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Friday, October 23, 2009

White House Backs Away From Deeds

The Washington Post:

Top Democrats seek to shield Obama in case of election loss

Sensing that victory in the race for Virginia governor is slipping away, Democrats at the national level are laying the groundwork to blame a loss in a key swing state on a weak candidate who ran a poor campaign that failed to fully embrace President Obama until days before the election.

The White House is getting as far away from Deeds now, as fast as possible, knowing that a big loss in Virginia does not bode well for Barack Obama and is likely to be interpreted as a sign of things to come as Obama falls out of favor with the public.

Obama has already seen the sharpest polling drop in 50 years for a first term president and it stands to reason that this would trickle down into politics at local levels.

The White House's attempt to distance themselves from Deeds is their way of trying to put a public relations "spin" on Deeds loss, but the problem here is that the election hasn't even occurred yet and the White House is basically telling people the race is over.

Hot Air gets the last word here because the analysis is spot on:

Not only have they not waited until the body was cold, the White House couldn’t wait until the corpse actually died to start burying Deeds in criticism. As for not embracing Obama enough, that will come as some surprise to Deeds. He has embraced higher taxes, which the Post used for its endorsement, remained open to the public option for health care reform, and embraced Obama on stage.

Everyone understands what was at stake for the Obama administration. Even if Deeds ran a campaign that was as arms-length as the White House claims, they would have trumpeted a win in Virginia as an endorsement of their agenda. They want the press to either make the same claim in a defeat — that Deeds ran against the Obama agenda and lost because of it — or that it has nothing to do with the White House at all.

That’s simply hogwash. Virginia has been a blue state for the last two cycles, at least on a national level. Obama won the state by 230,000 votes in 2008, about seven points, and Virginia has two Democrats in the Senate. If Deeds loses Virginia in a landslide, where many Beltway insiders live, that says quite a bit about the prospects of Barack Obama around the rest of the country.