By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
In recent elections, President Obama and his Democrats are just 1 for 4, having won only the New York House District 23 seat. Now suffering the biggest loss of all, Republican Scott Brown's election to fill the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts, many party leaders are looking for ways to avert a total election collapse in the fall midterms.
One key: fixing the economy and curbing unemployment. But there are several others, and in the debut of the Washington Whispers List, we explore the 10 plays Democrats need soon to sidestep the GOP wave. See a slide show of the list.
The List: 10 Keys to Avoiding Election Disaster
- Move with haste to approve consumer-friendly financial reform that also punishes Wall Street greed. Chances? Likely.
- While keeping inflation low, set in motion initiatives to improve the economy: Chances? Likely.
- Figure out a way to boost employment while making sure to keep unemployment benefits steady. Chances: Good for bennies, bad for cutting unemployment.
- Push through immigration reform that will tell Hispanics the party likes them by including elements like amnesty for illegal immigrants. Little chance of passage, however.
- Come up with a more focused plan for Iraq and Afghanistan. We hear one is coming.
- Finally make good on campaign promises and close Guantánamo Bay prison. Chances? Fifty-fifty.
- Just do it: Pass healthcare reform. Chances are now about fifty-fifty with the loss of Edward M. Kennedy's Senate seat to reform foe Scott Brown.
- Draft and approve a second stimulus bill focused on job creation. This is probable.
- Take advantage of higher gas prices, and approve an energy bill. Alone, passage is likely; but liberals also want climate change restrictions on industry, and those are legislation killers.
- President Obama should pack his bag for months on the campaign trail. Now, this is a sure thing.
- See a slide show of political predictions for 2010.