Fellow Dems: Walsh Endorsement “Inappropriate…Desperate”

Aaron Flint posted on March 26, 2014 09:45 :: 1404 Views

Driving the week…KGVO radio’s Jon King has audio with Democratic US Senate candidates Dirk Adams (D-Wilsall), and former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (D-MT) reacting to the news that the Montana Democratic Party is interfering in the 2014 Democratic primary.  

KGVO: John Walsh Endorsement “Inappropriate,” “Desperate” say Democratic Primary Candidates

“Anytime you see folks breaking the rules, you know they’re not doing it out of a sense of strength, but out of a sense of fear,” said Adams. “I was sorry to see ‘em do that, but after the Nate Silver 538 piece that said Walsh can’t beat Daines, I think they’re really desperate.”

“I’m offended by that,” said Bohlinger. “I don’t know how one certifies their credentials as a democrat any more than I’ve done. In 2004 and 2008 I ran with Brian Schweitzer on the Governor/Lt. Governor ticket as a Democrat. I filed as a democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.”

Post by John S. Adams.

As John Adams reports:

Earlier this month, the Montana Democratic Party broke from its longstanding policy of not interfering in statewide primary races when it quietly endorsed newly appointed incumbent Sen. John Walsh for the U.S. Senate.

“The Montana Democratic Party eagerly accepted me as one of their own, and even called on me to campaign for Democratic candidates, which I did every time when asked to do so,” Bohlinger said. “It troubles me to think that the Montana Democratic Party is no longer a voice of the people of Montana, but a vehicle for D.C.-insiders to control election outcomes.”

Even the pro-Hilltop blog, The Western Word, had this to say:  (Hilltop is the Baucus connected Democratic consulting firm that is running both the Walsh and Lewis campaigns for US Senate and US House, respectively.)

A few leaders in the Montana Democratic Party must be wishing they had a “do-over” on this whole appointment deal. It’s become a mess. Meanwhile, the Montana Republicans are cheering on the mess which is taking the light off their mess between the moderate Republicans and the conservative Republicans.
Somebody like Brian Schweitzer needs to step in and get control of the mess.  He should bring his dog…

Earlier this week, the national Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) was oddly touting this piece on appointed Senator Walsh (D-MT) in The New York Times. I say “oddly,” because it seems Walsh’s best defense is by comparing himself to John Kerry.  

His career in uniform was a selling point when he was elected lieutenant governor in 2012, and it is supposed to be again when he tries to hold the Senate seat for his party in November, in a race that could help tip partisan control of the Senate. But his military background could prove less of an asset this time.

The NYT then cited the negative reactions to the appointment of Walsh to the US Senate, adding:

Separately, some Republicans have criticized Mr. Walsh for dysfunction in a state emergency management division he oversaw as adjutant general of the Montana National Guard.

Mr. Tester, the new chairman of the Senate’s Indian Affairs Committee, played the gregarious older brother, discussing granular details of federal settlements with the tribes and bringing updates on how long-simmering struggles for money were playing out in Congress. Mr. Walsh mostly listened.

“Everyone’s talking to Jon, not to John,” one woman said.

Meanwhile, from Politico Playbook earlier this week:

NATE SILVER’S FORECAST for the 14 competitive Senate races: Va.: 95% chance D wins … N.H.: 75% D … Iowa: 75% D … Colo.: 60% D … Mich.: 55% D … Alaska: 55% D … N.C.: 50-50 … La. 55% R … Ark. 70% R …Ga. 70% R … Ky. 75% R … Mont. 80% R … S.D. 90% R … W.Va.: 90% R

THE DSCC PUSHES BACK IN a memo from Executive Director Guy Cecil: “Nate Silver and the staff at FiveThirtyEight are doing groundbreaking work, but, as they have noted, they have to base their forecasts on a scarce supply of public polls. In some cases more than half of these polls come from GOP polling outfits. This was one reason why FiveThirtyEight forecasts in North Dakota and Montana were so far off in 2012. In fact, in August of 2012 Silver forecasted a 61% likelihood that Republicans would pick up enough seats to claim the majority. Three months later Democrats went on to win 55 seats. …

And the NRSC responded with their own message:

The truth is that despite claims by the DSCC, Nate Silver gave the Democrats an 83.2% chance of winning the Senate in 2012 a month prior to Election Day. The truth is that while only three Democratic incumbents have lost reelection in the last decade, Democrats lost seven seats that they previously held in 2010 and one in 2012. And finally, our friends like to talk about turnout, and the notorious and mythical “Bannock Street Project” that they claim will miraculously turn losing Democratic candidates into winning ones. Yet Silver himself writes about “the turnout advantage the GOP is likely to have in November. Especially in recent years, Democrats have come to rely on groups such as racial minorities and young voters that turn out much more reliably in presidential years than for the midterms. In 2010, the Republican turnout advantage amounted to the equivalent of 6 percentage points, meaning a tie on the generic ballot among registered voters translated into a six-point Republican lead among likely voters. The GOP’s edge hadn’t been quite that large in past years. But if the ‘enthusiasm gap’ is as large this year as it was in 2010, Democrats will have a difficult time keeping the Senate.”

2014 has started off terribly for Senate Democrats.  Their memo today seems more like a misplaced April Fools’ Day joke instead of a serious document.  Desperation never is a good sign in politics, and Democrats look increasingly desperate.

Either way…here’s what Montana State University Political Science Professor David Parker had to say:

Al Smith

Thursday, March 27, 2014 8:55 PM

Of course it was a desperate move designed in Washington DC by Senators nasty Harry Reid and wild eyed Max, endorsed by their puppet master, Barry the President, and then carried out by the local democrat whipping boy, Montana Governor John B.

Poor old John Walsh was nothing but pawn in a fixed game of dirty politics. How embarrassing to have so little pride in oneself to be used in such an underhanded scheme. I actually thought you were a much bigger man than that John.

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