Obama has lost sight of the centre

Bromley illustration

Barack Obama and the Democrats want you to know they had a good week. Last Tuesday Republicans threw away a New York congressional seat they had held for a century, preferring to fight each other than win an easy contest. Excellent, say Democrats. Civil war in the Republican party augurs well for next year’s mid-term elections.

What’s that, you say? Oh, yes, Democrats did lose the governorships of New Jersey and Virginia, with huge swings to the other side, but this was to be expected with the economy in such bad shape. Read nothing into that, say Democratic strategists.

Still joyous over this electoral affirmation, Democrats in the House of Representatives then made history over the weekend, with passage of their health-reform bill. The margin was narrow, admittedly, in a chamber they dominate. So what? A win is a win (except in New Jersey or Virginia). Everything is going to plan.

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Clive Crook’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

I have been the FT's Washington columnist since April 2007. I moved from Britain to the US in 2005 to write for the Atlantic Monthly and the National Journal after 20 years working at the Economist, most recently as deputy editor. I write mainly about the intersection of politics and economics.

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