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AL-02, ID-01, PA-10: Bright and Minnick Won't Switch, but Carney (!) Mulling It

by: James L.

Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 6:43 PM EST


First, the good news:

With Griffith's announcement Tuesday, eyes immediately turned to his home state freshman counterpart, Rep. Bobby Bright.

But Bright told the House Democratic leadership Tuesday night that he planned to stay in the party, according to a senior Democratic aide.

Similarly, Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho), another freshman Blue Dog who would be a prime target, indicated in a statement to POLITICO that he won't switch.

"I will remain as independent as Idaho, I will not be switching parties, and I will win in November," Minnick said in the statement.

These are two guys who you'd think might have something to gain by switching -- they occupy blood-red districts and surely would have an easier time winning re-election as Republicans, right? Well, say whatever you will about their voting records, but they're not morons like Parker Griffith. They know full well that they would stand a greater chance of being teabagged to death in a GOP primary than they do of losing a general election as a Democrat. In other words, once you go Dem, there ain't no goin' back.

But wait, what the hell is this?

Democratic Rep. Chris Carney received a phone call Wednesday from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) asking him to consider becoming a Republican, a top GOP official told POLITICO.

A spokesman for Carney declined to say if the congressman was considering such a switch.

"No further comment at this time," said Carney spokesman Josh Drobnyk, who would only confirm that the call took place. [...]

But [a House Republican] aide acknowledged that they had gotten "a nibble" from Carney and were now making the pitch that he'd be better off switching parties than running again as a Democrat in a northeastern Pennsylvania seat that President Obama lost by 9 percentage points last year.

Carney would be a damned fool to do this. Perhaps he's just being coy as a means to foster some kind of cross-ballot appeal, in order to say to his GOP constituents that even DC Republicans think that he's "their kind of Democrat". But if Carney thinks that the NRCC could clear a primary field for him, or if he wouldn't be vulnerable to a generic teabagger in a primary after voting for the stimulus and health care reform, his stupidity is breathtaking.

(H/T: desmoinesdem)

James L. :: AL-02, ID-01, PA-10: Bright and Minnick Won't Switch, but Carney (!) Mulling It
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Seriously
Do these people even follow the news?

Carney
actually had a relatively comfortable re-elect for a freshman Democrat in his district if I remember correctly (10-12 points?).  Can't say I know how much was due to Obama at the top of the ballot, but why in the frickin' world would he want to besides reasons of complete, unadulterated opportunism?  

Opportunism would be the only reason
And it would be a terrible error in judgment. At least Specter had a history of moderation and used to be a Democrat. I keep posting on this because I'm just flabbergasted Carney would even consider it unless he is performing some kind of jujitsu.

[ Parent ]
Carney
It seems odd to me he would switch. His politics seem way to the left for a Republican.

If
McCain wants to root out traitorous Dems, he and Cornyn should be working on having Joe LIEberman caucus with the Republicans.  

19, Male, Independent, CA-12

Lieberman is probably useful to them
as a mole within the Dem caucus, like Shelby was before he switched.

[ Parent ]
They have been for a long time


[ Parent ]
They're fine with Lieberman as he is
In fact, I think the best thing Democrats could do if they gain at least one seat in the Senate elections next year is to give Lieberman to the Republicans. Lieberman would probably be at least as annoying to the Republicans as he is to us.

[ Parent ]
Lieberman
I think a big reason hes so popular with CT Republicans is that hes 'rebellious towards the Democratic caucus' (and before he switched, the party itself). I think a year, at most, CT Republicans cant think that way anymore...as you cant be rebellious against something youre not a part of. So theyll be looking at his voting record pure and simple. But lucky for him the CT GOP still has a substantial number of moderates, especially on social issues. So he doesnt need to transform into a conservative by any means. But the party and ideological switch could doom him even further in a GE.

