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Dick Morris: Tedisco's Terrific Performance Spells Trouble for Obama

By Jim Meyers   |   Wednesday, 01 Apr 2009 05:42 PM

Veteran political analyst Dick Morris tells Newsmax that the showing by Republican Jim Tedisco in Tuesday’s too-close-to-call special election in New York was “extraordinary.”

Morris also said that with Tedisco and Democrat Scott Murphy separated by less than 100 votes heading into the counting of absentee ballots, Tuesday’s result shows that President Barack Obama is already “in trouble.”

[Editor's Note: Watch Dick Morris discuss President Barack Obama’s dwindling electoral fortunes - Go Here Now]

Newsmax TV’s Ashley Martella asked Morris, a regular Newsmax contributor, for his view of the election to fill the seat formerly occupied by now Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in New York’s 20th congressional district.

“My feeling is that it was a terrific showing for the Republican,” Morris said.

“This is a seat held by a Democratic congresswoman in one of the bluest of the blue states, 70 days after a president was overwhelmingly elected who’s a Democrat.

“Let’s remember that 57 percent still approve of what Obama is doing, and the fact that Tedisco came so close that the absentee ballots might put him over the top I think was an extraordinary showing…

“To expect a takeaway to the Republican Party this early in a president’s administration I think is facile. I think what it really demonstrates is that Obama is in trouble. The fact that he can’t win an election like that by a significant margin I think really shows that people are beginning to tire of his agenda.

“His approval rating started at about 65 percent and now it’s down to 55 or 57, and I think you’re going to find it slipping further as more and more negative data come in and people more and more are convinced that he’s not bringing us out of this recession. So I think ultimately it was a fairly positive result…

“Let’s also remember that this election was held at a particular moment when Obama had a very slight recovery … because of his foreign trip and because of the ephemeral information that the economy might be getting a little better — the stock market and a couple of other indices.

“I think that’s fool’s gold. I think that’s a false dawn. And I think it’s going to become apparent that this recession is going to grind on and on and on. But I think he may have benefitted a little bit from that uptick.

“But the issue is not why didn’t the Republican win, but why didn’t the Democrat win by a lot.”

Martella asked what an eventual loss by Tedisco would mean for Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

“I don’t think much at all,” Morris responded. “I think the Republican Party did a great job in this election. I don’t think that you can fault Steele. I don’t think that you can fault anybody. Let’s not be cannibals about this.

“This is very early in the president’s term and if indeed [Tedisco] has lost an election, it was very close and the closeness of it is enough to make me very happy…

“You can’t look at this at this election result as anything other than an unbelievably close election at a time when the president is still riding his honeymoon.”

If Dick Morris were advising the Republican Party leadership right now, Martella asked, what would he tell them to do?

“To hammer away at Obama’s spending program, to go after his socialist agenda, to attack his takeover of the auto industry, his in effect takeover of the banks, and to warn of the deficits, the tax increases and the spending ahead,” Morris said.

“The more you focus on the specifics of Obama’s program, the more unpopular it becomes. The more you focus on Obama personally, the more you run afoul of his personal popularity.”

[Editor's Note: Watch Dick Morris discuss President Barack Obama’s dwindling electoral fortunes - Go Here Now]

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