When there’s something to celebrate, it’s called a red-letter day. A black-letter day, on the other hand, is “a day on which a great incident of misfortune happened or has happened.” Well, Barack Obama had a black-letter day last week. In fact, May 8 may go down as the turning point in his re-election campaign — the day voters made it clear he would be a one-term President.
There were four pivotal events on May 8. Let’s begin with the one that may have been the most telling: the Democratic primary in West Virginia. Did you know that Obama’s primary opponent there got 41 percent of the vote and actually won 10 counties?
Unless you live in West Virginia, you probably didn’t even know that the President had a primary opponent there. But here’s the most amazing part: His opponent didn’t make a single public appearance in the contest.
He didn’t because he couldn’t; he was in jail at the time!
That’s right. Keith Judd, the guy who came close to defeating an incumbent President in West Virginia’s primary, is better known as inmate No. 11593-051 at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution in Texas.
All Judd had to do to get on the ballot was file the proper paperwork and pay a $2,500 fee.
WSAZ.com reported that Judd said: “Some outside supporter provided that to the Secretary of State; I do have outside support. I’m unaware of who that particular person was, and whether it was a person or a collection of persons.”
Judd has a history of entering various contests. According to New Mexico Telegram, Judd ran three times as a write-in candidate in New Mexico: twice for Mayor of Albuquerque and once for Governor. Judd himself told WSAZ.com that he’s been a perennial Presidential candidate since 1996. The Associated Press reported that in 2008, his name was on the Democratic Party ballot in Idaho.
I guess every inmate needs a hobby.
And I’m not surprised that four out of 10 Democratic voters in West Virginia would prefer anyone to Obama. After all, the President has made it clear he’ll do everything he can to destroy the coal industry in this country.
Prohibit businesses from burning coal, and there’s no reason to mine the stuff. Destroy coal mining, and you pretty much destroy the economy of West Virginia. That’s not hard for the folks there to understand. So it’s really no surprise that a lot of voters there would prefer anybody — even a jailbird — over the incumbent President. Look for every Democrat in the State to distance themselves as far as possible from the President in their own campaigns.
Obama’s re-election committee knows they didn’t have a chance of carrying the State. They wrote it off long ago. But if West Virginia doesn’t matter to the Democrats, North Carolina certainly does. The State is viewed as so crucial to Democratic prospects this year that they decided to hold their national convention in Charlotte.
So what happened when North Carolinians went to vote last week? They voted overwhelmingly in favor of adding a new amendment to the State Constitution, declaring that marriage is between one man and one woman.
Obama and Joe Biden had publicly opposed the measure. Bill Clinton even recorded robocalls against it. And when pollsters queried citizens before the vote how they felt about it, many people in the State claimed they weren’t in favor of it.
But it turns out there can be a big difference between what people say in public and how they vote in private. Voters in North Carolina turned out in record numbers for the election. And once they closed the curtain behind them, 61 percent of them voted to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Period.
(By the way, about 20 percent of Democratic voters checked “no preference” in the Presidential primary. Since Obama carried the State by a slim 14,000-vote margin in 2008, you have to think his prospects are iffy for winning it again this year.)
So what did the President do? The very next day after North Carolina passed a gay marriage ban, he came out in favor of gay marriage. That’s a strange way to get voters in the Tar Heel State enthusiastic about your candidacy, wouldn’t you say? This issue could even put a dent in the nearly unanimous support he receives from black voters.
Of course, the media have gone absolutely gaga over the President’s announcement. They’ve been waiting 3.5 years for his position to “evolve” this far. Newsweek magazine put the President’s face on the cover under the headline “The First Gay President.” A rainbow-colored halo appeared above Obama’s head.
The Democrats are counting on the President’s position to win them more support than it costs them. Time will tell if they’ve guessed right. Certainly, it won’t hurt him in Hollywood. A $40,000-a-head fundraiser at George Clooney’s house a few days later raised more than $15 million for Obama’s re-election coffers. But Hollywood isn’t the heartland. And the louder the gay rights brigade gets, the more votes it will cost them.
For our last two examples of Obama’s really bad day, let’s turn to the Midwest. One of the most important primary elections this year took place in Indiana, where voters told Richard Lugar it was time for him to retire from the Senate.
I almost said they decided to send him “back home.” But actually that was part of the problem. It seems Lugar hasn’t had a legal residence in Indiana for decades. For years, he listed a house he sold in 1977 on his voter-registration form.
Lugar had not faced a primary opponent since he was first elected to the Senate in 1976. But this year, conservatives united behind Richard Mourdock, a well-known and popular state official. Mourdock had the support of several Tea Party groups, the Club for Growth and Freedom Works.
So much for rumors that the Tea Party movement was a one-time phenomenon.
The Lugar campaign resorted to the same sort of scare tactics we’re going to see a lot of this year. In one TV commercial, a white-haired grandmother-type says, “He’s not thinking, is he? No idea of consequences, what this means to people. He’s going to ruin people.” While she speaks, the following sentence appears: “Richard Mourdock has a plan to cut every senior’s Social Security by nearly $2,500 a year.”
Happily, Hoosier voters didn’t buy it. Lugar received less than 40 percent of the primary vote, despite blatant appeals to Democrats and independents to vote for him in the Republican primary. Will this momentum carry Mourdock to victory in November? We’ll find out in six months.
Finally, please direct your attention to Wisconsin, where we won’t have to wait nearly so long for an answer. As you’ll recall, labor unions have spent millions of dollars there and imported thousands of activists to force a recall election for their nemesis, Republican Governor Scott Walker.
That election takes place on June 5. But the primary to pick his opponent was also held a week ago Tuesday. And significantly enough, more people cast ballots for Walker than for any other candidate.
One day, four elections. And four warnings for the left that a whole lot of voters want to see some changes made — just not the ones Obama and his buddies are trying to shove down our throats.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.