Top Democrats

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 12 2011 10:00 AM

Top Democrats

Some classic Fred Dicker is-it-a-scoop-or-not stuff here:

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Top Democrats have privately told GOP leaders that they want David Weprin defeated in tomorrow’s special congressional election for the Anthony Weiner seat in order to send “a wake-up call to President Obama,” a national Republican strategist contends.
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A national Republican strategist? Wow, who is he?

Strategist John McLaughlin, a key figure in businessman Bob Turner’s hotly fought and closely watched battle with Queens Assemblyman Weprin...

Wait -- the strategist who says that Democrats are rooting for a NY-9 loss just so happens to be the GOP candidate's pollster?

... said he’s been startled at how many prominent Democrats say they want the Republicans to win the contest in the heavily Democratic Queens-Brooklyn district to put pressure on the White House. “It’s really something. We have a lot of Democrats coming to us saying, ‘We hope Turner wins because if Obama doesn’t change his policies, we’re afraid we’re going to lose in 2012,’ ’’ McLaughlin told The Post.

The only Democrats named in the article are Ed Koch and Assemblyman Dov Hikind, both of whom endorsed Turner pretty explicitly to send "a message" on Israel. Weprin's zionist credentials are gold-plated, and he even attacked the proposed Park51 "ground zero mosque." But he's collateral damage.

I asked McLaughlin who the "top Democrats" were, and if the issue that animated them was really just Israel. "It's mainly New York Democrats," he explained. "I'm getting' Dems who are coming to us, saying, we hope Turner wins, we've got to wake up Obama before it's too late. Ed Koch is a committed Democrat. He teed this off. He's doing this because he's trying to send a message about the president's support for Israel. But you've got Democrats who are worried about the economy, zero employment growth, things like that."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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