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June 04, 2010 01:33 AM UTC

Whose White House? Obama's or Rahm's?

  • 57 Comments
  • by: wade norris

As we all now know, a second alleged job ‘dangle’ was made by the White House to a potential Senate Primary candidate – this time it was Andrew Romanoff to prevent his primary challenge to Appointed Senator Michael Bennet.

Republicans like Darrel Issa (who it now seems is less than honest about his military record) are trying to gin up an attack on the President over this non job offer. Is there something there? I doubt it. But the fact that the White House has been meddling in primaries by the clearing the field for Kirsten Gillibrand and by endorsing Conservative Dems like Arlen Specter, Blance Lincoln, and now Michael Bennet for Senate races is both historically unwise and potentially dangerous to Obama.

If you are like me, you can see that there is a distinct difference between the Obama organization on the campaign, and the Obama White House.

I smell a rat, and he is Rahm Emmanuel. If Obama is as smart as I know he is, he will learn from FDR’s mistake and change course in regard to Rahm.

The White House’s involvement with Senate primaries may seem to be business as usual, but that is not the case.

Obama has been involved in more primaries than any President since FDR.

http://www.politico.com/news/s…

History warns Obama on primaries

by Matthew Dallek

The White House promised full support to GOP Sen. Arlen Specter when he switched to the Democratic Party a year ago. So Obama’s team had approached Rep. Joe Sestak, the primary challenger now gaining on Specter, in an effort to ward off this intraparty contest.

Obama is entangled in other Democratic primaries, as well. His White House has endorsed incumbent moderate Democrats in a handful of key midterm races. It has actively intervened in support of Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas……

The biggest political debacle in modern times was when President Franklin D. Roosevelt intervened in a series of 1938 midterm primaries.

FDR considered the 1938 primaries an “act of vengeance against Democrats who had betrayed him” during his 1937 court-packing fight, as Jeff Shesol, author of the new book “Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court,” said in a recent conversation.

The president’s attempted “purge” of conservatives from Democratic ranks proved a stunning setback for his standing – and his New Deal agenda. FDR speechwriter Sam Rosenman later called the purge a “grave mistake.”

Roosevelt’s preferred primary candidates lost in droves. Democrats also lost seats in the 1938 general election. Conservatives gained congressional strength and administered a substantial political blow to the New Deal.

Consider that FDR was trying to re-align the congress with primaries to get conservative members of congress out and more liberal members in. It backfired and hurt the efforts of his New Deal Agenda.

Here, incredibly, Obama is blocking primaries of Conservative Democrats from Liberal/Progressive challengers. Not only has Obama endorsed Lincoln, Specter, and Bennet, without letting the primary voters weigh in, the White House has also been offering back door job ‘dangles’ to Sestak and Romanoff.

Here in Colorado, Democrats are getting calls from the DSCC to donate to their funding, when they are running ads directly for one candidate over the other.

FDR lost the opportunity to get the full impact of his administration by these primary losses. Obama, so far, is 0-2 and looking to go 0-3 in his Senate primary preferences.

This is bad politics for President who represented transformational change on the campaign trail. These moves have upset the base voters in these states who now have defied the White House’s choices.

It does not seem like the Candidate we knew. This is Rahm’s methods – Chicago/blago style politics.

Do the grassroots democrats matter to him? Wasn’t he the one that called the Grassroots left ‘fucking retarded?’

Was this the logic that candidate Barack Obama was thinking when Hillary Clinton’s election machine was already called ‘inevitable?’

Shouldn’t our candidates get the same benefit of the Primary system

that got Obama himself into office?

Not to mention that the Republicans are looking for any chance to pounce on any perceived wrong doing by the Obama administration.

Mr. President, start listening to the grassroots and to the advisers who got you into the White House and stop listening to Rahm Emmanuel and his kind. Not only will it keep you out of legal trouble, but it is the smart thing to do.

Comments

57 thoughts on “Whose White House? Obama’s or Rahm’s?

  1. Who’s the “Liberal/Progressive challenger running against Michael Bennet? I only know of a former DLC 2009 Fellow that was a moderate Democrat for 8 years in the State House.  

    1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/


      Romanoff showed his cards last night and revealed truth. Now, the chips will fall where they will. Andrew Romanoff’s brand, as a different kind of Democrat and a politician who can’t be bought, remains solid.

      The rest of the Dems are screwed. This Romanoff-Sestak Situation stinks to high heaven and all over the White House. Team Obama was handing out taxpayer funded jobs to deprive Democratic citizens of electoral choices….