[ Parent ]
And make no mistake he will need to have a drastic ideological switch
Health care reform and foreign policy and some other issues aside...he has a solid Democratic voting record. Afterall its not his overall voting record liberals have a problem with its his outspoken and defiant conservative views on health care and foreign policy. But his Democratic voting record wont play in a GOP primary...hed have to significantly go to the right.  

[ Parent ]
2010 could be pivotal.
If Republicans take out Dodd that might embolden Lieberman to switch.  He'd have a better shot at a Republican primary and there is no guarantee the Republicans will take a pass this time if Lieberman runs as an independent.  Especially if he's unwilling to caucus with the Republicans.

NY-13, Democrat. Blog @ http://infinitefunction.wordpr...

[ Parent ]
I'll repost this question in the correct thread.
While some switches are ideological most of the time people switch for two reasons.  Political or because of disagreements with their own party.

Ralph Hall though conservative as hell only switched once he was threatened in the wake of the Tom Delay engineered midterm redistricting.  And was quite up front and honest about how that was THE reason he switched.  That is a classic political switch.  No animosity towards the party he left.  Just a matter of what one can get in return and political survival.

Disagreement with ones party is of course the other reason.  Ben Nighthorse-Campbell is a good example of the second.  He was a moderate Democrat.  Not the most liberal Democrat.  Not the most conservative.  But somewhere in between.  On paper he seemed way too liberal to be considered a candidate for a party switch.  But he had bitter disagreements with members of the Colorado Democratic Party that resulted in him packing his bags and becoming a Republican where he moved dramatically to the right (most party switchers move their positions towards the ideological center of their new party after switching).

So my question is considering he is certainly not the most endangered Democrat and his positions certainly don't put him ideologically outside that of most Democrats... what is his relationship with his local Democratic organizations and the statewide party and is there anything there to suggest any tension?

NY-13, Democrat. Blog @ http://infinitefunction.wordpr...


I think this is the problem with "career politicians"
And unfortunately the only real way to stop career politicians from working in self-preservation and more for the better of their districts and country is term-limits, which is unconstitutional and not something Id advocate for anyway.

Too many politicians are afraid of having to find real jobs which only makes them govern poorly and self-fishly.


[ Parent ]
Wait
Are you insinuating that Griffith is a career politician? Just wondering, because, well, that would be fairly odd considering he first ran for office in 2006.....

[ Parent ]
Oh definitely not
I mean more as an over-all problem with our system and not any candidate in particular.

Politicians are far too concerned about being re-elected and should focus more on governing and doing what is right for the country rather than saving their jobs.  That obviously is a very overly-generalized statement and certainly cant apply to every politician and every issue.  We need more Wellstone's and less Specter's.  


[ Parent ]
Carney says he's not switching
http://www.politico.com/blogs/...

If anyone does my guess is it's Travis Childers.  Not that I think he will.  

21, male, CA-15 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)



I didn't think he was a fool
As I suspected the speculation actually helps.

[ Parent ]
I give Carney credit,
he he has played this very smart. This probably helps his reelection chances and best of all he stays with us (and he has been a good Democrat).

[ Parent ]
I'd be surprised if he did
Travis is the type of guy who has an FDR photo hanging on his wall. Plus, he's not a goddamned idiot.

[ Parent ]
Didn't know about the FDR photo
Ok, guess he's staying put then!  

21, male, CA-15 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)



[ Parent ]
FDR isnt really a bogeyman to Republicans
At least not yet.

[ Parent ]
FDR has been a bogeyman to Republicans
since 1932!

"I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!"
--  Will Rogers  


[ Parent ]
Yep
He pretty much ranks up there with Michael Moore, George Soros and Barack Obama in the boogeyman catagory.

Suprised LBJ isn't a boogeyman to them. After all he did exapand the pesky cornfounded govment with medicare and medicaid. Thats has to be bad to the Republicans, yes? Oh wait never mind, he esclated the Vietnam War, he alright to them.


[ Parent ]
And backed those right-wing dictatorships in Latin America.


