[Ed. – May as well. They already own it.]
Paul Begala is right. “Democrats shouldn’t try to spin this loss,” Begala, a veteran political consultant, tweeted after it became clear that the Republicans had won a keenly contested special election for a vacant seat in Florida’s 13th District, which runs through Pinellas County, on the Gulf Coast. “We have to redouble our efforts for 2014. Too much at stake. #noexcuses.” The Democratic contender, Alex Sink, a former gubernatorial candidate, had experience and strong name recognition; the Republican, David Jolly, was a little-known former lobbyist. Despite the endorsement of Begala’s former boss Bill Clinton and other leading Democrats, Sink came in second—largely because her opponent, with the aid of well-financed Republican groups, portrayed her as a poster child for the Affordable Care Act.
The G.O.P. campaign was straightforward and unrelenting. In one campaign ad (cited by Alex Isenstadt, of Politico), Jolly said, simply, “She supports Obamacare. I don’t. I’m David Jolly, and I approve this message because Pinellas needs someone to look out for our interests.” Another ad claimed that Sink’s loyalty was to President Obama and Nancy Pelosi rather than to Florida, adding, “Why else would she continue to support Obamacare?”