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September 15, 2010

Pragmatism v. Principle In Delaware (Not A Rehashing Of The Primary, I Promise) ADDED: Harry Reid Calls Coons "My Pet"

Hey, I was just thinking there hasn’t been enough written about the DE Senate race in DE and that I should fix that. Really, there’s no need to thank me.

Let me start by saying, I’m not interested in relitigating the primary. It’s over, the voters have spoken and Christine O’Donnell has won. I honestly congratulate her and her supporters.

Now what do we do?

My answer….not much.

I was listening to Rush this afternoon and he echoed what I heard here quite a bit last night, if control of the Senate is so important that we needed to accept Mike “RINO” Castle, then we should put as much effort into winning the seat (and the Senate) with O’Donnell.

In the name of party unity, I’m happy to say, I agree entirely.

Here’s the catch…if Mike Castle had won, I’d have suggested we spend exactly no resources in helping him win.


If the Democrats had nominated a guy like Beau Biden and he was safely set to pick up where his dad left off, I’d have suggested we do what we always do in Delaware Senate races…ignore it no matter who the candidate is. But Castle v. Coons? Castle would have won that had he spent the next two months in Aruba (which given his campaign against O’Donnell might have been a good idea).

That was the imperfect beauty of Castle…we didn’t have to spend or do anything to get a win in Delaware. Now that O’Donnell is the nominee we have by all accounts an uphill climb. We can differ on the likelihood of eventual success and the merits of expending limited resources on this seat but I’m pretty sure we can agree that will take more than $42,000 from the NRSC to do it.

This is probably also how the national Democrats are looking at this race...they put up a 2nd/3rd stringer figuring they lose without spending any money on him against Castle. At this point they are guessing they won't have to spend much if any (he has close to a million in the bank) on him to beat O'Donnell.

In short, Delaware was always looked at as a cost free win or loss. It was never going to be a battle ground.

What bothers me post primary night is not that O’Donnell won but the notion that somehow a candidate everyone acknowledges is down by at least 10 points should now become a priority race. Perhaps even the priority race.

Personally I would rank WV, CA, CO, IL, NV, WI, WA, FL, KY, MO, NH, OH, PA ahead of DE. Not out of personal pique but because they are much closer races. Now, some of those races may move from the contested ranks to ‘sure things’ as we get closer to election day and we can shift resources away from them to more long-shot races like DE.

Another possibility is that O’Donnell closes the gap in the coming weeks and makes investing there a reasonable option.

Either way, until one of those two things happens, I think we should treat O’Donnell exactly like any other candidate down by 10.…wish her well, say nothing bad about her but not spend much on her race.

The simple fact is, not all races are created equal. We will not be spending any time, money or resources on Joe DioGuardi in NY against Kirsten Gillibrand nor any number of other candidates who are not competitive right out of the gate. I'm not singling O'Donnell out for punishment for daring to run against and beat an establishment candidate, I'm for treating her like we would any one else in her spot.

To me, that’s the pragmatist case for dealing with Delaware pre and post primary, regardless of the winner last night.

Now, my wish is not the world’s command…between the shot in the arm she got in donations last night, DeMint’s pledge to fundraise for her and Rush’s promotion of her today…she’s going to have plenty of money. I just hope it’s not money that could have been used elsewhere to win races being spent simply to make this one closer but never quite close enough.

I guess we’ll see.

UPDATE: Leave it to Harry Reid to bring the weird.

But Reid said Coons would have won even if Rep. Mike Castle (R) had prevailed over O'Donnell.

"I'm going to be very honest with you — Chris Coons, everybody knows him in the Democratic caucus. He's my pet. He's my favorite candidate," Reid said.

digg this
posted by DrewM. at 05:24 PM

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