FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Rejoice, oh state Democrats: the White House will be interfering in your races.
With all of the delicacy, charm and raw political skill that they showed in trying to get Gov. David Paterson of NY to quit.
WASHINGTON — The White House’s intervention in the race for New York governor is the latest evidence of how President Obama and his top advisers are taking an increasingly direct role in contests across the country, but their assertiveness has bruised some Democrats who suggest it could undercut Mr. Obama’s appeal with voters tired of partisan politics.
More than anything, though, the interventions reflect a controlling style of this White House and of Mr. Emanuel, who employed similar hard-ball tactics to recruit candidates when he was running the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In addition to Mr. Emanuel, the White House political director, Patrick Gaspard, and deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina, keep close watch on all political races.
Moving along, disapproving quotes from affected Democrats like Joe Sestak (running against the untrustworthy opportunist Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania), Andrew Romanoff (running against the rather uninteresting appointee Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, and Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania (who may or may not have to run away from eventually being named as ‘Governor X’) show up in the article, for all the good that it’ll do them. The President simply must micromanage, you understand; and, given that he’s been told time and again by his own party that his is a political genius not seen since FDR, Otto von Bismarck, and Martin van Buren there’s little incentive for him to stop. Besides, this all comes back to what’s best for the White House, not the individual state Democratic parties. Having Paterson on the ballot guarantees a politically embarrassing loss in New York in 2010; and the White House’s primary interest in Pennsylvania and Colorado is keeping their Senate seats in Democratic hands. If that means signing off on a turncoat and a nonentity, so be it.
I would be sympathetic, but then this is what the Democratic party signed up for. Well, sort of: it was probably expected that the President would be better at it.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.