EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Rob Jesmer’s No Good, Low Down, Terribly Bad, Really Awful Strategy Continues
The Executive Director of the NRSC, Rob Jesmer, lines up the Republican Establishment to stand behind Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey.
Rob Jesmer then tries to get Tom Ridge in. Ridge refuses. The NRSC tries again in an “anybody but Toomey” bid. They fail.
Toomey is the guy.
In Florida, Rob Jesmer convinces Charlie Crist to leave the Governor’s Mansion and open up a gubernatorial primary where there had been none. Crist, at the NRSC’s behest, gets in against the Latino guy because while the GOP needs Latino faces, Jesmer calculates we don’t need a Latino like Rubio who Jesmer concluded was not viable.
We know how that is going.
In Colorado, the NRSC pushes Jane Norton into the race. She can’t make it through the Republican Assembly, has to bypass conservative activists who will be the primary voters for a costly signature drive, and has already had to shake up her campaign once.
And that, my friends, brings us to the unmitigated disaster unfolding in Indiana where the NRSC ultimately loses even if it wins. All thanks to Rob Jesmer.
Let’s be fair and objective. Dan Coats, the former Senator, is the front runner. Coats was woo’ed to get into the Indiana race when Evan Bayh dropped out. Were the election held tomorrow, Dan Coats would probably win. That’s realistic, but it is also clear on the ground the momentum is clearly with Stutzman.
Rob Jesmer could have rallied everyone to one of the candidates already in the race planning to run against Bayh, but Jesmer decided there was no need to stand with someone already fighting the good fight when the NRSC could draft a lobbyist who lived in North Carolina who had once been an Indiana Senator only to give up his seat to . . . wait for it . . . Evan Bayh.
Coats has high name ID. People forget just how terrible he was on the second amendment, nuclear power, offshore drilling, and the like. Then there is the fact that Dan Coats hasn’t lived in the state for over 10 years and has been a lobbyist in DC for everything from bank bailouts to internet regulation to hostile foreign governments.
But it’s all good because Coats is leading in the primary based on fond memories of the man voters thought they knew. And more importantly, he is not one of those full bore icky conservatives like Pat Toomey or Marco Rubio. Yes, conservative — but not one of those types.
But there is a problem people are only just starting to notice.
Coats can’t raise money. The bottom for Coats was supposed to be $500,000.00 and he barely cleared $300,000.00.
Marlin Stutzman rallied conservatives to him from RedState to Mark Levin to Dave Keene to Jim DeMint. Even the NRA is praising Stutzman and knocking Coats.
So Coats has had to run to DC for a last minute fundraiser. He is taking resources that could be spent elsewhere and diverting them to a supposedly easy primary win in Indiana — never mind the general election.
Now Coats is having to loan himself $200,000.00 in addition to the fundraiser.
This was supposed to be easy. This was supposed to be cheap. Now the NRSC is going to have to spend large sums to take a must win-should win seat that is no guarantee with Coats as the nominee.
And if Coats should pull it off? We’ll be fighting it out again in six years. He quit the Senate once and he isn’t getting any younger.
If the NRSC was going to have to invest its resources in Indiana anyway, it might have been smarter to invest in a younger candidate who might just stick around for a while. But not Rob Jesmer. Why invest long term when all you are interested in is 2010?
Meanwhile, the Democrats are stockpiling millions to spend in Indiana.