Thursday, May 27, 2010


It's no surprise that David Broder devotes most of his latest column to criticism of the White House for its real or imagined deal-making with Joe Sestak, with the usual straight-outta-GOP-framing references to Richard Daley the Elder and old-style Chicago politics. But then Broder decides the existing facts and rumors aren't sufficient and just starts making stuff up:

It's not the only time that this White House has been caught ham-handedly trying to play party boss. The governor of New York and his appointee to the U.S. Senate have both been targets of such manipulation -- with Gov. David Paterson being shoved out the door and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand protected from challenge.

Paterson was "shoved out the door" by the White House? Really? Um, David, do you read your own paper's reporting?

Embattled New York Gov. David Paterson (D) will not seek election this fall....

Paterson's decision will be greeted with a sigh of relief from state and national Democrats who openly fretted that his unpopularity could drag down the entire ticket in the state. The White House -- in the form of political director Patrick Gaspard -- tried to talk Paterson out of the contest last fall without success.

Yup, "without success": as you'll see if you check the links, the White House tried to nudge Paterson out of the race in September -- and Paterson simply refused. He didn't announce his withdrawal until February. (So let's see: We have Paterson just telling the White House to bugger off and we have Sestak allegedly telling the White House to bugger off. Man, these Obamaites must be some really thuggish party bosses.)

Oh, but it must have been the Oval Office Goon Squad that forced Paterson out, right? If not, what other explanation could there possibly be?

But, Paterson's political fortunes continued to decline in the months that followed and a New York Times story that ran earlier this week alleging that the governor had intervened in an assault case involving a top aide appeared to be the final blow.

Oh, right -- that. Silencing the victim in a domestic assault cause. Yeah, that made the governor look kinda bad.

Oh, and:

In a Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month, [Andrew] Cuomo led Paterson 55 percent to 23 percent in a Democratic primary matchup....

Oh, right, that too.

The White House does seem to have intervened on Gillibrand's behalf to prevent primary challenges -- but the big wheeler-dealer in this case seems to be Gillibrand's mentor, Chuck Schumer. And the best-known potential challenger to Gillibrand, Harold Ford, is out of the race largely because he ran the worst pre-campaign campaign ever, with flip-flops on gay rights and abortion accompanied by embarrassing comments about the soft life he leads.

Oh, and, um, when Karl Rove was picking candidates and running campaigns from the West Wing, how loud did Broder complain?

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