Pennsylvania Dems Hate Obama?

by Jonathan Chait | May 19, 2010

The funniest election spin of the day comes from former Bushie Marc Thiessen:

The White House will try to distance itself from Specter (indeed, it began doing so days ago when Obama and Vice President Joe Biden reneged on theirs promises to campaign for him). But there is no getting around that this was a repudiation of the president. He ushered Specter into the Democratic party and embraced him – and voters rejected his chosen candidate at the polls. The lesson for Democrats was clear last night: Obama offers to endorse you, run the other way.

Really. Pennsylvania Democrats' choice to nominate Joe Sestak over a man they've been voting against for forty years was a repudiation of President Obama. This despite the fact that Obama has an 80% job approval rating among Pennsylvania Democrats. Thiessen seems to be suggesting that Specter lost a Democratic primary not despite Obama's endorsement but because of it. Isn't it just a little strange that Specter spent all his energy trying to tie himself to Obama, and that Sestak devoted his energy to tying Specter to George W. Bush?

Liberals made some fuss when the Washington Post hired Thiessen as a columnist, and I'm sure that the Post dismissed it as liberals carping because they don't want any conservatives on their op-ed page. But here's the problem. You can get partisan spin like this from party operatives who make the television rounds. It's just a game -- the hacks often fail to keep a straight face when they're doing it. But when you hire newspaper columnists, you want writers who actually write what they believe, and aren't just passing off party spin. And I doubt even a figure as dimwitted as Thiessen could actually believe what he wrote.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-chait/75044/pennsylvania-dems-hate-obama