Also in today's NYT is this Jeff Zeleny/Adam Nagourney piece about how Democrats who've long held seats in the House of Representatives are finding their safe districts not so safe anymore.
Representative David R. Obey has won 21 straight races, easily prevailing through wars and economic crises that have spanned presidencies from Nixon’s to Obama’s. Yet the discontent with Washington surging through politics is now threatening not only his seat but also Democratic control of Congress.Hey, Zeleny's in Ashland. Welcome to Wisconsin!
In the Seventh District of Wisconsin, which covers 17,787 square miles from the middle of the state to Lake Superior, signs of Mr. Obey’s service in Congress are found in new bridges, highway expansions and countless other projects. Yet there are fewer signs of Mr. Obey himself. At the Democratic Party office in Wausau, his hometown, campaign placards hang in the window for Senator Russ Feingold, but none for Mr. Obey.Can Obey take solace in the Gail Collin's theory about the dearth of Republican opponents?
When asked to discuss his re-election bid, Mr. Obey declined, saying that it was too early to begin talking politics and that he was focused on his legislative duties. “I have never met anyone who thought political campaigns were too short,” he said.
Mr. Obey, 71, was elected two years before [Sean] Duffy, 38, was born. Mr. Duffy is widely seen as leading in the Republican primary — his opponent is the candidate who lost to Mr. Obey two years ago by 22 percentage points — and his race has drawn support from party leaders in Washington, Tea Party activists and Sarah Palin."The Real World"! Were you still watching "The Real World" in 1997? I bailed after Season 5 (Miami). That show peaked in San Francisco (Season 3). Here's a list of all the seasons. Boston was Season 6.
He has been elected four times as the district attorney of Ashland County, but the attention surrounding him began in 1997 when he was on MTV’s “The Real World: Boston.”
He also is well-known here as a champion lumberjack sports competitor.Take out?
He said he decided to challenge Mr. Obey because of his leading role in the economic stimulus bill, health care legislation and the growth of government. “I know that I can have a serious impact on the direction of the country if I could take out Obey,” he said.
But Mr. Obey, who has a campaign balance of $1.4 million compared with $400,000 for Mr. Duffy, is also emblematic of a bright spot for Democrats: a financial advantage.That's something. But $400,000 is not nothing.
ADDED: Duffy is married to Rachel from "Real World" San Francisco. Now, that means something to me. Rachel, whose full name now is Rachel Campos-Duffy, was an out-and-proud Republican on the show. And Rachel and Sean now have 6 children: Evita Pilar, Xavier Jack, Lucia-Belen, John-Paul, Paloma Pilar, and MariaVictoria Margarita.