Palin trumps Gingrich

If you’re not familiar with a Congressional special election in NY state it involves the 23rd District which is traditionally conservative and Republican. The New York State GOP backed Dede Scozzafava as their candidate and it took a while but it became apparent that she might be too liberal for even some Democrats. When word got out about Scozzafava’s positions many thought the Republicans had nominated an extremist Democrat. Newt Gingrich endorsed her anyway. A Sienna College poll released yesterday shows her in third place with only a 20% share of voters supporting her.
Today she essentially exited the race releasing her supporters. This means Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman will probably win election on Tuesday in an election race the Republicans have bungled and will benefit from thanks in no part to their own actions.
In a gutsy move Sarah Palin endorsed Hoffman earlier on in the campaign. So did Rick Santorum. Hopefully this will convince Gingrich to forget any plans he has for 2012 as well as show other conservatives his true colors.

While this one seat means nothing in the overall count in the House at least the Democrats and Obama will not steal the bragging rights of a traditional Republican seat because of the ineptitude of the RNC.


  1. Would a win by a Palin/Beck-supported candidate in NY be telling? Or is this a situation where a Republican win in a typically Republican district doesn’t tell us anything about the larger political landscape?

  2. Jeremy – it’s telling because it reconfigures the Republican party in that area from “the way we’ve always done it” to “the way it needs to be done.”

    Candidates are traditionally vetted with archaic standards. If conservatives successfully break that pattern, it’s a big deal. There will be folks watching to see if it can be repeated.

  3. Thanks, good point.

    It seems to me like the national Republican leadership is about three steps behind where most Republicans are.

    Getting these two groups in sync. may be the biggest hurdle to returning Republicans to power.

  4. Bingo!

  5. The Lorax says:

    Only problem with your logic is, Cindy, that your party is moving farther and farther to the right. Do you really want Beck and Palin calling the shots?

  6. 1) Not actually my party.

    2) Both parties are splitting. Take notice of that lack of a health care bill. I’d say there are five parties currently. Far left, left, center, right, far right. If the far left seems loonier than the far right, the right will win and vice versa.

  7. Randy in Richmond says:

    Today Scozzafava announced she is supporting Bill Owens, the Democratic candidate. Gingrich has now swung his support to Hoffman.
    Actually I hope Owens wins because it will again show that when Republicans support middle of the road candidates–they generally lose. When that roughly 20% of moderates, those that don’t know what they stand for, have a choice between a Democrat and a ‘moderate’ Republican they generally vote for the Democrat. I’m pulling for the Democrat to win now that this race has become so public. And believe me, if Owens the Dem. wins, the MSM will be all over this. They will use it to overshadow the huge hit Obama is taking here in Virginia. Corzine winning in NJ isn’t that big a deal but a Democrat winning in a District that has been Republican since the War Between the States will give the MSM the diversion it needs to ignore the Virginia governor’s race. Even with that scenerio I’m still rooting for Owens(D).

  8. The Lorax says:

    when Republicans support middle of the road candidates–they generally lose.

    Just like McCain/Palin ’08. /snark

    And re: Virginia. What a huge defeat. Virginia is such a safe D state. Ok, now i’m really cutting the snark. >:)

  9. Randy in Richmond says:

    Just so I can understand, how has the GOP become more white in the past 4 years ?

  10. The Lorax says:

    Hispanics, mostly. But Asians. Most blacks were already Democrats, but there too.

    GOP = SOL


  11. The Lorax says:

    I’m fairly confident we could have a thoughtful conversation about the inefficiencies of our two-party system and how it fails to represent the wide swaths of values and ideas in society at-large.

    In a temporal sense, the GOP has been sliding since 2005 and losing traction. This isn’t just a play-by-play “who’s who” of loony The GOP has become more far-right, more cohesive, more militant, and more white.

    The five parties idea is (assuming you intended the lowercase ‘p’arty) is fine. Sure. But there are only two Parties. And those five small-p parties all throw their chips down on red or black at the end of the day. It’s relatively binary, and Gingrich was right here.

    In short: Step back for a minute and mull over the fact that Newt Gingrich is now a liberal conservative. Wow.

  12. Randy in Richmond says:

    In other words it is just your rhetoric in making a totally untrue statement that you have no facts with which to back it up. But it sounds good.