      What did President Obama know and when did he know it? Same question for Colorado Senator Michael Bennet. Same question for the retiring Colorado Democratic Governor Ritter who appointed Bennet with Obama’s blessing.

        1. While I am no fan of the DLC whatever ya call it,

          what associations does Bennet have?

          Unelected? check

          Bank swap derivatives to bankrupt teacher’s pensions? check

          votes against derivative and bank reforms? check

          no on cramdown? check

          Bennet does not belong to any association except the ‘Friends of the Big Banks’

                  1. It’s only been discussed 5 bajillion times on this website. You introduced it as a non sequitur to get away from having to explain how Romanoff is a “Liberal/Progressive challenger”.

                    1. No way these spurious arguments ahve been discussed on CPols a “bajillion”  time. 🙂

              1. If Romanoff is supposed to be the progressive challenger, why haven’t DFA , Progressive Dems and Move-on endorsed Romanoff? They came out in support of Halter and Sestek but then they aren’t DLC conservatives like Romanoff.

          1. What?! Wade, are you suggesting that Bennet is the “outsider”?  

            I mean he has the US Senate and all that.  But it’s not like that counts as an “association” the way you mean it.  You mean he worked for Anschutz, intellligently and skillfully deploying capital that created companies and jobs and wealth.

            You don’t understand the  swap transaction that the DPS Board unanimously approved (as don’t some of the Board members apparently) when Bennet was Superintendant.

            And yes he voted against cramdown- do you understand why?  

            And he voted for more bank reforms than you could even name. He voted against two small pieces- that I’m sure we’ll get in some form or other next time around (2011).

            1. your attempt to spin Bennet’s days as a raider for one of the wealthiest Republicans on the planet – who funded ‘intelligent design’ and anti-gay measures, but alas, you will say, that means nothing in terms of who Bennet is.

              What you could answer is, how did Bennet get that cushy job with Anschutz?

              and as to his financial votes:

              #1: Bennet was one of the few Democratic Senators to join with the GOP to oppose cramdown

              Nice. A millionaire himself, he can’t be bothered to help average families stay in their homes.

              #2: Senator Bennet voted to stop Dodd’s first attempt to reign in Wall street in the Fall of 2009: the headline says it all — “Bennet joins with GOP to warn about Wall St. bill”

              #3: Bennet voted against the bill to break up the Big Banks this past month.

              #4: and worst of all, there is the scandal that involves Bennet’s decision to invest the teacher’s retirement fund into a fancy banking derivative or ‘swap’ – that now is costing retiring teachers their pensions.

              Michael Bennet Says He “Listens to Coloradans Hurt by Wall Street”

              Bennet convinced the Denver schools’ board of education to approve the $750 million deal, failing to tell them about key risks associated with the transactions….

              So far, Bennet’s 2008 transaction has directly cost Denver taxpayers at least $50 million, all of which went down Wall Street’s gullet…

              The losers are you and me. As for Bennet, he gets millions from Wall Street to pay for his senate campaign.

              If you have ANY doubt about the way Denver’s Teachers feel about Michael Bennet’s tenure as Superintendent – just watch this video

              so far the only bank reform he has proposed is to close the congress to lobbyist loophole – which he announced the day he voted against the Kaufman -Brown amendment.

              I know I am wasting my time with you, but if you could, tell us how we should support a Senator who voted against Cramdown at a time of the most foreclosures since the Great Depression?

              As for the DLC charge – maybe Mr. Romanoff saw the light – maybe he said, if Obama can run without PAC money, so can I.

              And Maybe Michael Bennet’s huge Wall Street contributions will turn out to be more of a liability than a help.

              You seem to forget that Romanoff’s resume consist of the DLC while Bennet’s consist of defrauding DPS to make a mint for JP Morgan preceeded by making a mint as a corporate raider for Anschutz.

              I will take the former over the latter (especially with Bennet’s Bankster votes) any day.

              1. Which are, in the context of the diary you wrote, complete red herrings, you gave us your answer to MotR’s question.

                “Maybe Romanoff saw the light.” Was that so hard? I think you’re wrong, but thanks for finally answering the question.

