- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
Centrist Blue Dogs ousted from House
Democrats tied to Obama, Pelosi unable to avoid wrath of voters
Voter anger at out-of-control government spending and mounting debt ironically proved toxic for many of the most fiscally conservative Democrats in Tuesday’s midterm vote.
At least 23 of the 53 House Democratic “Blue Dogs” - including such rising stars as South Dakota’s Stephanie Herseth Sandlin - lost their seats in the wave Tuesday that brought down at least 61 Democrats and handed control of the chamber back to Republicans.
Mrs. Herseth Sandlin, the coalition’s co-chairman for administration, and Rep. Baron P. Hill of Indiana, co-chairman for policy, headed a long list of members of the influential Democratic coalition punished by voters Tuesday.
The list could get longer: At least four races involving Blue Dogs hung in the balance Wednesday. The caucus of conservative-to-moderate Democrats also lost three members to retirement and two members left to pursue Senate seats - unsuccessfully.
With most of their members representing Republican-leaning or swing districts, the Blue Dogs struggled this fall to distance themselves from key Obama policies such as the health care law and the $814 billion stimulus package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was also an electoral drag in a large majority of Blue Dog districts.
Blue DogRep. Gene Taylor of Mississippi lost his bid for re-election despite telling constituents that he’d voted for John McCain in 2008 and promising voters he would work with the GOP to repeal the health care overhaul.
In one bright spot for the endangered Democrats, Rep. Heath Shuler, also a member of the Blue Dogs’ four-person leadership team, pulled away in his North Carolina race, winning 54 percent to 45 percent, after talking openly in the later stages of the campaign about opposing Mrs. Pelosi for the House speakership.
Another Blue Dog official, Rep. Jim Matheson won by a similar margin in Utah after also talking about opposing Mrs. Pelosi. The congressman told The Washington Times in October that “if a member of the Democratic Caucus - someone closer to my beliefs - were to run, I’d have to consider that.”
Alison Heyrend, a Matheson spokesman, said Wednesday the coalition’s losses Tuesday were “disheartening … especially since these were the kind of work-across-the-aisle congressmen and women who are going to be needed more than ever in Washington.”
Before the midterm elections, both Mr. Shuler and Mr. Matheson speculated that the Blue Dogs would be a vital swing voting bloc in the new Congress. But the extent of the group’s losses, combined with the margin of the Republican’s House majority, may have undercut the group’s leverage.
Other prominent Blue Dogs who fell short Tuesday included:
c Maryland’s 1st District freshman Rep. Frank Kratovil Jr., who tried to position himself as the most conservative member of Maryland’s congressional delegation but lost to Republican state lawmaker Andy Harris by a 54 percent to 44 percent margin.
c Alabama’s 2nd District Rep. Bobby Bright, who also became a one-term congressman in a district that usually rewards incumbents. Mr. Bright, known as one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, lost 51 percent to 49 percent to Republican Martha Roby, who had been serving on the Montgomery City Council.
c Pennsylvania’s 8th District, where Blue Dog Rep. Patrick J. Murphy joined a wave of Democrats shown the door in the Keystone State. Mr. Murphy lost to former Republican Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick - the man he beat to win the seat in the swing district four years ago.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Eldridge joined The Washington Times in 1999 and over the next seven years helped lead the paper’s coverage of regional politics and government, Sept. 11, and the sniper attacks of 2002. In 2006, he was named managing editor of the paper’s Web site. He came to The Times from the Telegraph in North Platte, Neb., where he served as ...
- Sens. Klobuchar, Collins predict a deal by Thursday
- Rand Paul: GOP can't accept Democrats' attempts to undo sequesters
- Lew says health exchange rollout glitches typical for new software
- John Boehner, Ted Cruz: Upcoming debt-ceiling vote will have conditions
- Treasury Secretary Jack Lew: Obama can't stop default if debt ceiling is hit
Latest Blog Entries
- Mainers would rather move to Canada than down South
- McCain: 'Stand your ground' laws may need review
- Sen. Tom Coburn: Holder investigating himself is a 'total conflict of interest'
- CNN poll: IRS, AP and Benghazi haven't dinged Obama's approval rating
- Slain diplomat's mom on Obama's Benghazi comments: 'Bullfeathers'
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Echoes of Cold War in Ukraine as Russia tries to rein in former Soviet satellites
- KEENE: James Clapper should resign for lying to Congress
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Broncos-Chargers game ends with several stabbings
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow