In a Thanksgiving morning post listing reasons why each of our two big too fail political parties should be thankful this holiday season, POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt got his factoids wrong.
After first reciting, correctly, that Kentucky voters do not like the President of the United States of America, Alex then highlighted Beshear’s landslide victory:
Now, his campaign playbook is a one-stop manual for how Democrats can win in conservative states where the president is lagging: distance yourself from the national party and run as a nonideological, pro-business leader who’s willing to work with Republicans as well as Democrats. Best of all, Beshear managed the feat without completely throwing his president and party to the wolves.
When the dust settled on Election Day, Beshear defeated GOP state Senate President David Williams 56 percent to 35 percent, an impressive margin of victory for an incumbent governor in any state — let alone a Democrat in a state where Obama will be lucky to win 40 percent of the vote in 2012.
This is an oversimplification of the state of Kentucky and what the rest of the nation could learn (if anything).
Beshear won big because, as Joe Gerth already pointed out, people do not like David Williams. Like, at all. Even Republicans can’t stand him.
Beshear won big because, as the Herald-Leader already pointed out, he had far more cash to play with.
Beshear had more money to play with because Republicans didn’t like David Williams. It was so sad that about the only way the Republican Governors Association could be pushed to get involved was to have Williams’ father-in-law give them the money to spend on David’s race.
It wasn’t just Republicans who didn’t like David Williams, it was the big monied interests who run this state. And that had less to do with David Williams and more to do with Steve Beshear.
Take King Coal, for example. Beshear is so far down their right pant pocket, they needn’t bother themselves with David Williams or anyone else. In fact, Beshear’s campaign was a boon for the coal industry not simply from a regulatory standpoint but because they didn’t have to drop any real cash on the race. They simply sat this one out and saved it up for 2015 when they’ll try to buy the next guy, one way or another.
This is not a “campaign playbook” for anyone, let alone “a one stop manual for how Democrats can win in conservative states.”
It simply is not. To pretend Kentucky and Steve Beshear have lessons to behold makes for an easy column point on Thanksgiving morning, but there’s very little about Beshear’s victory for which most Democrats could give any long term thanks.
And then there’s this line from POLITICO: “Best of all, Beshear managed the feat without completely throwing his president and party to the wolves.”
One must give them credit for choosing wolves as the object of the throw rather than some form of motorized mass transit, but that’s where the credit can stop.
That notion, if true, would be one helluva sad “thanks” for Democrats to offer up over their turkey.
It would be, if true, a heartening “playbook” plot point encouraging Dems in other states to not throw the Big O into the wood chipper.
But the key word is “completely” and that’s the saddest part. Beshear spent most of the year dumping on the President — usually over coal and the EPA. Steve went so far as to fabricate some big in-your-face moment he never had with the President on an airport tarmac.
He didn’t come out in support of Obama’s reelection until just days before the election.
So, the playbook for Dems in other states, for national wonks — and the thankfulness Democrats are supposed to have — comes down to this:
–If a Democrat runs against the President, attacks him, and is also lucky enough to get a Republican opponent so unpopular Joe Stalin might’ve beat him, then the Democrat might win, especially if he can raise millions and millions more than his useless, disliked opponent.
That’s the lesson from Kentucky. Don’t get us wrong… we’re still celebrating. It’s nice to win one once in a while down here. But only a deluded Democrat would give thanks for what this election might teach us.