                  1. Look, Wade, you have three votes that you’re trying to tell me warrant Bennet’s removal from office in favor of Romanoff. I would honestly expect you to have more than a handful of votes to criticize Bennet. To me, they don’t warrant me voting for anyone other than him. In my estimation, he’s more liberal than Ken Salazar was, and he’s a hell of a lot more liberal than Jane Norton or Ken Buck. A couple of his votes, I disagree with him on, but like I said, IMNSHO it’s not enough.

                    What irks me is that you’re portraying Romanoff as being the same as Sestak and Halter. He’s not. He’s a DLC Dem whose middle name was bipartisanship when he was House Speaker. As Denverco asked above, if he’s a progressive, then why haven’t progressive groups poured in money to his campaign?

                    You’re trying to craft Romanoff into a Seatak/Halter, and I appreciate the strategy–both of them won, and barring the runoff results, Halter will likely beat Lincoln in Arkansas–but even more than the lack of a progressive record is the problem that both of them were well-funded primary challengers. Progressive groups simply haven’t chipped in the dough, and if they haven’t by now, I think it would be a stretch to expect it to happen in the next couple months when it will be necessary to win.

                    Thanks for confirming that I’m a real person though. I appreciate it.

                    1. I’m not a real D.

                      I’m not a real Coloradan.

                      I’m not even a real person.

                      But Wade and the rest of campanoff still hopes to persuade me by abusing me.

                      No compelling message. No significant, useful difference on policy.

                      Romanoff said he would have  killed the healthcare bill- until he realized that was a losing position and reversed course to concede, yes, he would have voted for it flaws and all. All sorts of ideas for which there aren’t 60 votes but for him being there to make it work somehow.  He’s a DLC Fellow, Mr bipartisan legislator of the year except he’s really a western liberal.

                      Whatever.

                      Nice post rsb – one addition: I don’t think Sestack nor Halter nor a true left liberal can win state wide in Colorado this cycle. So if Wade succeeds in re-inventing Romanoff as Sestack/Halter – he loses even if he wins. But at least Senator Buck isn’t Senator Bennet.

                    2. I was thinking maybe I’d run into you tonight.

                      Yes, everyone else…this is mysterious and cryptic

                    3. Got wrapped up in something else that couldn’t be avoided.

                      You have kids, right?

                      What mysterious?  We had plans to break out our Pinky and the Brain costumes and come up with a plan to take over the world.

                      Oh, well. Next time.  At least the chicken suit is done.

                    4. Use the kids excuse…

                      🙂

                      Nice work on the Chicken suit.  We’ll have to do a beer soon.  There’s a Celtic Tavern near my house and I had no idea.

                    5. Yikes! You must be upscale.

                      Where I grew up we had Irish bars and corner joints.

                      email ….

                    1. you are someone who i at least suspect exists.

                      and are susceptible to graphic hypnosis.

                      bennet voted against cramdown.

                      even though i opposed him.

                      months before he cast that vote.

                      join the romanauts.

                      if you can.

                  2. look wade

                    you are someone who might exist

                    then again we all may not

                    solipsism is a tricky thing

                    Andrew may be all that’s real.

                    Thus no need to talk of past support

                    for DINO groups, or speaker votes

                    no need to talk of funds on hand

                    of reality or political winds,

                    no need to think how we can prevail

                    in the general, so we assail

                    half the bloc we need to win, bash our own

                    spin, spin, spin

                    like a top that’s somewhat off  

                    supporters of…

              2. The Union itself, perhps not.

                Many UFCW members back Crisanta Duran. The ticket that replaced her? No.

                Rahm Emanuel is not the President. It’s offensive to say so. I dind’t like Pres.GWb, but I respected the office.

              3. Spinning and being hyperbolic in talking about a political race has a long tradition.

                But claiming (completely without evidence) that a person “defrauded” the Denver Public Schools is an absolutely extraordinary charge to make.

                This goes way beyond shark-jumping.

                1. If you haven’t been reading his posts closely the past 6-9 months you may not have noticed.

                  Sort of like that FB thing about “find out who blocked you on Facebook”  it’s a virus – helps to know.

                  1. I have been very busy and also laying low.

                    I now remember you told me about the MSU grads, some of whom sort of started taking over in April.

                    1. makes shit up

                      made up shit

                      I love Magic – and have family in East Lansing, so MSU the place is at least ok.

                      As an act- it’s tbs.

                    2. I wonder if they MSU and peddled MUS before or only after Romanoff’s primary challenge.

                      So many amazing things have happened only since and solely because of Romanoff’s announcement, or something.

