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NYT: Loss Of NY 23rd Is “Blow To Right”

From the ever predictable New York Times:

Conservative Loses Upstate House Race in Blow to Right

By JEREMY W. PETERS

November 4, 2009

SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. — Democrats won a special election in New York State’s northernmost Congressional district Tuesday, a setback for national conservatives who heavily promoted a third candidate in what became an intense debate over the direction of the Republican Party

The district has been a Republican stronghold for generations, and the party has represented parts of it since the 19th century.

The battle became one of the most closely followed races in the nation, drawing in some of the biggest forces in politics in both parties. Republicans who viewed the race as a test of the party’s most deeply held conservative principles — including Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska; Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, a presidential hopeful; and grass-roots groups that have forcefully opposed Democratic economic and health care policies — rallied behind Mr. Hoffman.

Democrats threw muscle behind the race as well, eager to avoid a potentially embarrassing defeat as President Obama’s approval ratings have softened and efforts to portray them as the party of big government and deficit spending appear to be sticking. A win in the Republican-leaning 23rd Congressional District would provide Democrats with a welcome boost, while a loss would reinforce the notion that the party is struggling

Leading conservative voices — including The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page and The Weekly Standard and the talk show personalities Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck — took on the Republican nominee, Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, who supports gay rights and abortion rights and had embraced some Democratic economic policies like the federal stimulus package. They labeled her as too liberal.

The attacks on Ms. Scozzafava eventually took their toll, and she stunned her party over the weekend first by withdrawing from the race and then by urging her supporters to vote for Mr. Owens, a 60-year-old lawyer from Plattsburgh.

But the ballots had already been printed, and early results showed her picking up 6 percent of the vote. It was unclear how many of those were protest votes, and how many simply did not know she had left the race.

The White House became closely involved in the efforts to boost Mr. Owens’s candidacy in the final days of the campaign. They orchestrated an effort that persuaded Ms. Scozzafava to endorse Mr. Owens. Vice President Joseph R. Biden rolled through the district on Monday to support Mr. Owens.

But the race was perhaps most notable for the fissures it opened in the Republican Party. Ms. Scozzafava, who was selected as the Republican nominee by the 11 leaders of the county committees that comprise this vast district along the Canadian border, was excoriated by Washington’s conservative establishment almost as soon as she was nominated.

Ms. Scozzafava united social and fiscal conservatives from across the country firmly behind Mr. Hoffman, a previously unknown 59-year-old accountant from Lake Placid — which is not in the district. ..

The Club for Growth, a group that promotes limited government and lower taxes, spent about $1 million promoting Mr. Hoffman. Social conservative organizations like the Susan B. Anthony List, which opposes abortion, and the National Organization for Marriage, which fights same-sex marriage laws, joined forces in support of Mr. Hoffman. They printed literature, made phone calls and flooded the district with volunteers from across the country.

“This is probably the most amazing coalition-building I’ve seen in a long time — probably decades,” said Marilyn Musgrave, a former Republican congresswoman from Colorado who now works with the Susan B. Anthony List and came to New York to campaign for Mr. Hoffman.

On Tuesday morning, Ms. Musgrave stood in frigid weather for several hours outside a state office building in downtown Watertown with a group of home-schooled students passing out blue fliers that read, “Doug Hoffman shares our values!”

It’s kind of hard to see this as a blow to the right when the conservative candidate got 49% of the vote to the Democrats 49% — and the titular Republican got 6% of the vote.

Not to mention Scozzafava’s endorsement of the Democrat. (And we won’t even get into the suspiciously high number of absentee ballots.)

A win in the Republican-leaning 23rd Congressional District would provide Democrats with a welcome boost, while a loss would reinforce the notion that the party is struggling.

And pay no attention whatsoever to those other races. When did governors ever compare to Representatives, anyway?

Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, who supports gay rights and abortion rights and had embraced some Democratic economic policies like the federal stimulus package. [Leading conservatives] labeled her as too liberal.

Where did they ever get such a crazy idea?

[The White House] orchestrated an effort that persuaded Ms. Scozzafava to endorse Mr. Owens.

Maybe her name should be pronounced ‘scuzzy favor.’

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, November 4th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “NYT: Loss Of NY 23rd Is “Blow To Right””

  1. Confucius says:

    Losing NY-23 is a blow to the RNC and not the conservative movement.

    It also proves that RINOs are natural-born losers. And that the DNC learns faster then the RNC.

  2. proreason says:

    If somebody had bought Mr. Hoffman a suit that fit him, we would be celebrating him as a hero today.

    (But frankly, I think he is a hero anyway. God bless him, even with a bad suit.)

    • Confucius says:

      I noted the ill-fitting suit too. It was almost as embarrassing as his meekish body language.

    • Right of the People says:

      He’s an accountant for heaven’s sake, he’s supposed to look mousey.

      If he’d been picked from the beginning instead of the Scuzzy Hag like he should have been and given support early on, he’d be the winner today. I heard him on the Glenn Beck show about a month ago when the RNC was still trying to act like he didn’t exist. Steele and the rest of the ass clowns at the RNC should be ashamed. They won’t get another penny from me.

    • proreason says:

      “He’s an accountant for heaven’s sake, he’s supposed to look mousey. ”

      He lost at least 3% with the suit, more with women.

      People are in-tune to personal appearance….it’s in our genes…..we make judgements within seconds on that stuff….unless the candidate is an Einstein, which Doug isn’t.

      Nice man, good conservative. God bless him. His candidacy had an impact that will reverberate for decades.

      But we need better candidates than Mr Hoffman next year.

    • Petronius says:

      Right of the People: “They [RNC] won’t get another penny from me.”

      I believe it was Sam Francis who first dubbed the Republicans as “the Stupid Party.”

      The RNC gave $900,000 to Scuzzyfrodo for her campaign. Then she turned around and endorsed the Democrat.

      This is why I am not a Republican.

      Doug Hoffman is precisely the type of citizen-patriot whom the founders had in mind to lead their new republic. It was a noble ideal.

  3. Melly says:

    The 23rd District is economically depressed up there. They are liberal when it comes to welfare issues. Funny, the Dem didn’t get the majority vote. Were it not for the RINO (Thank you Mr. Steele) the Republicans would have won the seat.

  4. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    Answer me this NY Times, what was the difference between Scozzafava and Owens. Name one policy difference. So how is the rebuke of a Democratic candidate, Scozzafava, by the GOP a rift? I forgot, that is how the Times likes their Republicans. To me it says a lot that a third party challanger can remove an obivious plant and barely lose in an extremely close election with just 30 days of campaigning. Maybe there is hope for America afterall.

  5. BigOil says:

    Hoffman shows up 30 days before an election…never held public office… no major party backing…is thrust into the national spotlight and comes under assault by both political machines.

    He bags himself a RINO and comes within 3 percentage points of winning a seat in the House of Representatives. Looks like a success story to me.

  6. antihippy79 says:

    Not to split hairs…but you wrote:

    “It’s kind of hard to see this as a blow to the right when the conservative candidate got 49% of the vote to the Democrats 49% — and the titular Republican got 6% of the vote.”

    I know its a Democratic win, but it should STILL add up to 100% of the total vote…unless of course Acorn is doing the counting.

  7. proreason says:

    ring ring

    “Dick Morris here. Political Operative Extraordinaire.”

    “Hi Dick, Your President here, and I’ve got Rahm and the most beautiful woman in the world with me.”

    “Does Michelle know? Oh wait, wait…good. GOOD, sir!

    “Dick, we have something here you might be interested in.”

    “Sir, I’ve been expecting this call. Like you, I’ve been thinking about last night, and I have lots of ideas. I did this before for the first Black President, and I can do it for you too, sir. But, heh heh, the price will be a little different this time. Heh, heh.”

    “Dick, shove it up your ass. We aren’t interested in your triangulation crap. Actually, we have something else to ask of you.”

    “What sir, what is it.”

    “It’s this you whiney shithead. Do you want a lower bunk or an upper bunk in the Gulag. We’ve already got it ready in Montana for you and every other shithead at Fox News and the Tea Baggers who won’t shut up, and shut up now. Verstehen sie? Auf wiedersehn Dickhead, und viel Glück.”

    click

  8. philmarlowe says:

    Considering where Hoffman’s name appeared on the ballot, and the last-minute circumstances surrounding this race, this was a resounding victory for the right.

    Let it serve as a lesson to the country club Republican party in this state and elsewhere; without candidates that appeal strongly to its conservative base, the Republican party is doomed to a permanent minority role.

  9. proreason says:

    Newt speaks.

    “She was the wrong nominee and it was a terrible position.” i.e., Newt’s was a terrible position.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/11/04/gingrich-on-ny-23-conservatives-have-every-right-to-be-angry-at-me/

    This of course, won’t quell the long knives, but I don’t know what else the man could say.

    As I’ve said in several ways in the last few days, the man deserves respect. Nobody is right 100% of the time. Without people like him, we won’t be able to throw the real enemies in jail and swallow the keys.

    • Confucius says:

      I saw Newt’s mea culpa too. He sounded earnest.

      If he’d only give up the whole global warming bit, I’d trust him again.

  10. U NO HOO says:

    Uhhhhh, Obama won 52-47 in NY23 in 2008. This district is hardly a Republican stronghold.

    Scazzafova would have voted along Owen’s party line and McHugh the turncoat was rated 71% Conservative, sooooo, what’s all the hub bub BUBB?


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