  13. It sounded real purty!

  14. The Lorax says:

    McCain got 31 percent of the Latino vote. Bush got 44% in 2004. Happy?

  15. it’s telling because it reconfigures the Republican party in that area from “the way we’ve always done it” to “the way it needs to be done.”
    Really, Cindy? Scozzafava has been repeatedly re-elected by the people “in that area” for doing good work for her district.

    Hoffman, on the other hand, doesn’t live in the district and has been proudly demonstrating his ignorance of issues of concern to the people “in that area” in favor of the pet issues of Beck and Palin. Imagine, for example, if I wandered up to Ron Kind’s district and ran against him with the support of, say, Olbermann and Kos, and only their talking points in my pocket.

    Is that really “the way it needs to be done”?

  16. Dang, Lorax. Is it me or is there a little context missing? There’s a lot more to gaining the ethnic vote than a party.

  17. Randy in Richmond says:

    Your statistic has nothing to do with your statement that “the GOP has become more white”. Your statement as made has no basis in fact. But yea, I’m happy.

  18. Folkbum, yes, really. The way it needs to be done is to have a district candidate vetted through a primary. This one was chosen through party leadership, a.k.a. the way it’s always been done there. A primary would have been preferred to the way it worked out, but the polling shows Hoffman should have been representing the Republican party for this race. Unless idiots are doing the polling, Scozzafava didn’t stand a chance.

    I suspect you are throwing something racial given your “quotes” for different places. To be honest, I don’t have a clue who votes in the district. I don’t really care. I’ve just been watching the numbers and reports.

    Sometimes I think you just come here and throw crap against the computer screen in hopes something will stick. Nope. Didn’t work. Again.

  19. The Lorax says:

    You’re right, the GOP can’t get much more white. But you’ve got Michael Steele. Woop!

  20. Randy in Richmond says:

    Apparently I didn’t get the talking points memo to quote the Palin/Beck influence on this issue. This was started by Frank Rich’s article where he throws a fit because the Republicans were acting like Democrats. ( DKOS and other sites have also picked up the mantra as has some on this site. I truly doubt that those referring to Beck listen to or watch him, but if you do–attaboy.

    folkbum–Is Hoffman doing anything illegal by living where he does ? You failed to mention his candancy is perfectly legal, he lives 10 miles outside the realigned District’s boundary and has numerous business’s located in the District. And if he has been “proudly demonstrating his ignorance of issues of concern to the people in that area”, then they won’t vote for him. Perhaps the Republicans should have done like the Democrats in Massachusetts, when they didn’t like the law they just passed several years ago to replace Sen. Kennedy they passed another law to suit the situation. Scozzafava was anointed–not elected in a primary. But it’s a local process that was abused. It is good to know that those of you on the left are concerned about the Republican’s procedures.

  21. Randy in Richmond says:

    Lorax is agreeing with himself.

  22. The Lorax says:

    Sarcasm nearly always escapes you, my friend.

    The caveat on the NY-23 is that i’m not a huge fan of Owens, Scoz, or Hoffman… but this gets to the salient point:

  23. Sarcasm is almost always the easy way out. How about some say-what-you-mean-and-mean-what-you-say commentary?

  24. Randy in Richmond says:

    Your sarcasm is always your excuse when you are questioned. It’s getting old. Since you only speak in sarcasm I will just skip reading your posts.

  25. The Lorax says:

    Glad we are on the same page, Randy.

  26. Randy in Richmond says:

    Reading between the lines of statements out of New York I believe there is more to this story than we now know. I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t discovered that Chicago style politics are at play here as well as a connection to Pennsylvania Ave.
    There are aspects to this story that do not pass the smell test. Time will tell.

  27. To paraphrase little Max from Where the Wild Things Are… Let the Wild Witchunt Begin!!

    P.S. Don’t forget about ACORN!

  28. Did the movie change the line? I thought it was “wild rumpus” but will need to check the book when I get home.

  29. Randy in Richmond says:

    It didn’t take as long as expected. Patrick Gaspard,the White House Political Director, also steeped in New York politics, “played a pivotal role in the effort over the weekend to persuade Republican State Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava to endorse the Democratic candidate in the special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, two senior White House officials said Sunday.”
    This would not be unusual except remember, Scozzafava is on the ballot as a Republican. I suspect if the Bush White House had interjected itself into a Democratic candidate’s election campaign the MSM would have gone ballistic. Here is the Washington Post’s wild witch-hunt article that includes this info.

