Canary In The Coal Mine?

I think not.  The punditocracy is abuzz this morning with news that Republican Bob Turner captured the traditionally leaning seat in New York’s Congressional 9th district, comprised of parts of Queens and Brooklyn.  That the Democrats could not hold onto a seat in a district in which they hold a three to one advantage in terms of registered Democrats over Republicans, at first glance, is telling.  But let’s delve into this a bit deeper.

It wasn’t President Obama that was up for election here.  It was a subpar candidate, David Weperin, who bungled a campaign that should have been basically a rubber stamp in terms of taking the seat.  Weperin botched his campaign on a number of fronts, including incorrectly identifying the federal debt level at $4 trillion instead of the actual $14 trillion.  And, this was following on the heels of the shameful exit of Democrat Anthony Weiner from the seat.

This is a very specific set of instances that’s likely not going to have broader implications for the President’s reelection coming up.  But don’t expect the GOP to paint that picture.  They’re likely going to say that the fact Democrats failed to hold a seat on which they ostensibly held a lock is indicative that the President is doomed for defeat in 2012.  False.

With his new jobs plan, the President has come out swinging, showing some of the piss and vinegar for which he was known during his 2008 bid.  He’s taken some pages right out of the old book on class warfare, pitching his jobs plan as a struggle for working Americans against the Republican effort to preserve tax benefits for the super-rich.  So, while the President appears to have relocated his balls, don’t read too much into the fact that Democrats failed to retain a seat that’s likely going to disappear after the next allocation of Congressional seats for the next general election in 2012.  Per usual, stay tuned.


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