s just call it ‘work place violence’!”) for fear of rousing the fearsome beast of public opinion on the side of the war on terror. It’s why the White House doesn’t want Congress to get involved in a deal with Iran, because Congress might actually listen to the people. It’s why the New York Times laments the “bumpkinification of the midterms.”…

By saying this election is about his agenda, he’s in effect the most honest politician in America, at least on this issue. Essentially, he is saying the senators distancing themselves from him are opportunistic liars — and he’s right. Still, it would be more fun to see Obama go Bullworth on style, if for nothing else to see the New York Times headline: “Obama on Vulnerable Dem Candidates: ‘They All My Bitches.’”


In an interview at the Hotel Captain Cook here between campaign stops for Sullivan, Cruz made it clear he would push hard for a Republican-led Senate to be as conservative and confron­tational as the Republican-led House.

Piggybacking on what House leaders have done, Cruz said the first order of business should be a series of hearings on President Obama, “looking at the abuse of power, the executive abuse, the regulatory abuse, the lawlessness that sadly has pervaded this administration.”


If there were anything holding him back up to this point, it was either that he was facing re-election or he was somewhat hesitant to weaken Democratic chances in an election year that would determine the composition of Congress during his last two years in office.

But his name won’t be on the ballot in 2016 and he won’t have to deal with the Congress that gets elected that year, either. This means he has every reason to take more aggressive executive actions…

Obama has already caved in to the Iranians on uranium enrichment, plutonium development, and its missile program. And the New York Times has reported that if a final agreement with Iran is reached, Obama “will do everything in his power to avoid letting Congress vote on it.”

In short, a wounded Obama will still have many tools at his disposal for advancing his agenda, with much less reason to avoid deploying them.


“If we don’t get stuff done, we’re f—ed,” predicted a House GOP leadership aide. “We have two years to prove we have the answers. Harry Reid can’t stop us anymore. It’s on us now. If we’re smart about [how to control the House and Senate] we can peel off some Democrats and put bills on the president’s desk that he can’t afford to veto.”

Republicans have long scoffed at the president’s suggestions that the GOP is nothing more than an extreme band of obstructionists, pointing to the dozens of bills Reid, the Senate majority leader, has kept from the floor of the upper chamber…

The question now becomes how willing both sides are to trade items from their respective wish lists, something that has been severely lacking since Obama took office.


The Republican Party is going to have one hell of a mandate, by the way, if its wins.  The Republican Party’s gonna have one of the most important, biggest mandates I can recall a party ever having.  It is going to have won for one reason: To stop Obama.  That is their mandate.  That is why they’re going to win.  That is why people are voting against Obama: To stop him.

Democrats, Reagan Democrats, moderates, Northerners, Southerners, Catholics, Irish, you name it. Everybody who makes up the coalition voting against Obama tomorrow is doing so to stop Obama.  They’re doing so hoping they’re stopping Obamacare.  They do so hoping they’re putting people back at work.  They’re voting against Obama hoping to reignite the US economy.  They’re voting against Obama to STOP open borders!…

If we have a record turnout for midterms, if we have this wave defeat for the Democrat Party — which is what it’s gonna be. If it’s a wave anything, it will be a wave Republican victory, but if there are these massive defeats, if it is a Democrat Party catastrophe, there’s only going to be one reason for it.  People want what’s happening now to stop…

This will be the mandate.  There can be no other.  There can be no other.  An election with this much passion, an election with this many millions of people showing up and standing athwart history and yelling, “Stop!” cannot be portrayed as simply a bunch of people who are tired and want to vote for the other guys for a change.