Democratic Governors running against Washington?!?
Democratic governors facing grim budget choices, lingering unemployment and angry voters are pointing a finger at their colleagues in Democratic-controlled Washington to explain this year’s toxic political climate.
Few will fault President Barack Obama directly for their party’s plight heading into the fall midterm elections, but the chief executives gathered here for the National Governors Association (NGA) meeting believe the Congress and White House have made an already difficult year worse. . . .
“I think the bottom line is they’re not seeing the jobs that should have came from it,” said West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, explaining why voters in his state were dissatisfied with the massive spending bill. “Are we just protecting government or are we really stimulating the economy? Maybe it’s too early too tell.” . . .
“They may have oversold the job creation part of it,” observed Ritter, whose 2006 election heralded a Democratic resurgence in the Mountain West and whose decision not to run for re-election this year has illustrated the party’s declining fortunes in the region.
“They’re not satisfied with the pace of job recovery that they expected when the Recovery Act was passed,” he said of his state’s citizens. “Whether the President of the United States inherited this situation or not, he’s now owning it. For the federal government, this administration and the Congress to have not delivered [jobs] more quickly has become the problem.”
Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire said Democrats are paying a political price now in part because there was a failure to convey the economic urgency that necessitated the massive spending bill. . . .
“I’m disappointed in Washington,” said Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. “We can’t have Herbert Hoover economics coming out of some of the members of Congress. They don’t understand how you fight a recession. The federal government has to run a deficit in recessionary times because we’ve got to get out of the ditch.” . . .
“We’re not Washington,” said Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, who is facing a difficult re-election race for a second term. “In Iowa, we have a balanced budget, . . .
UPDATE: Another Democratic governor is heard from.
Tennesee Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, says his party must be more centrist
By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 9, 2010; 5:30 PM
The nation is on a "disastrous fiscal track" and Democrats must deal with it more directly or risk "huge" political consequences, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) said in an interview here Friday. . . .
But he was blunt in saying that his party has not been successful in expanding on its 2006 and 2008 victories and must move toward the center in order to win back support of independent and moderate voters.
Bredesen called the new health-care law "a missed opportunity," saying Democrats would have been better off politically if they had been able to put together bipartisan reform. He said efforts by a small, bipartisan group of governors to offer ideas for doing so were rebuffed by Congress.
The governor's comments reopened a long-standing schism within the Democratic Party between its liberal and centrist wings. Centrists held sway through much of Bill Clinton's presidency but the energy shifted to progressive and grassroots activists during George W. Bush's eight years in the White House. . . .