FL-13 and the failure of the 'fix ObamaCare' strategy
Wasserman Schultz's "Republicans underperformed" spin has got to be one of the funniest Hail Mary passes in political history. What the hell, maybe some of the dimmer bulbs among her following will take some momentary comfort from it.
Personally, I would caution against reading too much into the Jolly win - this seems like an appropriate moment to recall Han Solo's advice to Luke Skywalker about not getting cocky - but the notion that David Jolly "underperformed" is utterly ludicrous, especially for anyone familiar with the rocky launch of his race (compared to Alex Sink's silky-smooth coronation as the Democrat candidate) and Sink's titanic financial advantage. Long-term incumbent Bill Young's legacy didn't count for all that much, given the intense Young family drama over whether Jolly was truly his chosen successor - a battle they played out in front of the cameras. It's a one-point Republican-leaning district that voted Obama for President twice. And Young didn't have a serious opponent for more than a decade.
This was a doable race for Democrats, and a "tale of the tape" between the candidates made Jolly a severe underdog by any objective measure. I would, again, caution against drawing any simplistic "ObamaCare killed Sink" conclusions, because there was a lot going on in this race, and special elections tend to be weird anyway. But clearly ObamaCare was a substantial net minus for the Democrat. 2014 incumbent candidates who actually voted for the Affordable Care Act must be scared out of their freaking wits this morning.
I'd say Sink's loss should send a strong message to Republican candidates, even more than Democrats, who are basically trying to outswim the Kraken at this point. Republican moderates inclined to cut deals and "fix" ObamaCare, take note: that's the platform Alex Sink ran on, and she lost. If anything, Jolly ended up over-performing eleventh-hour handicaps of the race.
This is no time to go wobbly, Republicans. ObamaCare must go. All of it. That is, everything King Barack hasn't waived by imperial fiat before the election rolls around.
There has never been a better time to rally behind full repeal. It's too bad we couldn't save the American people from suffering through the Affordable Care Act, but the sheer absurdity of watching Obama shred the Constitution in last-ditch efforts to keep his party alive through the 2014 election should rally the American people behind a repeal message. Republicans need to beat Democrats to death with that message - even Big Media sources are baldly stating that these last-minute waivers are nakedly political efforts to punch up Democrat poll numbers. Those quotes should be in every Republican ad. ObamaCare has no future, and neither does any candidate who thinks he or she can "fix" it.