ONTD Political

Allen West (finally) concedes

10:23 pm - 11/21/2012
It wasn’t supposed to end this way for Allen West.

The tea party House freshman had an astonishing $17 million war chest, sky-high name ID and a Republican-leaning district. His opponent, Patrick Murphy, was a 29-year-old construction company executive who had never sought office before. Even Democrats privately acknowledged late in the campaign that Murphy was probably a little green to be going up against a powerhouse like West.

But on Tuesday morning, it was West, not Murphy, issuing a lengthy concession statement after a two-week recount that confirmed he had fallen a painful 2,000 or so votes short. The congressman’s unexpected loss left his advisers, donors and legion of tea party fans searching for answers.

His tight-knit circle of top campaign aides was “shocked,” said one Republican close to the incumbent. On the eve of the election, a private survey conducted by West’s veteran pollster, Gene Ulm, had the congressman leading by 5 percentage points.

Some Republicans close to the campaign blamed West’s bombastic, no-holds-barred style — an approach they said simply didn’t work in what was basically a moderate-minded district full of elderly voters. During his brief tenure in Congress, he dished out insults like candy at Halloween — he called Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz “vile, unprofessional and despicable”; dubbed President Barack Obama “probably the dumbest person walking around in America right now,” and said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats “should get the hell out of the United States of America.”

Behind the scenes, Republicans were urging West to tone it down. Early this year, shortly after launching his reelection campaign, the congressman sought out a surprising figure — former GOP Rep. Mark Foley, who resigned in 2006 amid revelations that he had sent sexually-charged electronic messages to House pages. Foley, who had represented much of the southwestern Florida district, counseled West to run to the middle — advice the congressman didn’t take issue with.

Foley thought highly of West — at one point, he even advised the freshman to run for Senate in 2012, reasoning that his fundraising capabilities and national profile would make him a strong contender. But as Foley watched the House race play out, he saw West embracing much of the same conservative rhetoric that he had in his previous races.

And instead of presenting his compelling life story — West rose from an upbringing in the Georgia slums, eventually becoming a military commander before running for Congress — the Republican seemed intent on tearing down Murphy in harshly personal terms. One West TV ad blasted Murphy for his underage drinking arrest a decade ago, showing a mug shot of the intoxicated then-teenager.

“I think Allen might have been a bit too conservative for the district,” Foley said in an interview. “The district was extremely center-focused.”

Some of the Republicans said West’s inability to get beyond the hard-charging image was a function of staff error. Aides, they said, failed to tame the congressman and to warn him that his outbursts — though catnip to his grass-roots backers and good for fundraising — would ultimately damage him. West’s congressional office got off to a particularly slow start — his first chief of staff, conservative radio talk show host Joyce Kaufman, resigned just a few days after she was hired.

“This was a congressional operation run amuck. The congressional staff couldn’t control it, they failed to manage expectations, to manage the brand,” said a Republican source close to West. “When you have something to say on national TV every time something arises, the brand is overused. The brand wasn’t carefully constructed or guided.”

“Sometimes people don’t want controversy,” the source said. “They just want a congressman.”

West’s approach provided Murphy a blank slate, with an opening to brand himself as a nonpartisan. The Democrat promised he would be a quiet, get-it-done type as a member of Congress,. In the closing days of the race, Murphy secured a surprise endorsement from Martin County Sheriff Bob Crowder, a moderate Republican who waged an unsuccessful primary bid against West. The nod bolstered Murphy’s pitch.

Final vote tallies showed West winning fewer votes than Mitt Romney in two of the district’s three counties — an indication that the congressman had bled some GOP support to Murphy, Republicans following the campaign said.

Former Democratic Rep. Ron Klein, whom West unseated in 2010, said Murphy’s campaign was aimed at voters who soured on the Republican’s style.

“I think by the end of two years, people either really liked [West] or really disliked him,” said Klein, who coached Murphy in debate prep. “At the end of the day, more people decided they wanted a congressman who could get something done and were tired of the divisiveness.”

“West,” Klein said, “beat himself.”

Those close to West also said Obama’s surprisingly strong performance in South Florida helped to put Murphy over the top. Few of the congressman’s advisers anticipated that Obama, who won more than 50 percent of the vote in two of the three counties that comprise the 18th Congressional District, would have a turnout operation so superior to Romney’s. Obama’s power was particularly pronounced in St. Lucie County, where the president won 53 percent of the vote and Murphy trounced West.

Democrats were surprised, too. In the weeks after his disastrous Denver debate performance, Obama’s poll numbers fell in West’s district — and that had a ripple effect on Murphy’s standing, the candidate acknowledged in an October interview with POLITICO.

One private poll conducted for a Democratic outside group just prior to the Oct. 3 debate showed Obama and Murphy both leading at 52 percent apiece. When the same pollster surveyed the district on Oct. 7, however, Romney and West both claimed small leads.

“I think Obama was stronger in Florida than any of us expected,” Foley said. “Obama’s ground game in Florida was better than ours, and I think that had a big impact on the West race.”

Then there was redistricting. When Republicans in the Florida Legislature finished redrawing the state’s 27 congressional districts, they added Democrats to West’s West Palm Beach seat — making his path to reelection significantly steeper. West eventually moved to run for a nearby seat that was vacant, but he had never run there before — meaning that he would have to introduce himself to new voters.

West, a political newcomer who unlike many of his Florida delegation colleagues had never served in the Legislature and had few allies there, had found himself on the losing end of the brutally political line-drawing process. Tallahassee, said one Republican source close to West, had done the congressman no favors.

