The title is a bit of hyperbole. Surely Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will show up, along with the CBC. But the head of the DCCC, the political organization in charge of getting Democrats elected to the House of Representatives, has a message for their candidates, incumbents or not: don’t go to the Democratic National Convention. And that applies to all of them.
“If they want to win an election, they need to be in their districts,” New York congressman Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told the Reuters Washington Summit on Tuesday.
Israel emphasized that Democratic President Barack Obama’s poll ratings – which have hovered around 50 percent – have little to do with his stance.
“I don’t care if the president was at 122 percent favorability right now,” he said. “I think (candidates) should be in their districts,” rather than spend time at the convention, which will be in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3-6.
Seth Mandel of Commentary Magazine calls Israel’s bluff, with a delicious bit of snark to introduce it:
Who would have guessed the clear favorite for “least convincing political spin of the year” would go to someone other than Jay Carney or Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Not a single person will buy this spin, for two reasons: First, even if the Democrats expected another wave election in favor of the GOP, the very candidates most susceptible to that wave–less experienced members of the House–would benefit most by appearing at the convention, as it would raise their profile. And second, the announcement from Israel came after Democratic politicians began heading for the lifeboats.
He’s right. And this is certainly not anything I’ve seen in my lifetime. It’s certainly not good; rather, it’s indicative of Obama’s political toxicity and the length of his coattails, which are apparently so negative those coattails are riding up his arse. Mandel is also right about this:
Israel took a story the president’s allies were keeping under wraps and put it in neon lights. Don’t believe the polls showing Obama and Romney just about even, the DCCC itself seems to be saying, the president is politically toxic and everyone knows it.
Well, now everyone knows it.
What are we to make of it, especially since this trend is now affecting Senate incumbents like Claire McCaskill? Will progressives employ the race card against superdelegates who refuse to attend? Will any superdelegates attend? Inquiring minds want to know.