I thought you might want to take a look at how White House Press Secretary Jay Carney spun the New York Nine special election, in which a Republican sought to make the election a referendum on President Obama and won easily in a district that hasn’t gone Republican in nearly a century.
“Nothing to see here, please move on,” was the message from Mr. Carney.
I can only say that either Jay – who, as he mentions, is a former reporter – either knows better and is doing the what he is required to do if he wants to keep being White House press secretary, or he has drunk all the West Wing Koolaid and now moved on to the Hawaiian Punch.
From today’s gaggle aboard Air Force One.
Q And Jay, what’s the reaction to the elections last night? How can they be viewed as anything other than a referendum on the President and where he stands with voters?
MR. CARNEY: I know I’m a little older than you, but you’ve been around long enough to know, as a reporter, as I was, that special elections are often unique and their outcomes do not tell you very much about future regularly scheduled elections. And I’m sure that you and everyone else here did not write, after Democrats won all, I believe, the special elections in 2009 and 2010, that that foretold a certain outcome in the 2010 midterms. Certainly, this election has no other bearing.
Q But those 2009 elections were before major administration policies were passed; it was before health care, it was before financial regulation. These seem more like a referendum on what’s going on, but if you’re —
MR. CARNEY: Hans, you can make those predictions and look foolish in 14 months or not. I’m simply saying that we do not view it that way.
Q Okay. Do you view these elections as a wakeup call, then? That you need to reach a —
MR. CARNEY: I think that the — one election in what had been a Democratic seat is unique to that district, to the circumstances around what created — that caused the special election to take place. And judge it as you will, I think it’s a very specific case in a specific district in, obviously, a very low turnout election.
Q So, not an indicator species at all? Won’t it all —
MR. CARNEY: I think I’ve answered the question. The answer is no.
Of course, he resorts to an insult. Typical modus operandi of the White House press office, though such not-niceties are usually reserved for private conversations.