Via Ben Smith:
Rep. Marion Berry’s parting shot, published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette [no link, subscription only] offers a warning to moderate Democrats and border state moderates — warning of a midterm bloodbath comparable to the 54-seat D-to-R swing in 1994.
But the jaw-dropper is Berry’s claim that President Obama personally dismissed any comparison between Democrats now and under Bill Clinton 16 years ago — by saying his personal popularity would bail everybody out.
The retiring Berry, who doesn’t say when the remarks were made, now scoffs at Obama’s 50-or-below approval rating:
Writes ADG reporter Jane Fullerton:
Berry recounted meetings with White House officials, reminiscent of some during the Clinton days, where he and others urged them not to force Blue Dogs “off into that swamp” of supporting bills that would be unpopular with voters back home.
“I’ve been doing that with this White House, and they just don’t seem to give it any credibility at all,” Berry said. “They just kept telling us how good it was going to be. The president himself, when that was brought up in one group, said, ‘Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.’ We’re going to see how much difference that makes now.”
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced Monday that he will not run for the Senate in 2010, a development which puts the GOP in a commanding position to claim the seat once held by his father, Vice President Joe Biden.
“I have a duty to fulfill as attorney general — and the immediate need to focus on a case of great consequence. And that is what I must do,” Beau Biden said in a statement. “Therefore I cannot and will not run for the United States Senate in 2010. I will run for reelection as attorney general.”
Biden’s decision dealt a serious blow to Democratic hopes of retaining the seat and puts the party at a decided disadvantage against Republican Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.), the popular former governor and veteran congressman who has comfortably won reelection since first winning his House seat in 1992.
As I wrote before, this seat – which 538 now gives the GOP a good chance to win, as does the Cook Political Report – isn’t one for conservatives to get too excited about, considering Castle’s left-leaning record. However, saying that, it is – as the NRCC’s Jon Thompson suggested on Twitter today – something to cheer about to think that the GOP, after winning “Kennedy’s seat,” has a real shot this year at also taking the seats formerly held by Biden and Obama.