Paul Goldman has an interesting post up at Blue Virginia suggesting that some Obama officials may be complaining behind the scenes about the attempt by certain Democratic insiders to anoint Brian Moran as DPVA chair.
Once again, the power of the blogs, through their ability to convey information to the Mainstream media in this particular case, has been proven. My sources, generally reliable but to be fair, not big fans of Congressman Jim Moran, tell me that the Obama White House, admittedly through intermediaries at the capo level, has made the following clear as “crystal” to quote Tom Cruise in his great courtroom scene with Jack Nicholson: if Brian Moran gets to be Virginia Democratic Party Chair and he dares continue to lobby against the President or be associated with those lobbying against the President, then as Clemenza said in Godfather 1, “it’s time to go to the mattresses.”
Mr. Goldman’s information is interesting, but I don’t think he’s gamed out the possible consequences properly. Goldman suggests that if Moran takes the DPVA post while continuing to lobby against the President’s stated position on for-profit education, then Obama will somehow act to have Moran removed from the chair of DPVA. It won’t happen that way.
Obama doesn’t have the ability to remove Moran surgically from the DPVA post once Moran attains it. Here’s how it will actually play out. If Brian Moran is chosen as DPVA chair and continues lobbying against Obama, Obama will probably decide he can’t work effectively with the DPVA and will likely write off Virginia in 2012. Obama’s path to victory would be much narrower without Virginia, and he will have to focus more of his time in states like Ohio. Without Obama’s energy and coattails in Virginia, Senator Jim Webb will probably also lose to George Allen or Bob Marshall.
Barack Obama and the DPVA need each other in 2012. For DPVA insiders to short circuit the Democratic process to anoint Brian Moran as the chair of DPVA is a slap in the face of Barack Obama. Brian Moran, if chosen, would likely be an absentee landlord for the DPVA. How much time would Moran spend reorganizing DPVA? How much time would he have left to devote to the party after working a full day on Capitol Hill undermining Obama’s positions on for-profit schools?
Members of the DPVA’s central committee need to seriously weigh the possible consequences of their choice. Are DPVA members willing to hand a Senate seat back to George Allen or Bob Marshall in order to oblige Brian Moran’s friends? Do they want the Obama 2012 campaign to actively target Virginia, or do they prefer to sit on the sidelines and watch those campaign resources go elsewhere?
Brian Moran is a nice guy, but the price that could potentially be paid in order to do him a favor seems a little steep to me.