                    3. The Lakers played better.   So did the Blackhawks. And the Reds.  The Broncos played worse, but that’s clearly Obama’s fault.

                    4. June comes before August, and even before September.

                      June 2009- when Senator Bennet is first recorded saying he supports a public option.  August 2009 when the rumors start about Romanoff initiating a primary challnenge. September 2009 Romanoff confirms and files.

                      Sometime after that, right here on this blog, more than one poster claims that Bennet didn’t support a publi option until after Romanoff challenged him in a primary.

                      MUS

                      May 2009 (or maybe April) Bennet votes against cramdown, which fails by 7 votes.  September and after more than one poster on this very blog claim that cramdown would have passed but for Bennet.

                      MUS

                      I could go on- but my goal was just to show that Wade MSU.  Later, I’ll diary about how frequently Wade and Jeffcotrueblue and others   just flat out MSU when it suits some point or other they are trying to make- mostly in a weak attempt to make Bennet look bad, occasionally in a more useful but still weak attempt to make Romanoff look good.

                      AR won the caucus and assembly . He’s got a slogan and a van.  He’s clearly the winner – stop MSU, it worked but it’s no longer helpful or necessary.

                    5. Kaufman-Brown bill that Bennet voted against.

                      And just like for Cramdown, it does not matter how many votes something passes or fails by, it matters how you, MADCO and other Bennet fans, can explain those absolutely horrible votes.

                      Can you?

                    6. Do you think that you will agree with every single one of his votes Wade?  Will he be the first politician in history to please all of his supporters each and every time?

                      Me, I don’t expect any politician to be such a One as that.  For me the issue is–as it always has been–how does AR differentiate himself substantively from the incumbent, and is it sufficient to dump the latter?  Has AR shown he has a better chance in winning the General?

                      To me the answers are Not well/no and definitely not.  

                      I disagreed with some of AR’s positions when he was Speaker, and some of his connections then (as well as in this campaign).  I disagree with some of the Sen’s votes and some of his connections.  

                      Nonetheless, not looking for a Savior or someone who I imagine to be the ‘Perfect Progressive according to me,’ I would (and will) happily vote for whichever emerges victorious from the Primary.  

                      But since AR has failed to meet my threshold (me being the one who gets to cast my vote), which I laid out here long ago and which remains unmet, I am sticking with Michael.  

                      And I have no need to defend him, his votes, to you or anyone. Your repeated chirp, chirp, chirping is wearisome though.  

      1. He wouldn’t know a progressive if one sat on his face.

        He thinks Obama is a far left, leftie. Most of my leftie  friends realize Obama is a moderate.

        I have no problem with the DLC – though I never cared about it or knew who they were until this election.  

        But to suggest that you don’t realize Andrew was the DLC man of the year, or legislator of the century or something is just further proof that you MSU at your convenience.

        Democratic Leadership Council (DLC)

        The Democratic Leadership Council is a non-profit 501(c)(4) corporation[1] that, upon its formation, argued the United States Democratic Party should shift away from the leftward turn it took in the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

        The DLC has become unpopular within many progressive and liberal political circles such as the organizations Center for American Progress, Democracy for America, and the blogs Daily Kos and MyDD

        Some critics claim the strategy of triangulation between the political left and right to gain broad appeal is fundamentally flawed. In the long run, so opponents say, this strategy results in concession after concession to the opposition, while alienating traditionally-allied voters.

        Other critics cite that the low turnout of organized labor in the 1994 election after Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement into law resulted in the Republican Party gaining a majority in the 1994 House of Representatives elections and 1994 Senate elections that would last for twelve years until 2006.

        Author and Columnist David Sirota has strongly criticized the DLC, whom he claims have sold out to corporate interests.

        And what, pray tell could this possibly have to do with Speaker Andrew Romanoff, the liberal* progressive* populist* Senate candidate in Colorado?

        DLC Fellows – Class of 2009 – Former Speaker Andrew Romanoff, Colorado

        *helped in the caucus, may help in the primary, death in the general

    2. champion of single payer health care, populist who is willing to stand up to BP and the corporatist democrats who do their bidding, and campaign finance reformer who is leading by example, turning down the corporate money that is corrupting our congress.

      Any more questions?