My blog
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28, New Democrat, Female, TX-03 (hometown CA-26)


[ Parent ]
Exactly
Thank you for pointing that out.

[ Parent ]
Well
I never really have seen it myself and have always thought they liked him due to his leadership in WWII. But i know during the war itself the GOP didnt like him.

[ Parent ]
The Republicans thought FDR
was a Communist and a class traitor, and said it over and over again. I think that Reagan was the first Republican to try to associate himself - superficially - with FDR, and probably the last, too.

"I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!"
--  Will Rogers  


[ Parent ]
How did Bob Casey and Ed Rendell do in this district in 2006
Anyone got the numbers?????

good question
That would be helpful to know.

[ Parent ]
Eyeballing it, Rendell probably won, and Casey
probably lost.  

[ Parent ]
Indeed.
10 Rendell Swann Governor Rendell% Swann%
TOTAL 110,762 99,330 210,267 52.68% 47.24%
Bradford 8,485 10,670 19,181 44.24% 55.63%
Lackawanna 23,435 11,053 34,488 67.95% 32.05%
Luzerne 13,870 8,281 22,173 62.55% 37.35%
Lycoming 9,078 12,335 21,453 42.32% 57.50%
Montour 2,764 3,059 5,830 47.41% 52.47%
Northumberland 13,470 13,140 26,635 50.57% 49.33%
Pike 7,393 6,551 13,944 53.02% 46.98%
Snyder 4,073 7,203 11,281 36.10% 63.85%
Sullivan 1,264 1,275 2,539 49.78% 50.22%
Susquehanna 8,239 6,874 15,131 54.45% 45.43%
Tioga 24 25 49 48.98% 51.02%
Union 5,006 6,503 11,509 43.50% 56.50%
Wayne 8,143 7,635 15,785 51.59% 48.37%
Wyoming 5,518 4,726 10,269 53.73% 46.02%

10 Casey Santorum Senate Casey% Santorum%
TOTAL 102,884 106,779 209,851 49.03% 50.88%
Bradford 8,277 10,804 19,138 43.25% 56.45%
Lackawanna 21,924 12,605 34,534 63.49% 36.50%
Luzerne 12,038 10,052 22,111 54.44% 45.46%
Lycoming 8,668 12,731 21,426 40.46% 59.42%
Montour 2,704 3,110 5,819 46.47% 53.45%
Northumberland 13,140 13,304 26,458 49.66% 50.28%
Pike 6,718 7,208 13,930 48.23% 51.74%
Snyder 4,137 7,147 11,285 36.66% 63.33%
Sullivan 1,181 1,351 2,534 46.61% 53.31%
Susquehanna 7,318 7,787 15,119 48.40% 51.50%
Tioga 18 31 49 36.73% 63.27%
Union 4,876 6,614 11,490 42.44% 57.56%
Wayne 7,294 8,400 15,709 46.43% 53.47%
Wyoming 4,591 5,635 10,249 44.79% 54.98%


[ Parent ]
I don't know how you come up with this stuff, Jeff
but I'm sure glad you do.

[ Parent ]
Thanks for those numbers!
Would love to see them for all PA districts, especially swing ones. did you get the numbers yourself or get them from somewhere? if you got it from somewhere itd be great to have a link :). id love to see it myself.

[ Parent ]
I wonder...
... if these fishing expeditions for party switchers on the part of the Republicans might not have a backlash, similar to what we saw earlier in the month when a small spate of Dem retirement announcements was followed by what seemed like over a dozen statements of commitment from vulnerable D members to run for re-election. This over-eagerness and willingness to engage in such craven, opportunistic gamesmanship could well rub many otherwise receptive individuals the wrong way.

Male, 23, DC-At Large

Well, about Carney seems all come from republicans...

I don't believe in republicans.

Maybe they find destabilize Carney. I don't trust nice words from republicans to a Yes voter of Public Option in Health Care Reform.


"I will remain as independent as Idaho, I will not be switching parties, and I will win in November,"
That's a good line.


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