What, Obama worry? New York House district elects first Republican since 1920
President Obama is taking his big airplane out of Dodge today, down to North Carolina.
And who can blame him for going the opposite direction from Gotham after this morning's special election results in New York 9?
There, as forecast here last week, a 70-year-old Republican businessman and political novice named Bob Turner whacked veteran Democrat David Weprin, 53-47, in a special election to replace Rep. Anthony "Look at My Junk" Weiner.
This kind of stunning upset in that area of Brooklyn and Queens happens like clockwork every 91 years. Whenever the approval of a disinterested Democratic president hovers in the mid-30s on a stagnant economy and he looks wishy-washy on rigid support for Israel.
Weprin had everything going for him in Archie Bunker's boroughs:
He's an Orthodox Jew in a district that's 40% Jewish running against a Catholic. He's a well-known political name with state legislative experience. He has the backing of big-time Dems including Chuckie Schumer, who used to represent the district and bequeathed it to his aide Weiner. This Obama guy carried the area by 11 points back in 2008. And Weprin's got a moustache.
What could possibly go wrong? Well, Weprin was off on the national debt by $10 trillion in one interview. But that presidential election win was 1,048 days ago. Obama's much better known now and that seems to work against him.
This White House has had its own agenda all along -- the healthcare heave, financial reforms. While all along polls told the Chicagoans that jobs and the economy are top priority.
If history repeats itself, this Obama crowd as it did after losing the Virginia governor's office and the New Jersey governor's office and Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts, will find fault with someone else, likely the candidate.
The wise Marc Ambinder hears it already.
Remember all the White House whispers about lousy campaigner Martha Coakley when she lost to Scott Brown despite (or perhaps because of?) a last-minute campaign day with Obama?
And then there were last November's midterms when voters tossed all those House Pelosi people who obeyed Obama's pleas to pass healthcare.
Those dozens of Democrats going under the bus turned out great for the president, however. With a Republican House the Democratic president has someone else to blame now when his belated jobs bill goes nowhere.
That's what he'll be touting in Raleigh-Durham today, his doomed $447 billion jobs program.
Good thing that Air Force One, like Southwest, doesn't charge for baggage because along on Obama's Southern trip is a new Bloomberg News Poll. It shows, among other gloomy tidings, that 33% approve of his economy job, 39% like his healthcare handling and 30% are pleased with his deficit doings.
Oh, and a majority don't think his new jobs program will get the job done.
-- Andrew Malcolm
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Photos: Mary Altaffer / Associated Press (Republicans Bob and Peggy Turner celebrate his election to the House from New York's Ninth District early Wednesday); Craig Ruttle / Associated Press (Defeated Democrat David Weprin concedes).