Whatever happens Tuesday in New Jersey and Virginia, that doesn't necessarily reflect on President Obama, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today.
Gibbs reminded reporters that Democrats won in both states in 2001 when Republican President George W. Bush had just taken office. At that time, Bush was at the height of popularity following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
But on Nov. 6, 2001 Democrat Mark Warner (now a U.S. senator) was elected in Virginia and Democrat Jim McGreevey won in New Jersey.
"I don't think anybody thought President Bush was significantly hampered by that ... Whatever the results are I don't think they portend a lot in dealing with the future," Gibbs said during the briefing.
"We continue to take the long view on what's going on in Washington and in the country," Gibbs said.
"We'll have time to dissect" the results after Tuesday, he said.
TPMDC hears that Obama is planning to be out of town on Wednesday at an event in the middle of the country.
The DCCC has a new TV ad in the NY-23 special election, attacking Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman for supporting trade policies that the ad says would ship jobs to India and China.
"Hoffman wants to keep tax breaks for companies who ship our jobs overseas," the announcer says. "New York has lost 50,000 jobs due to bad trade deals, yet Hoffman's biggest backers want more unfair trade deals. Millionaire Doug Hoffman -- looking out for himself, not us."
Yesterday, Hoffman launched an attack ad against Democratic candidate Bill Owens, completely ignoring moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava, who has slipped down to third place in recent polls. So now the Dems are responding to Hoffman in kind.
Earlier this week, we reported that Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina had recently sent out mailers that urged recipients to lobby Sen. Kay Hagan to oppose a public option, which it called "a slippery slope to single payer." (You can see the mailer here.)
The story was picked up by the Raleigh News & Observer, which added an additional key fact: Just before sending out the mailer, BCBS of North Carolina had informed its customers that their rates would rise by an average of 11 percent next year.
In his previous memo, Luntz warned conservatives not to tie health care reform efforts to President Obama--the President's name, he warned, helped buoy the overall level of support for reform. Luntz now says that's not true--but he nonetheless counsels reform opponents not to use the term 'Obamacare.'
"[y]ou can talk about opposing "President Obama's Plan," Luntz writes. "But don't. While you no-longer [sic] shoot yourself in the foot by criticizing the President, you would do much better to criticize Congress."
We asked Jim Manley, the spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, whether Sen. Joe Lieberman's (I-CT) position in the Democratic caucus was still secure, in light of his declaration that he will probably campaign for some Republican candidates in the 2010 election -- or as Lieberman said, "I'm going to call them as I see them."
Manley told us: "Senator Lieberman may call them as he see's them, but for Senator Reid, the only thing that he is focused on right now is delivering on the president's promise of comprehensive health care reform."