Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Karl Rove really does love Social Security, honest.

Karl Rove was, probably still is, in town doing his part as the ubber campaign brain to raise that all important campaign dollar for our first timers; Rove campaigned for Jeff Lamberti, running against Boswell in the 3rd, and Mike Whalen, in the open 1st. As reported by the AP in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

National pundits have cast both contests as barometers of the Republican Party’s hopes for maintaining control of Congress. Lamberti said Rove's visit underscored that sentiment.

"I think his visit demonstrates that this is one of the top races in the country," Lamberti said, referring to his bid to unseat incumbent Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell. …

"Karl Rove's been traveling around the country, visiting states where there are good candidates in close races," he [White House spokesman Alex Conant] said.

However, the Democrats take a different view and give a little insight into what segment of the population they’re focusing on for November.

"We think Lamberti's willingness to stand with the architect of Bush's failed policies like privatizing Social Security and his failed energy policy shows he'd rather stand with special interests than Iowa's families," said Erin Seidler, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Democratic Party.

Democrat Bruce Braley, who's opposing Whalen in the 1st District, sounded similar themes.

"Karl Rove has come to Iowa today ... because he knows that Whalen will be a rubber-stamp for the George Bush Social Security privatization scheme," Braley said in statement. "...Rove knows he can count on Whalen's support to revive the President's unpopular proposal in Congress."

Yes, it is going to be campaign cycle number twenty-something where Democrats run on Social Security. The perennial ‘third rail’ of American politics, Social Security campaign rhetoric is always framed as the evil hand Republicans that will cut and slash benefits associated with the retirement entitlement system.

Hello, has that ever happened? No. Will it happen? Yes, when I’m 67.5 and all the boomers have been living the Social Security life for ten plus years, and everyone finally figures out that the Social Security Trust Fund, which the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees notes in their annual report, is completely out of money. Until then, the third rail will always be the cheap & easy (don’t get any ideas) campaign hook to move fixed-income eighty-somethings to sign-up with that nice youngster at the door for an absentee ballot.

I suppose we know a little more about the Democrats November strategy – find the supper old people, scare the crap out of them (in some cases literally), and collect their votes. In low turnout elections, if a candidate can pull in votes with empty scare tactics they might end up on the top end of the margin.

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