      So yes — Romanoff is the progressive in the race, especially compared to Michael Bennet who joined a group intended to “restrain the influence of party liberals”

      1. Seriously, you buy that Romanoff is “champion of single payer health care”?  Romanoff did NOT support single-payer, or anything remotely progressive on health care, until this race.  Less than 2 years ago, Romanoff was “DLC New Dem of the Week” and he proposed this unimpressive, Joe Lieberman-like centrist health care proposal:

        … to work to cut the cost of health care, reduce the ranks of the uninsured, put a premium on preventative care, and help provide healthy surroundings. Specifically, he proposed ensuring that all children have health coverage. In addition, Romanoff wants to offer standardized ID cards and claim forms in order to streamline the process to verify eligible and credible providers and simplify procedures for authorization and appeal.

        So let’s be clear: Andrew Romanoff consciously and consistently pitched himself as a “new Democrat” in league with DLC centrists, including on health care, where he had NOT supported single-payer, or even anything as liberal as the public option, until this Senate race.

        For you to believe that after years of taking public positions, his sudden decision to be a populist rather than a DLC darling is genuine rather than a calculation about how to position himself in this primary… Well, you have to be about as gullible as anyone I’ve seen.  Let’s just say that if Romanoff gets elected, you’re not going to get the populist you think.

  2. They represent the annoyingly naive sap wing of the left: those who swoon for anyone who can perform an inspiring speech, whether John Edwards, Barack Obama, or Andrew Romanoff.  Many such pols are phony creeps, like Edwards (who ran as a southern conservative in ’98 to get elected in NC, then ran hard left in ’04/’08 national campaigns) or Romanoff – who until this race had run hard right as DLC dude favoring Ben Nelson-like weak “health reform” focused on lowering costs, not universalizing coverage.

    These folks on the left supported Obama not for the reasons I did — that he seemed super-smart and a good mix of liberal instincts accompanied by pragmatism. Rather, they just swooned when he said “Hope!” “Change!” etc.  Well, the “hope” shit never did anything for me, because as Romanoff and Edwards show, any asshole can give that speech, even if he’d run as a conservative just yesterday.

    The point here is that you have to be a total hope-change sap to be shocked and disappointed that Obama seeks to limit intra-party conflict by offering political jobs to politicians in the midst of intra-party conflict.  

  3. Andrew Romanoff’s record is to he right of Michael Bennet.

    The President is the President no matter how much disssapoiinted Hillary Clinton backers don’t like it. One of those was Andrew Romanoff.

    1. He is behaving like a spoiled little child because he didn’t get what he wanted and felt he deserved. One important thing he should remember though – his behavior and campaign has alienated many hard core Dems that will be unwilling to support him in any future campaigns should he lose in this race.

      Looks like Ritter was very correct in his selection. Bennet has run a class campaign and is an asset to the state of Colorado in the senate.

      1. This has been a major difference between Senator Bennet and Andrew Romanoff.

        This is admittedly anecdotal, but I have heard several Democrats who used to be agnostic saying they are very unhappy with Romanoff’s campaign, his unfair attacks, his snark, and that they notice Bennet’s constant civility and even keel.

    2. I didn’t have this crap before I got bit by a mosquito a few years ago.

      So here are some thoughts on a pessimistic day.

      The sad truth about things like immigration reform:if it can’t be done this year then  it won’t happen in decades. Changing the lost war on drugs may never transpire.Too much profit in both legal drugs and illegal drugs.  

      Disspearance of the middle class with globalization: it will continue.

      It won’t make a hell of lot of difference to average folk whom they elect. If Republicans win a landslide they’ll make things worse. 2 to 4 years later they will get thrown out. The process of throw the bastards out will continue. Up will be called down and east will be called west.People will watch TV and believe what they are told by 30 second sound bites.  Republicans will try to say that they are Dems like Specter. Conservative DLC Dems will say that they are progressive.Sarah Palin said today tha the gulf spill was cuased by environmentalists.

      In the meantime more people die in the war on drugs in Chihuahua alone on any given day  than were killed on the flotilla in which the world condemns Jews for defending themselvess against arms smugglers. No one in the USA pays atention to gun smuggling that goes south to fund the basic civil war between the cartels and the Mexican government.

      I think the fact that the USA encarcerates more per capita than any Western society says a lot about the land of the free.

      Fremont County has 15 maximum securiy blocks.Business  booms with privitization on the horizon of adminstration of DOC.

      Regular folk will struggle to get by as best that they can.

    1. Wade is apparently afraid of “returning”.

      That would mean he might have to view Romanoff on his actions of the past 12 years (moderate, bipartisan, centrist)  rather than on what Wade wants to believe.

      There is no return- only forward.

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