Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday's trackings

The Tigers-White Sox game was rained out. Meanwhile, it was Rangers 4, Angels 3: another good start for Derek Holland. And set-up reliever Darren Oliver pitched two innings of shutout ball; he has an ERA of 1.74 for the season now. He's been important. It's important for the Rangers to beat the Angels; one still has the impression they'll be Texas' main competition for the division title...

Mona Charen makes an excellent point today, one that needs making more often. Many in the establishment complain that "nothing gets done", that Washington is "broken." Huh???:
"The Post regrets that this polarized electorate prevents “anything from getting done,” which is an odd complaint, given that, since the last election, we have witnessed an $800 billion stimulus bill, the federal acquisition of General Motors, a more than $1 trillion health-care bill, the multi-billion-dollar mortgage bailout, and the nation’s deliverance from the curse of salty food."

Meanwhile, what grand strategy is the Obama team adopting to do battle with the GOP in the midterm elections this year? Simple: attack Republicans...and Newsweek's Howard Fineman perhaps inadvertently lays out exactly what will be wrong with this approach:

"When he ran for president, Barack Obama's effervescent campaign was about hope, optimism, national unity, and, above all, the future. He offered a vision of a new world cooperatively shaped by a new generation. The message was mostly positive and upbeat...Two years later the president is tentatively unveiling the strategy he and fellow Democrats will pursue in this fall's election season, and it has a heavy dose of ... looking backward. It's going to be as much about history as hope, and more about attacking Republicans than promoting his own vision....Elections are always a game of comparison, but attack politics are not supposed to be part of the Obama brand, and they could be undercut by what Americans like best about him: his steady, genial calm."

Now sure, we know why the Obama White House is doing this. They think Republicans still aren't all that popular, and there's certainly poll numbers out there to back some of that up. But at the same time, this isn't the Obama who ran in 2008. This is attack politics, and employing it will make Obama look like any other politician. I question how much that will help him. He might get some of that mud on himself. And that will be good news for Republicans.

Some polling news:
Aha, here's some better news from that Florida senate race between Charlie Crist, Marco Rubio, and Kendrick Meek--the latest Rasmussen poll now has Rubio with an 8 point lead over turncoat Crist, 39-31. Maybe Florida GOPers are starting to rally to Rubio...
As for my picks today in some of the primary elections, I still think the biggest race is in Pennsylvania in the Democratic senatorial race, and I still like Sestak over Specter.

Meanwhile, in Connecticut, Democratic Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal has claimed in public statements in the past that he served in Vietnam--when in fact he didn't. Republicans are jumping on this. As they should. The Connecticut senate race was considered not long ago a shoo-in for Dems to win, given Blumenthal's popularity in that state. It no longer is. Get money and resources in there, NRCC...

The generic ballot for 2010 still looks pretty good for Republicans--both Gallup and Rasmussen show the GOP with a small lead.