For weeks, West’s backers seethed. On his popular radio show, Rush Limbaugh, an outspoken West ally, accused then-Florida House Speaker-designate Will Weatherford, a Republican, of engineering a plot to destroy the congressman. The Broward County Republican Party started a website dubbed, “Save Allen West.”

For West, the question now is what’s next. Some Republicans speculate that he could write a book or hit the speaker’s circuit — both lucrative options. Others say he could run for Congress in his native Georgia.

And then there are some who suggest he could get his own radio or TV show — perhaps on Fox News, where he’s a frequent guest. On Tuesday morning, as he turned out the lights on his congressional career, he chose to make the announcement on a favorite platform, the network’s morning broadcast, “Fox and Friends.”

Source

Please don't let the door hit you on your way out.


mskye 22nd-Nov-2012 06:07 am (UTC)
:)
idealfacade 22nd-Nov-2012 06:12 am (UTC)
I'm glad this whole recount thing backfired on him and he just dug his hole deeper. I can't even get second-hand embarrassment for him because he is such a despicable man that ran the dirtiest unwarranted campaign i've seen.
betray802 22nd-Nov-2012 10:56 am (UTC)
I'm sure they're prepping the set of his new show over at FuxNoise. I bet he doesn't even last as long as Glenn Beck.
romp 22nd-Nov-2012 08:51 pm (UTC)
FuxNoise

I like it.
kikai_saigono 22nd-Nov-2012 06:48 am (UTC)
OP your amazing icon deserves this appropriate celebration gif

ahzheejhei 22nd-Nov-2012 03:16 pm (UTC)
HOMG MY CHILDHOOD.

Don't mind me as I save this on my desktop. <33
flyingwild 22nd-Nov-2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
Best "deal with it" gif. EVER.
hinoema 22nd-Nov-2012 06:51 am (UTC)
But on Tuesday morning, it was West, not Murphy, issuing a lengthy concession statement after a two-week recount that confirmed he had fallen a painful 2,000 or so votes short. The congressman’s unexpected loss left his advisers, donors and legion of tea party fans searching for answers.

A. PEOPLE HATE YOU AND EVERYTHING YOU STAND FOR.

You're welcome.
moonbladem 22nd-Nov-2012 07:41 am (UTC)
Congratulations, Congressman-elect Patrick Murphy!

...he called Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz “vile, unprofessional and despicable”; dubbed President Barack Obama “probably the dumbest person walking around in America right now,” and said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats “should get the hell out of the United States of America.”

Yeah... no sympathy for you, Mr Allen West. I hope your bare feet step on a whole bunch of Legos on your way out the door. Take your mean-spirited vitriol with you too. Bye bye.

Edited at 2012-11-22 07:57 am (UTC)
glass_houses 22nd-Nov-2012 11:52 am (UTC)
Disgusting! And I agree with those Legos!
girlwonderrobin 24th-Nov-2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
I hope your bare feet step on a whole bunch of Legos on your way out the door.

Dog feces. Infected cat feces. Elephant feces. Any kind of feces really...
shhh_its_s3cr3t 22nd-Nov-2012 07:47 am (UTC)
Can I get a Wahoo? WAHOO! Another one bites the dust... go join Romney at a Twilight screening. Thx! :)
betray802 22nd-Nov-2012 10:55 am (UTC)
Maybe he can get a job at Papa John's.
layweed 22nd-Nov-2012 02:35 pm (UTC)
Airwolf!!!!!!!!???????
betray802 22nd-Nov-2012 02:37 pm (UTC)
The one and only!!!!! Steal away if you'd like, credit psychotwinkie, that's who I got her from.
betray802 22nd-Nov-2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
Gimme turbos, Cait. (Yes, I'm a shipper.)
romp 22nd-Nov-2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
ha!
baked_goldfish 22nd-Nov-2012 11:34 am (UTC)
...Happy Thanksgiving!
maladaptive 22nd-Nov-2012 12:48 pm (UTC)
I just do not understand how West can be a "powerhouse." He's dumber than a box of rocks and totally around the bend. I've heard some ridiculous things from Tea Partiers but West is really out there.
freeze_i_say 22nd-Nov-2012 02:30 pm (UTC)
AND NONE FOR ALLEN WEST, BYE

“This was a congressional operation run amuck. The congressional staff couldn’t control it, they failed to manage expectations, to manage the brand,” said a Republican source close to West. “When you have something to say on national TV every time something arises, the brand is overused. The brand wasn’t carefully constructed or guided.”

Democracy in action ^_^
seasight 22nd-Nov-2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
HAI AIDAN GILLEN
freeze_i_say 23rd-Nov-2012 12:41 am (UTC)
HAI GORL HAI :)
azur_blue 22nd-Nov-2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
Good riddance!
ragnor144 22nd-Nov-2012 06:10 pm (UTC)
It is good to see that a slim majority was embarrassed enough at having to call this ass clown their representative.
____jonas 22nd-Nov-2012 08:39 pm (UTC)
For a party that's all about "personal responsibility," they certainly spend a lot of time blaming everyone BUT the candidate for their loss.
moonshaz 23rd-Nov-2012 02:10 am (UTC)
abiding 23rd-Nov-2012 07:23 am (UTC)
BYE YOU PIECE OF SHIT
halfshellvenus 28th-Nov-2012 12:54 am (UTC)
What's really appalling here is that while his "handlers" tried to coerce him toward the middle and failed... think what would have happened if they'd succeeded? He'd have been elected as a moderate, and show his true, hateful colors afterwards.

I'd rather candidates sink or swim on their own. If they can't figure out how to be reasonable people, who wants to elect them?
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