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Wade Norris Headshot

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

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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.

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.

"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......

[...]

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. These job 'dangles' are not just bad form, they have the potential to drag many Democrats into an unnecessary scandal.

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 a Presidential candidate 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. I would say that these are Rahm's methods - Chicago/Blago style politics. Rahm has already shown that he has little concern for the base voters or the grassroots Democrats. Rahm once referred to the grassroots left as
(pardon my french) 'fucking retarded.'

Remember in 2007 when Hillary Clinton's election machine was already called 'inevitable?'
I am sorry, Rahm, but it was the Grassroots left that made it possible for a strong primary to get your boss in office.

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 for goodness sakes, why did you let Rahm dismantle the successful Democratic organization known as the 50 State Strategy? Was it because Howard Dean was getting the praise that Rahm and his buddies wanted? Who cares - It worked. If our party is only about personal glory over actually winning vs the Republicans, then we will have little time to celebrate your election. No more inside the beltway party bosses making decisions for us out here in the real United States.

Not only will it keep you out of legal trouble, Mr. President, but it would convince the base that you care about their opinions over inside the Beltway advisers. To do otherwise would be best summed up by Mr. Emanuel's earlier statement.

Oh, and while I am here, since Mr. Romanoff has stayed true to his course, and has emulated candidate Obama in taking no PAC money, toss him a buck or two on this grassroots fundraising page - and let the people decide.