Friday, October 1, 2010

Whistling past the graveyard: House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn denies doomsday prediction

image You have to hand it to the Democrat leadership.  After dragging their caucus—kicking and screaming, in many cases—through one of the most contentious sessions of Congress in recent history, their unwillingness to publicly admit that an electoral disaster looms 30 days hence demonstrates remarkable Spin-Doctorsmanship and discipline.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn—the number  three man in the Democrat House Leadership—emerged from a meeting with President Barack Obama yesterday and defiantly dismissed predictions of a Tsunami  washing Democratics out of DC on November 2:

Clyburn said Obama and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate were upbeat at the White House session to discuss election prospects and craft a legislative agenda for the lame-duck session after the Nov. 2 elections.

"Everybody was upbeat," Clyburn told McClatchy. "The president was upbeat, we were upbeat, our members who left (Washington) last night were upbeat. As I travel the country, I don't hear all this gloom and doom out there that everybody's talking about."

After the White House meeting, Clyburn huddled with Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine, a former Virginia governor, to discuss election prospects.

With most analysts predicting that Republicans will regain control of the House, Clyburn said Democratic control will hold — though with a narrower margin.

No one—not even Jim Clyburn really believes this nonsense. Reliably Democrat-leaning Political prognosticators like Charlie Cook are writing off the possibility of Clyburn, Pelosi and Hoyer keeping their House Leadership jobs in January.  This followed Stu Rothenberg’s equally dire prediction.  Meanwhile, University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato was sticking to his now month-old prediction of a 47-seat switch.

What about the Senate?

Sabato points out that the House has switched parties six times since World War II, and in every one of those instances, the upper chamber flipped as well.  Most pundits and prognosticators expect that the Democrats will break that streak this time and that the GOP will fall a few seats short of ending Dingy Harry Reid’s rein as Majority Leader.

Thirty two days, baby.  Thirty two days, and we’ll see.