Mark Sanford, who became famous for hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2009, was elected to the House of Representatives yesterday. He defeated the sister of political comic Stephen Colbert by a vote of 54% to 46%. The election was not close.
I normally pay little attention to political races, but this one revealed the extent to which political spin is not just out of touch but uproariously out of touch.
Rep. Steve Israel of New York, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the candidate’s efforts will be an example of how the party will stay aggressive in the 2014 elections. Democrats need a net gain of 17 seats next year to win majority control in the House. Sanford’s election does not change that equation.
“The fact that the Democrat made this competitive is a testament to the strength of Elizabeth Colbert Busch as a candidate and the Republican habit of nominating flawed candidates,” Israel said. “Democrats will be aggressive and drive deep into Republican-held territory this cycle to find districts with flawed candidates where we can compete.”
Rep. Israel was apparently attempting to perfect his stand-up comedy routine as a parody of Steven Colbert, whose entire career is single gag: a parody of Republican politics. Like Mr. Colbert, he did it with a straight face.
He told the media that a 54 to 46 loss by the Democrats’ candidate was “competitive.” She was a “testament of strength.” A testament? Maybe as in “last will and testament.” The Republicans nominated a “flawed candidate.” He was so deeply flawed that only 54% of the voters voted for him. This outcome pointed to 2014, where other Democrat candidates as powerful as this one will “drive deep into Republican-held territory this cycle to find districts with flawed candidates where we can compete.” Drive? When your candidate cannot drive over a man who hiked the Appalachian trail, your party is in trouble.
It got even more amusing. The Democrats’ political action committee (PAC) is called the House Majority PAC. The Democrats are the minority party in the House.
The House Majority PAC, which spent $450,000 on TV ads and direct mail to boost Colbert Busch, said the outcome in South Carolina reflects poorly on the GOP.
“The House Republican caucus has added yet another ethically challenged embarrassment who will be an albatross around the neck of every Republican forced to answer for Mark Sanford’s embarrassing and reckless behavior,” said Alixandria Lapp, executive director of House Majority PAC.
Normally, albatross status is for candidates who get 46% of the vote, not 54%.
We will see if the Democrats re-nominate Ms. Busch in 2014.