June, 22nd 2010

Murray's Karl Rove fundraising gambit

– Liz Mair

Democrats across the country may be playing off of the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico to raise money, but Patty Murray, it appears, isn't one of them.  Nope: Murray is using something more tried-and-tested-- hyping the dreaded Karl Rove's determination to take her down this November. 

Here's a screenshot of an email I received just a few minutes ago, entitled "Karl Rove & Dino Rossi":

Why I find this interesting: Right now, I know very few self-proclaimed liberals or progressives (i.e., Democrats' online fundraising base) who aren't pissed off as all get out with Democratic leadership in Washington, DC.  It bears a reminder, of course, that in the Senate, Murray is the #4 ranking member of said leadership, which has moved everything from a health care bill lacking a public option (which her base hates), to financial reform that many liberals/progressives deem toothless, and which has basically stalled on progressing (no pun intended) cap-and-trade and has been relatively silent when it comes to that favorite old Democratic base concern-- getting US troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. 

I have no doubt that the base will turn out and vote for Murray and her fellow Democrats.  I also have no doubt that unions will whip their members to go volunteer and knock on doors to help turn out the vote for Democrats as November nears.  But make no mistake, a relatively subdued and unenthused base is a problem for Democrats as they head into November, primarily because together with the continued crappy state of the economy, it's going to mean they'll raise less money than they otherwise might-- and as much as I, or they, may not like it, the fact is, in states with relatively large media markets (say, Seattle), money is going to matter. 

In Murray's case, that is especially so, since Dino Rossi is considered to be quite the prolific fundraiser-- and since it appears that American Crossroads, an effort in which former RNC Chairman Mike Duncan, my former boss and someone I personally know also to be excellent at bringing in and smartly spending the dough, is involved, is also looking to engage in the Washington Senate race.

Ultimately, Murray will still have a line into her biggest donors-- lawyers and lobbyists (everybody's fave influencers of American politics!), so no one should worry inordinately that her campaign is about to be sent to the proverbial poor house.  But it is interesting to see that Democratic leaders like her have pretty much nothing to show their base for several years' worth of work on their part, hence the need to "run home to Momma"--  big, bad Karl Rove and his evil Republican henchmen. 

Liberals and progressives think their own leaders suck (and they do), but Karl Rove, despite having failed to deliver that famed "permanent majority" is, it appears, still a leader more feared than ineffective Harry Reid-- or his deputy, Patty Murray.  We'll soon know how effective gambits like this are, however, with June 30 just around the corner. [intro]


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