Friday, May 18, 2012

President Obama Backs Stark For Congress

May 18, 2012 | Rep. Pete Stark's tougher-than-expected primary challenge got a boost from on high Friday. President Barack Obama announced his endorsement of the 40-year congressman in the 15th congressional district.

“Congressman Pete Stark is a tireless champion for all of the 15th’s working families,” said President Obama. “We’ve worked hard these last three years to bring meaningful, positive change to our nation – fighting for good jobs, good schools and a health care system that works for all of our citizens. We have made great strides, but there is much more to do. That is why we need his dedicated efforts back in Congress to continue the fight with me. I need you to cast your vote for Congressman Stark in the June 5 Democratic Congressional Primary.”

The high profile presidential endorsement comes more than two weeks before possibly the biggest primary challenge Stark has faced since becoming an East Bay congressman in 1973. In the state's new top two primary system, fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell, a first-term Dublin councilman, will likely face Stark a second time in the November general election.

“I am honored to receive the President’s endorsement,” Stark said. “After a campaign focused on health care, working families and economic development, my first task back in Congress will be to work with the President and other members of Congress to get our economy back on the right track.”

President Obama must be a forgiving man. During a town hall meeting last September in Hayward, when speaking about the perception Obama acquiesced to Republican too often, Stark called him a "lousy politician."

SOCIAL MEDIA SHENANIGANS Fodder for those who believe, despite the incessant rhetoric of Rep. Pete Stark irascible nature, it has been Eric Swalwell who has run the far more negative campaign is coming from the realm of social media. A Facebook page, titled, "The Stark Truth," nicely highlights some of Stark's low lights over the years. The page is paid for by the Swalwell campaign, but a Twitter account named @PeteSnark also popped up earlier this week has no identifiable source. Nonetheless, the feed had one funny tweet a few days ago. "Well guess I'm officially the craziest one left RT @HuffPostPol It's official: Dennis Kucinich's time in Congress is ending"

WAR IN IRAN? Speaking of Dennis Kucinich, the long-time congressman and presidential candidate who lost his primary challenge earlier this year in Ohio, made hay this week about a bipartisan House resolution he said draws a convenient line in the sand for the administration to eventually wage war this year against Iran. Stark voted Thursday with just 10 other representative against the resolution, to which Swalwell commented on Facebook the decision again shows Stark is out of touch. Exactly, who Stark is out of touch with, though, is not clear. Stark has also been a pacifist when it comes to foreign wars--it's how he got elected in 1973--and his consistent stand against the current wars in the Middle East has always been a very popular stance among his constituents. In the past, Swalwell has used a similar argument when it comes to his perception of Stark being anti-Israel. However, Stark has always proclaimed to have never voted for approving arms sales to any foreign country, including its important ally, Israel.


Pete Stark has been reduced to just a vote in congress. He could have retired gracefully rather than trying to hang on when everyone wanted someone new.
Now his supporters are far more interested in just keeping the seat "open" so that their true choices can have a open path in 2014 (If Pete retires).

Neither Corbett nor Ro support Pete, except as to keep anyone else from interrupting their 2014 plans.

Left out of this little dance are the people of this new district, half of which don't have Pete as their incumbent.
Now Pete is turning down all public appearances where he'd be compared to other candidates.
Can't blame him given his last few performances and interviews.

Ro should have run. He would have won easily in November, just like Stark did in November 1972.

By MW:

I think we should now take Obama's endorsement of Pete Stark in the Congressional race exactly as seriously as the voters should have taken Willie Brown and Jerry Brown's endorsement of Nadia Lockyer in the race for a seat on the AC Board of Supervisors.

In other words, etiquette pretty much requires Obama to pretend to believe that Stark is the best candidate, and to therefore publicly back Stark, and regardless of his private beliefs about Stark; and just as etiquette pretty much required Willie Brown and Jerry Brown to pretend to believe that Nadia Lockyer was the best candidate in the race for AC Supervisor, and to therefore endorse and publicly back her, and regardless of the private beliefs they had about her; and for that matter just as etiquette pretty much required Hillary Clinton, at least for awhile, to pretend to believe there was no truth in the allegations concerning Bill Clinton's relationships with Monica Lewinsky and Gennifer Flowers, etc, etc, etc.

In fact every time somebody such as and/or similar to Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Willie Brown, Jerry Brown, Bill Lockyer, Nadia Lockyer, John Edwards, or Pete Stark, etc, says something "interesting," we should respond by asking them, "Do you really and truly believe that, or is that just the standard politician's (or lawyer's) lies and garbage"!!!

Two weeks to go before the primary.

Pete's (handler's) plan, stay under cover. Say nothing, send out a couple well produced mailers. Finish in first place easily.
Then continue "doing the people's work" thru September.
Make only a few appearances in October. Send out some more well produced mailers, and appear at the most minimal number of live events or forums.

Pray that for most folks this election remains below the radar and they knee-jerk vote the incumbent back in.
Also count on a pro-Obama good will wave to bring out the faithful even though California is not in play. Many will turn out for a "close election" even though Obama will win California by a huge margin. Pete could benefit from this.

Expect Ro to campaign more for Pete than Pete himself. You bet he is worried about 2014.

Question, does Pete get over 50% in June?
He certainly will get over 40%.
So what percent leaves the November election competitive. 45%? 47%?
Because if he is >51% then he looks safe, baring any more disasterous public appearances.

OK... 49%, 38%, 13% My prediction.
That is probably optimistic for Swalwell as he is largely unknown and not offering a huge set of ideas that people are aware of.
Rather he is the Not-Pete candidate.
Top Pete vote... 56%, So 48% -- 56% range.

Recent polling has Pete winning by at least 20%. Swalwell has run one of the worst campaigns, offering no ideas.

He could have beaten Pete, but he was a terrible candidate. Empty suit. Ro should have run. He would have beaten Pete by at least 15 points.

Oh well, I guess the district will have to wait until 2014. My guess Ro will clear the field then, especially if his book is what its cracked up to be. People would be foolish to run in 14 against him. Now, was the shot!

"Recent polling has Pete winning by at least 20%. Swalwell has run one of the worst campaigns, offering no ideas."

Yeah, he might win by 20%...
Every time you get enthused about a race, you usually end up finding that the general public has not heard any of the back and forth, so they march into the poll and vote just like they always have.
Lets see, 20% would be something like 55-35-10 or 54-34-12. Actually that sounds about right.
Either way, if Pete gets over 50% in June, he will probably increase that number by 5% or more in November. He has to be kept under 50% for Swalwell to have a chance and that doesn't appear to be likely.

Swalwell has had several gifts handed to him by Pete's behavior, yet he doesn't seem to have a clear theme. Back in 1972, Pete had the Vietnam war which was hot and heavy at the time and his opponent was supporting that war, while the local public was against it.

Such a defining issue isn't apparent now.
Only real issue seems to be Pete's mental decline, age, and behavior.

Pete's best chance is to keep quiet and healthy.
Swalwell needs for Pete to appear at least one more time in a debate/forum and then on video, blow it again.
Maybe he'll get caught shoplifting, or in a cheap motel with a meth addict?
Well, its not like that never happens in Alameda County politics.

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