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Flotsam and Jetsam

Stuart Rothenberg thinks it is all but over in the New Jersey gubernatorial race. And so do a lot of Democrats he’s talked to.

The best headline of the week: “Deadlines, Schmeadlines — No Breakthroughs, No Deals, No Health Care Bill.”

Obama’s ongoing poll travails: “Seniors are the least likely of all age groups in the U.S. to say that healthcare reform will benefit their personal healthcare situation. By a margin of three to one, 36% to 12%, adults 65 and older are more likely to believe healthcare reform will reduce rather than expand their access to healthcare. And by 39% to 20%, they are more likely to say their own medical care will worsen rather than improve.” Whoops. In the 2010 elections, with no “hope and change” on the ballot, we can expect that older voters will make up an even greater portion of the electorate.

Seth Leibsohn picks over the Pew survey showing that Israelis now view America less favorably. He also finds: “There is little evidence that support for suicide bombing in the Muslim world has decreased. In the Palestinian territories — you know, where we are appeasing — support for suicide bombings is at 68%, and this year such support has actually increased in places like Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, Lebanon, and Turkey. Finally: Osama bin Laden is more popular in the Palestinian territories than Barack Obama. Aren’t you glad we’re pressuring Israel?”

Saudi Arabia tells Hillary Clinton they aren’t doing anything to improve relations with Israel. All that bowing for nothing.

Sen. Byron Dorgan could be in trouble if incumbent Governor John Hoeven runs against him. In one poll, he trails by an astounding 36-53 percent.

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds operated on a pig. No way to compete with that one.

John McCain at his best: “‘Never. Never have I seen such a transfer from the private enterprise system to the government of such massive scale,’ he says. He goes through the list: car companies, banks, insurance firms owned by government, and he especially grimaces when he mentions the $787 billion stimulus package. . . . ‘And now, the answer is, according to the Obama economists, we didn’t spend enough.’”

As only Rudy Giuliani can put it (on Gates-gate): “He’s actually right. It is teachable. Here’s the lesson: Shut up.”

Four Blue Dogs refuse to roll over.

Ben Smith focuses on a Blue Dog in a Red State: “Rep. Artur Davis — citing cost and the burden on small business — says he’ll vote against the House health care bill. He’s running for governor of very conservative Alabama, so this is very much the calculation of a Red State Democrat, but also a sign of just how hard these politics are.”


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