Saturday, March 20, 2010

Where in the World is Loretta Sanchez? - UPDATED

Hot off the wires: Rep Loretta Sanchez is MIA and listed as a no by Democratic leadership:
Sanchez was nowhere to be found on Saturday — she was in Florida on a fundraising jaunt, two Democratic sources said — and while leaders expected her to return for the Sunday vote on final passage, they weren’t assured. What’s more, leaders now list the Orange County Democrat as a “no” vote.

Sanchez’s office did not return a request for comment Saturday evening. She cast her last vote shortly after 6 p.m. Friday and missed all seven recorded votes on Saturday, a review of the record shows.

Democratic hand-wringing about her status — geographically and intentionally — underlines just how tight the margin has become for leaders trying to zero in on 216 votes as the clock ticks down to their appointed deadline. Leaders are still hunting for a winning coalition of votes — and still struggling for a breakthrough abortion fix that will convert three or four holdouts angling for tougher protections against public funding of the procedure.

Sanchez this week told the Orange County Register that she needs to be satisfied that the health care overhaul is affordable. “The Senate bill is a bad bill,” she told the paper.

RTR, but this is a potential upset and shows this is definitely not over. Certainly not as over as Democrats want us to believe. Matheson and Space are both no votes and it looks as though a deal with Stupak is back up for consideration. Pelosi must be steaming, yikes what a thought that is. Someone throw a bucket of water on the Bit, excuse me, Witch - please!

H/T: Jay Cost
Jane Hamsher @ Firedoglake is genuinely surprised by this development:

Sanchez voted “yes” last time.  She faces a well-funded GOP challenger, Van Tran, in the 2010 election. Although Obama carried her district by 60%, Schwarzenegger won it in 2006 as did Bush in 2004.  It has a growing Vietnamese community, which Tran hopes to capitalize on.  “They come out and vote in large numbers, and they’re 2-to-1 Republican,” he told the Associated Press.

This makes Nancy Pelosi’s job considerably harder.  Sanchez’s jump could be a sign that there are members who have been quiet about their positions and hoping they’d never have to take the vote.  But with the fear of tough elections ahead looming large, more could follow her lead.  I know there’s a tendency to look at these votes as carved in stone once members commit publicly, but I fully remember what happened to Ciro Rodriguez during the Cap and Trade vote:
Sanchez represents a D+5 district. Yes, she faces a well funded challenger, but there are others who are in far more perilous positions than she.  Self-preservation is a powerful force yet Obama called on vulnerable Democrats to lay down their jobs to save  his own.  I will not suggest that we have proof positive Pelosi won't find a way to wrangle up the votes she needs but she clearly does not have them now.  Those who have yet to declare their positions may well have been dodging declaring a position in hopes this would all fall apart.

The Democrats started this "fauxmentum" push to passage hoping to build a sense of inevitability.  It strikes me as a strong possibility they found themselves the day before the "historic" vote not having the votes and not wanting to delay the vote for fear of losing the air of inevitability they'd built.

The Anchoress tweets the news Bill Clinton has been enlisted to make last minute calls to move the fence sitters off the fence.   I have serious doubts Clinton is looking to help Obama do what he could not.  I am fairly certain Clinton hasn't forgotten how he was painted a racist by the Obama campaign.  The Clintons are notorious grudge holders, I would love to be on the line hearing those calls.  I wonder if Clinton helped Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky write this helpful advice:
I still remember how, after I voted, Bob Walker jumped up and down on the House floor, yelling "Bye-bye, Marjorie!" I thought, first, that he was probably right. Then, that I would expect better behavior from my kids, much less a member of Congress. And then, that he was a remarkable jumper.

I am your worst-case scenario. And I'd do it all again.

In recent days I have become something I never imagined: a verb. I hear that when freshmen enter Congress they are told, "We don't want to Margolies-Mezvinsky you." I had no idea that when I voted for the Clinton budget, I was writing the first line of my obituary.
It seems to me that Loretta Sanchez has opted to ignore Marjorie's advice.  Perhaps Marjorie might have fared better had she listened to her constituents instead of her "conscience."   It is inarguable the holdouts in Stupak's group are listening to both their constituents and their consciences.  Here's hoping some in that group aren't swayed by a worthless executive order, they'd be ignoring their constituents and consciences if they were so easily fooled.   It looks as though they would be the deciding votes for this disaster.  Who really wants that on their conscience?

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