Ray Sullivan, spokesman for the Perry campaign, had this reaction when I asked him about the NY-9 results. “The voters of New York City sent the message loud and clear last night by electing a Republican to Congress in a district that hadn’t done so in nearly 100 years. President Obama’s big-government economic policies, muddled foreign policies and tax and spend agenda are re-energizing conservatism in America.” He added that “just as the elections of Bob McConnell and Chris Christie in 2009 signaled our historic victories of 2010, last night’s election results from New York to Nevada send signals that President Obama will likely be a one-term president.” Well he has a point there. And let’s not forget Sen. Scott Brown.
A Romney spokeswoman told me, “Gov. Romney reached out to both candidates today to congratulate them on their victories. The results in New York and Nevada are a rejection of Obama’s failed policies. Gov. Romney has put forth a plan to get this country back on the right track and is the one candidate with the experience to do so.” (A source tells Right Turn that Romney and representative-elect Mark Amodei had a friendly chat.)
But it’s not just Republicans pointing out the implications of the race. The losing candidate in New York, David Weprin, tried to put some candor into the analysis in an interview with the Washington Jewish Week. He was asked what went wrong:
His reply: “The media, my opponent somewhat successfully made it a referendum on Obama. I don’t know if it was just Israel, but Israel certainly was a major part of it.” . . .
Asked if it was wrong for him to bash President Obama’s Israel policy, Weprin said: “I was pretty outspoken on the Israel stuff early on even before I was a candidate because I disagree with his policy on the ‘67 borders and even going back to that as a starting point.”
Moreover, “when it comes to the development of communities in Jerusalem that technically they refer to as settlement, I think that was a wrong premise. I was pretty outspoken on that,” Weprin said.
“All I know was what the sentiment was in the Jewish community,” he added, giving me the impression that it’s not good. “I saw it. I represent that constituency.” (However, he noted on the other hand that Obama has “done a lot of good stuff for Israel,” including providing the Jewish state with an unprecedented level of military aid.)
Well, that’s not going to help the pro-Obama spin squad, is it?
But let’s say for a moment that the issue wasn’t Israel. Isn’t that a worse takeaway for Democrats? I’m not sure they want to argue that the problem is not simply Jewish voters who have been “misinformed” but an administration that has turned off even historically strong Democratic voters.
After all, only a third of the electorate in the NY-9 is Jewish. So it’s not entirely fair, I think, to say Obama has only a “Jewish problem.” He has a reelection problem so serious that not even Jews are willing to go to the mat for him.