Monday, November 02, 2009

Roll the dice

By Carl

Tomorrow could conceivably be the biggest off-year election for the next decade, at least.

It is in this spirit that I believe Barack Obama needs to roll the dice or
go all-in:
Democrats and Republicans in three states entered their final full day of campaigning ahead of Tuesday's elections, with the White House carefully targeting its resources in a bid to head off Republican victories.

Vice President Biden plans to join Democratic candidate Bill Owens, who is running against a third-party conservative candidate in an upstate New York congressional election, at a rally Monday morning.

Owens is fighting head-to-head against Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, after GOP candidate Dede Scozzafava dropped out over the weekend. Scozzafava, who was criticized as too moderate by members of her own party, endorsed Owens on Sunday. But it's unclear how much of an impact that endorsement will have, as many of her supporters are expected to drift toward Hoffman's candidacy.

Meanwhile, President Obama headlined two rallies for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine Sunday, pushing to drive up turnout as Republican challenger Chris Christie did the same.

Having written off the incompetent campaign of Creigh Deeds in Virginia, Obama has put a lot of effort into Corzine's campaign in New Jersey.

The most recent non-partisan polls, like Quinnipiac College, show Corzine with a small lead, but within the margin of error. Obama has made two visits to the state in the past week, with another set for today.

While he's there, however, he might want to consider shoring up White House support in
New York's 23rd District.

Yes, Joe Biden will appear there, and yes, that's a high profile appearance, but neither Governor's race will reflect as much on Obama's administration as a race to replace his Secretary of the Army, Republican John McHugh.

As I mentioned in the earlier post I linked to, McHugh's seat is a long-time moderate Republican stronghold, but there's been a twist: the Republican moderate has dropped out of the race...and thrown her support to the Democrat against a conservative insurgent candidate!

This is a situation that cries out for Obama's special attention and a last minute surprise appearance could make that endorsement of Scozzafava not only brilliant, but pave the way for her advancement in politics.

In other words, the New York State Republican party would owe Obama a favor, albeit a minor one, and one he might parlay into something useful to both himself and the nation at large.

Like, perhaps, passing a bill that allows NYS to be a testing ground for a public healthcare option. This would not be inconsistent with former Governor George Pataki's expansion of the Child Health Plus program to cover families, and would be a shot in the arm to retaining businesses in the state.

Win-win, as it were.

Imagine Joe Biden, standing there at the rally in Watertown. Thousands of curious upstaters come out, cheering, and suddenly Joe Biden announces Barack Obama.

Talk about a breaking news story! Talk about a game-changing appearance!

It could happen. It should happen. I hope it does.

(crossposted to
Simply Left Behind)

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