Whenever a Democrat has lost an election in the past year, the loss has been depicted as a stinging rebuke of Barack Obama. Sure, some were also a rebuke of health care, and a vote against incumbency, but run down the list, and you’ll see race after race where Barack Obama was credited with a loss.
He’s the reason the Scott Brown defeated a wildly-unprepared and terrible candidate, Martha Coakley, in Massachusetts. He’s the reason that universally-disliked 30-year Sen. Arlen Specter (D?-Pa.) lost his Democratic primary race to an actual Democrat. Obama’s the reason Charles Djou won a Congressional district in Hawaii that is 70 percent Democrats; it had nothing to do with the fact that two viable Democrats were also running, and they split the vote, giving Djou a win with 39 percent of the electorate. It was all about Obama.
So let’s paint another picture. Imagine this: imagine a major political figure parachuted into a Congressional primary two months before the voting. Imagine that major figure sent his or her father and father-in-law ahead to campaign for the candidate. Imagine that he or she fundraised, and four days before the election, arrived in town for a rally at a 6,000-seat arena.
Now imagine that only 1,500-2,000 people actually showed up, even though tickets were $10-per person. It’s a story about former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin. When she stumped for Idaho Congressional candidate Vaugh Ward, she did it before a 1/3-full arena. By contrast, when Barack Obama visited Boise in February, 2008, 14,000 people showed up — 14,000 people in a state where he won just 36 percent of the vote on election day.
In her speech, Palin ripped Democrats, the president, the “lamestream media” (because she’s a child) and an endless list of bogeymen.
The left and some of the lamestream media, they can really play dirty sometimes, trust me on this one, I know this one,” Palin declared. “The things that they can do could be quite hurtful, so now more than ever Vaughn’s going to need your support.”
She said, “They see Vaughn as a threat. … They’re afraid of him because a vote for Vaughn is that vote to take the gavel away from the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda.”
An establishment favorite, Ward had a six-to-one money advantage over his primary opponent — a Puerto Rican! He also had a heavy TV presence, while his opponent only ran radio ads, and, again, he had the endorsement and direct support of Sarah Palin. So what happened?
Vaughn Ward got trounced, 48%-39%. It wasn’t even close. Sarah Palin couldn’t pull in people for an event, and she couldn’t get people to vote for the white guy in an Idaho Republican Congressional primary.
Yes, Vaughn Ward was a deeply flawed candidate — he plagiarized a speech by Barack Obama, thought Puerto Rico was a foreign country, and illegally appeared in uniform in one of his campaign ads — but he was also a Sarah Palin-favorite. When Barack Obama simply endorses a candidate who goes onto defeat, it was Obama’s fault. We’re still waiting to hear about Sarah Palin’s waning influence, waiting to hear an explanation of why her candidate lost, waiting for the lamestream media to finally start acting LAME.