Search This Blog

Sunday, October 26, 2014



The expression “the chickens have come home to roost” has been around for almost as long as the English language. Geoffrey Chaucer used it in “The Parson’s Tale.”

“And ofte tyme swich cursynge wrongfully retorneth agayn to hym that curseth, as a bryd that retorneth agayn to his owene nest.”

On Nov. 4, the unpopularity of Barack Obama’s miserable presidency will come home to roost squarely on the heads of Democrats nationwide.

All those empty Obama speeches about the prosperity of the middle class, a safer world, better health care, immigration dignity, etc. — coupled with the optics of a president who is seen more often at parties, golf courses and fundraisers than at the office working — provide a nearly impossible hurdle for Democrats.

The question isn’t whether the Democratic Party will suffer a net loss in November; the question is how long the ghost of Obama will haunt his party.

And, please, don’t take my word for it.

Take Hillary Clinton’s. She already wears a hazardous materials pantsuit when anywhere near the president and his policies. She dissed him in her book, as did her husband’s acolyte, former Obama CIA Director Leon Panetta. Stand by for a lot more of that kind of nasty infighting.

Hillary, of course, can’t totally divorce herself from the Obama curse. She’s part of it. But at least she’s got a couple of years for voters to forget about it before her next election try.

Pity those Democratic incumbents locked in re-election races this election cycle. For them, the Obama curse unfolds in real time.

Mark Pryor in Arkansas, Mark Begich in Alaska, Mary Landrieu in Louisiana and Mark Udall in Colorado all run and hide from their complicity in promoting the Obama agenda.

The poster girl for this is Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire. She voted 99 percent of the time with Obama. Yet, when asked in a public forum whether she approved of the job Obama is doing, she said: “In some ways I approve, and some things I don’t approve.”

Her home-state audience laughed out loud at her ridiculous evasion.

If a relatively safe Democratic candidate such as Shaheen can’t stand tall with the president, one can understand why the president hasn’t been invited to campaign for Democrats in more competitive states.

That’s because he’s already poison to the brand.

Last week, the president called Al Sharpton’s race-baiting radio show and said this about Democratic incumbents facing stiff election challenges:

“The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress. So this isn’t about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me. … I tell them … you do what you need to do to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn out.”

Al Sharpton? “Our voters”? Could a president get more desperate, not to mention more demeaning?

What’s the old saying? The difference between genius and stupid is that genius has its limits?

Candidates such as Pryor and Landrieu can’t be happy. The president not only injects race into the mix, he confirms that “his” senators talk one way when they go home, but vote with him in Washington.

As we enter the last full week before the election, the Real Clear Politics average of polls in the various U.S. Senate races shows Democrats likely to lose the Senate to Republicans.

Add that to the fact that the sixth year of a presidency usually turns out badly for the president’s party anyway, and this election looks ugly for Democrats all the way around.

But the real question is how long Obama’s failed presidency — let’s face it, lack of performance does have its consequences — will roost upon the Democratic brand.

Think Jimmy Carter.


Sherman Frederick, former publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and member of the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame, writes a column for Stephens Media. Read his blog at

No comments:

Post a Comment