Countdown Clocks

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Posts tagged "Steve Israel"

Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) is expected to remain as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2014 election cycle.

The New York lawmaker, who took over the fundraising operation for House Democrats in 2010, will retain his position alongside House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said Wednesday that she planned to run again for the Democratic House leadership.

According to a House leadership aide, “Leader Pelosi told a packed caucus meeting, including the incoming members of the 113th Congress today that, if Steve Israel is willing to take on the DCCC again, then she will happily place her hat in for leader.”

Israel told CNN earlier Wednesday that he hoped Pelosi decided to stay on as leader, appearing to confirm that he would remain in the fifth-ranking position among House Democrats.

"She just helped elect 49 new Democrats who are problem-solvers," Israel said. "If you take a look at the footage from that press conference yesterday, 49 new Democrats who are diverse, the first Democratic Caucus, the first caucus in history that has a majority of women, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, but more than anything else, she helped elect a class of problem-solvers, people who are business people who create jobs, mayors who balance budgets, veterans who serve the country."

Israel had previously served as the DCCC’s recruitment chairman during the 2010 midterms. Thought to have a close relationship with Pelosi, he replaced Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who moved on to become the ranking member of the House Budget Committee.

h/t: The Hill

My recap of the DNC by day. <3 the Dems.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Top 5 speeches:

1. Bill Clinton
2. Emanuel Cleaver
3. Elizabeth Warren
4. Sandra Fluke
5. Cecile Richards
Close Calls: Cristina Saralegui, Benita Veliz, Richard Trumka, Nancy Pelosi

The man charged with electing Democrats to the House of Representatives boasted on Saturday that the party had higher hopes for taking back the majority now that Mitt Romney had tapped Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his vice presidential candidate.

"Mitt Romney this morning may have just become the most recent DCCC majority maker," said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel in an interview with The Huffington Post. "It’s no question, we have been slogging uphill to get the majority. We needed a national breeze at our backs, and Mitt Romney may have given us that breeze this morning."

Israel isn’t the only Democrat waxing optimistic about the benefits the party stands to gain from Romney’s choice of Ryan. The Wisconsin Republican is best known for his budget proposal, which includes steep cuts to federal spending and aggressive entitlement reforms, such as turning Medicaid into a block grant program and Medicare into a voucher-like system. Polling has shown that these prescriptions aren’tall that popular.

Unlike other Democrats, however, Israel has first-hand experience in seeing how the Ryan budget can play in an election. He helped engineer victories for Rep. Kathy Hochul in upstate New York and for Rep. Ron Barber in Arizona, both of which hinged largely on using the Medicare proposal to the Democrats’ advantage. “We know it works,” he said, “and it works well.”

"The choice of the plan’s author as a running mate makes that task seemingly much easier," Israel said. He said he believes Democrats chances of taking back the house are much improved. "It is still an uphill battle, but we now have a wind at our backs. And I will say this, if we win the majority and the pundits look back at where it turned, I think they are going to look at August 11, with this announcement."

h/t: Sam Stein at HuffPost Politics

After a wave election gave Republicans the majority in the House of Representatives in 2010, no one thought that Democrats, a year later, would be in a position to take it back.

But, that’s exactly where Democrats claim to be. At a press briefing Wednesday, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Steve Israel (D-NY) said that Republicans have had such a “catastrophic” year that he now believes Democrats can take back the House. The chairman was cautious not to sound too optimistic, but he had a long list of statistics in Democrats’ favor; an advantage that comes almost entirely from Republicans’ blunders over the past year.

The DCCC rolled out its first wave of Red to Blue Races, a list of 18 races where Democrats are confident they can oust a Republican incumbent. The DCCC also has three races they feel are in the bag and 18 more districts where the Democratic candidate is showing increasing strength. Overall, that’s more than the 25 seats needed to reach a majority. As a sign of their understated optimism, Israel points out this is two months earlier than they normally roll out these races.

A key reason Democrats are feeling good about November is the particular crop of Republicans they are looking to replace: the freshmen tea partiers elected in 2010. “[Democrat] candidates are going to be aggressively holding Republicans accountable for consistently choosing Millionaires over Medicare, oil companies subsides over middle class tax cuts and ideology over solutions,” Israel said. The Dem spin is that much of the work that needs to be done to take back the House, Republicans have done for them over the past year.

The trickiest aspect of honing their message in House races is to clarify the distinction between general disapproval of Congress, and specifically Republican policies and tactics that have caused gridlock in Washington. The President, for example, is running for re-election against Congress, a campaign that will center partly on arguing that it is Congress that has failed to work with him, not the other way around. Democrats will have to argue that not only did the Republican majority hew to the far right on policy, but also that the gridlock is their fault.

“The more Obama campaigns against bad votes in Congress, the better,” Israel said. And in a way, it makes sense that the President’s message will mirror those of Democrats running for the House. If Obama faces Mitt Romney, he will certainly campaign on Romney’s support of Paul Ryan’s plan to end Medicare while Democrats will do the same to oust Republican incumbents. But when it comes to taking the blame, Israel did say he has spoken to President Obama, who “has been more assertive in using the word Republican” when referring to Congress.

“I’m not saying that we’ve got the 25 seats that we need in the bank, I’m not saying that the majority is a guarantee,” Israel began the meeting, but it’s clear he’s optimistic. “Last cycle was just, it was a perfect storm…gale force winds against us. This cycle it looks like it may be generating a perfect storm against the Republicans. At the very least, I think it’s fair to say, a wind at our backs.”

Let’s get the Majority back!

h/t: Pema Levy at TPM