Obama campaign manager: Blame AOC's "dumb s***" if Dems lose the House

Oh, I think there will be a lot of blame to pass around when — not if — Democrats lose control of the House in November’s midterms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may not even come into the top five reasons for the coming Democratic collapse, which largely hinges on the confidence-crisis cascade that Joe Biden refuses to recognize. Inflation, buying-power erosion, crime, and Congress’ steadfast refusal to pivot off of the progressive hobby-horse agenda all come in well above AOC’s meager contributions to Democratic failures.


Former Barack Obama campaign manager Jim Messina seems more focused on the micro than the macro, however (via Twitchy):

This hardly looks like a national fulcrum in a midterm cycle. It’s really not even much of an offense against party dignity. First, AOC has been pushing primary challenges against establishment Democrats since she first arrived on Capitol Hill three years ago, having won office by that exact same strategy. Next, it’s Maloney who’s carpetbagging into NY-17 and pushing out another Democrat progressive incumbent:

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s decision to wade into the race is also likely to further divide a New York delegation already deeply fractured by district boundaries imposed by the state’s courts. The congressional map that Democrats drew up in Albany was struck down by the state’s high court as an illegal gerrymander.

Almost immediately after the new court-approved map was announced last month, Mr. Maloney declared that he would be running not in his current 18th congressional district but the safer 17th district next door. Mr. Maloney lives in that district, but the area is mostly represented by a colleague, Representative Mondaire Jones.

Mr. Maloney’s decision to threaten a colleague with a primary drew an outcry from many Democrats, including Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who called it a “conflict of interest” for the D.C.C.C. chairman, who is responsible for keeping Democrats in the majority in the House and who raises tens of millions of dollars to do so. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said at the time that he should “step aside” from his chairmanship if such a primary occurred.

It didn’t — but only because Mr. Jones opted to jump to an entirely different part of the state. Mr. Jones instead declared for an open seat in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn that has drawn a crowd of challengers, including former Mayor Bill de Blasio.


Don’t get me wrong — this has been a mahvelous opportunity to pass popcorn while watching progressives play musical chairs in New York. It’s even more fun with Maloney chairing the DCCC in the middle of it. Presumably that’s Messina’s argument — that ginning up a primary challenge would distract Maloney from the national campaign. That, however, is an argument for replacing Maloney as DCCC chair with someone else who isn’t playing hopscotch to remain in Congress.

But even if Maloney was undistracted in this midterm cycle, alea iacta est. Republicans have a three-point lead in the RCP average of generic congressional balloting, when they only really need to be within five points of Democrats to gain seats against them. It’s been seven months since Democrats even tied the GOP in that aggregate average. The GOP only needs to pick up five or so seats to flip the House at the moment, and they may be on track to pick up 40 or more. Even if Republicans underperform the polls, they’re going to grab a couple dozen — and it’s a rare cycle indeed when Republican performance gets overpredicted by pollsters ahead of elections.

And even that’s just a measure for the real disasters that Democrats have to own in this cycle. Inflation and crime are accelerating a confidence crisis cascade in Joe Biden’s leadership that he triggered with his craven debacle in Afghanistan.  Biden is flirting with falling below 40% in aggregate job-approval average, for that matter. Supply chain problems have not eased, and Biden’s team appears to be reactive rather than proactive in crises like the baby formula shortage, which blew up in Biden’s face when the White House inexplicably put him in front of reporters in a live conference call with CEOs from formula manufacturers. It forced Biden and his team to admit they’d been asleep at the switch for months even while manufacturers kept warning the FDA about the coming shortages. And how many excuses has Biden used over the past year to blame-shift on inflation?


Speaking of which, the White House keeps denying the reality of American economic life. Karine Jean-Pierre continued that denial today, in fact:

That’s flat-out false. The poll cited by the reporter (Peter Doocy, perhaps?) expressly showed a 19-point drop in hope of economic improvement by Americans over the past year:

Some 83% of respondents described the state of the economy as poor or not so good. More than one-third, or 35%, said they aren’t satisfied at all with their financial situation. That was the highest level of dissatisfaction since NORC began asking the question every few years starting in 1972 as part of the General Social Survey, though the poll’s 4-point margin of error means that new figures may not differ significantly from prior high and low points.

Just over one quarter of respondents, 27%, said they have a good chance of improving their standard of living—a 20-point drop from last year—while just under half of respondents, 46%, said they don’t.

The share of respondents who said their financial situation had gotten worse in the past few years was 38%. That marked the only time other than in the aftermath of the 2007-09 recession that more than three in 10 respondents said their pocketbooks were worse off, according to GSS data going back a half-century.


If Messina wants to identify the “dumb s***” that will lose the election in November, he should start with the dumbs*** that his boss selected as a running mate in 2008, and the dumbs*** that his party nominated in 2020. AOC is at best a sideshow to clown circus that is the Joe Biden administration.

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