Senior presidential adviser Dan Pfeiffer turned in a predictably hacktastic performance on Meet the Press yesterday, including this gem about President Obama’s standing among Democrats ahead of the 2014 elections:
“The president will be an asset in every way possible.”
Fact-check rating: Seventeen Pinocchios On Fire. A string of prominent Democratic incumbents and candidates have pointedly declined to be seen with Obama on the campaign trail, even in blueish states. Washington Post columnist and former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen surveys the landscape and explains why members of the president’s own party are mired in an Obama “trap:”
[Democrats] are trapped. If they follow the advice of those who say Democrats should double down and launch a full-throated defense of Obamacare, they lose independents. If they follow the advice of those who say Democrats should attack Obamacare, they despirit their base. And if they listen to those who argue they should walk the middle ground and talk about their plans to “fix” Obamacare — precisely the message that failed in Florida — they alienate everyone. They have no good options…Democrats are putting on a brave face, but behind the scenes they are panicking. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last week found that 48 percent of Americans say they’re less likely to vote for a candidate who’s a solid supporter of the Obama administration, while just 26 percent say they’re more likely to vote for that candidate. That suggests that what happened in Florida could very well happen nationally this November.
Pfeiffer also claimed that Democrats will command an all-important advantage on jobs and the economy (Americans’ top priority) heading into the fall. Nope. A WaPo/ABC News survey released in late January showed a significant GOP lead on the economy, with Republicans outperforming their 2010 showing on the issue. Fox News’ March poll pegged Obama’s approval ratings on job creation and economic stimulus at (33/59) and (35/56), respectively. White House flacks can yammer on about Obama’s electoral prowess all they want, but how might they explain this phenomenon?
“The immediate fallout, I’m told, from that Florida special election: We have already seen a number of senior House Democrats announce their retirements. I’m told that in the next week to ten days to look for two — perhaps three — more, as Democrats decide, ‘we’re not going to win the majority back.'”
Democrats caught a break today with Minnesota’s Collin Peterson announcing that he’ll seek re-election after all, but John King’s sources suggest that several others are likely to pack it in. The FL-13 result was just too demoralizing. I’ll leave you with Republicans twisting the knife, challenging vulnerable Democrats to sign this letter addressed to their party’s greatest “asset:”