  30. Randy, Cindy, I didn’t mean to just lob a bomb and go, but it’s been muy crazy in the folkbum world this week.

    I meant nothing racial–just a knock at Hoffman’s out-of-district candidacy. And no, Randy, it’s not illegal–though it continues to baffle me why in 220 years we haven’t made it so–but it takes a special kind of balls to walk into someone else’s district and dismiss, as Hoffman did to the hometown paper’s editorial board, every question about important local issues as “parochial.” I don’t care if Hoffman lives 10 feet or 10 miles or 10 counties away; he’s asking those people to elect him and he ought to be concerned and knowledgeable about their issues rather than irritated that he has to address them. Moreover, his explicit dissing of the district’s largest employer and its funding should be a gigantic red flag.

    It wouldn’t be any different in a primary, either; I maintain that Hoffman’s is the wrong way to elect a House member. It’s particularly remarkable given Republicans’ concern trolling over Dems’ treatment of moderate women (read Hillary) last year.

    And along the same lines, it’s Democrat Owens who is far and away leading the in-district fundraising contest, and not just as a percentage–through the last reporting period he raised three times Scozzafava and Hoffman combined from in the district.

  31. Yippee! I didn’t miss anything then.

    It is odd living out of district – Newcomer did the same thing here (that does have me thinking a bit…)

    Hoffman’s way might be “wrong” but it’s legal, and a primary would still have been better than an anointing. Money could talk in the end, but how can you explain the polling numbers?

  32. Randy in Richmond says:

    I agree that one should live in a district to run for office there. And the royal screw up the Republicans made in this instance will probably be helpful to the party in the long run. You can’t put leadership on automatic pilot. For heavens sake Scozzafava was endorsed by the Daily Kos, the RNC, and Newt Gingrich at the same time. But airhead Palin wasn’t fooled and did what leaders do, she made a decision based on the best info available. Much better than voting present.

  33. Randy in Richmond says:

    On the polling numbers. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a horse race or not, but each track has an expert handicapper who rates each horse before the day’s races. Sometimes he will set the odds on a horse at say 15:1 yet the thousands of race fans across the country (OTB figured in) will bet the horse to say 3:1 , and the horse goes on to win the race. The expert was wrong. It’s the same horse regardless. The voters in the 23rd District are like the race fans–collectively they know what’s going on and vote mostly on the facts–not what an expert (RNC or Gingrich) recommends. And the tipping point here was Palin and Santorum not following the Party line and independently endorsing the non-Republican. That caused everyone to look at who Scozzafava really was politically and that’s when the polls changed dramatically.

  34. Oh I get that. My point was more like the polling acting as the primary.

    Btw my grandfather bred and raced quarter horses. I’ve seen a track before but I was never old enough to bet. I’ll have to show you my pictures from the one in Ballinrobe Ireland someday.

  35. Lorax – Just what is the attraction of minorities to the Democratic party? Is it the legacy of Dems blocking the school house doors in the South in the early 60’s. Is it the legacy of the “great society” which instead of a helping hand encouraged and provided lifetime dependence on the government. This legacy has led to a very dysfunctional situation marked by continuing poverty and crime with people segregated to ghettos in cities overwhelmingly led by Dem pols. True oppression is the life of free lunch and government dependence offered by the Dems. Every election they are the solution to the problems they have created. This continuing situation might be the “attraction’ but it is not good for the soul.

  36. Randy in Richmond says:

    Well said. You could add the Democratic legacy of blocking the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which Republicans voted for in much higher percentages than the Democrats.

  37. And we could also talk about the Republican party being founded as an abolitionist party in good old Ripon, WI. But times changed, and there was a huge transition of the parties in the 60’s as a result of regional fractioning.

    Most minorities stuck with the Republicans until the Dixecrats became Republicans and the Rockefeller Republicans became Democrats.

  38. Randy in Richmond says:

    Based on what he proclaimed during his campaign , newly elected Democratic Congressman Bill Owens of that now famous 23rd District has already broken several promises he made repeatedly while trying to get votes. He obviously did this within days of being elected.

    I’m not at all surprised.