Monday, January 11, 2010

Wassup in Massachusetts?

The Democrats couldn't lose his seat, could they?

How abysmal has the Obama presidency been so far?

If one simply judges from the perspective of the American citizen, it has been a C, maybe a C-. Starting with health care was an atrociously bad idea. Going for too ambitious a health care bill compounded the problem. And settling for a bill that may not only be not good, but actively bad, surely proved that three wrongs don't make a right. Escalation in Afghanistan was an even worse decision for the health of American. Still it is year one, the presidency has a steep learning curve, and Obama has at least managed to produce rhetoric on the right side of some constitutional issues. Recall the last guy was an F- who thought of the Constitution as an impediment, so Obama has been better than that by far.

However, if one were to rate Obama strictly as a member of the Democratic Party, which no one on the Clarion Content's current editorial board is, we would have to think that they would be tempted to give him that F. Democrats are on the run nationwide. Obama and health care have set them up to be routed in the mid-term elections. Last week saw retirement announcements by Senators Chris Dodd and Bryon Dorgan, as well as Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. But even more dismaying to Democratic party members has to be that Obama is perceived as so bad that the most solidly blue of states may be abandoning him. Nowhere on the political map is a state as blue as Massachusetts. The Democrats have viewed the state as a birthright since the Kennedy era. But amazingly the special election to fill Edward Kennedy's Senate seat, to be held on January 19th, is in doubt. Or so say some of the polls.

The Wall Street Journal quotes one pollster, "The Massachusetts Senate race is shaping up as a potential disaster for Democrats." Our favorite poll analyst, since the untimely passing of Tim Russert, is Nate Silver. He takes on the various Massachusetts polls on his blog, FiveThirtyEight. His conclusion, "part of being a good forecaster is knowing when to make a bold forecast and knowing when to proceed with more caution; the Massachusetts race calls for a heavy dose of the latter."

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