Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pete Sessions' NRCC "Needs Proctology Exam"

Tuesday was election day in a few states, not Texas, but one story has a north Texas connection. Besides the primary elections, there was a special election in Pennsylvania's 12th District to fill the Congressional seat left vacant by the death of Congressman John Murtha. The head of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which oversees GOP electoral strategy nationally, is none other than Richardson's own Congressman Pete Sessions.

After the jump, what our Congressman has been up to outside his district.

Pete Sessions has made news before as head of the NRCC, for example by his fundraisers in Las Vegas' burlesque nightclubs. Now, Sessions is making news trying to explain why Democrats held on to this Pennsylvania seat, despite the GOP making the special election a referendum on President Obama and health care reform. Here's how the San Francisco Chronicle sees it:

"Pete Sessions is on a serious losing streak at the House GOP's campaign committee. Under the Texas Republican's leadership, the National Republican Congressional Committee has lost five consecutive special election showdowns. In Upstate New York, the GOP managed to lose a district it hadn't lost in a century. It also snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the race to replace now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. But the most disheartening loss has to be Tuesday's special election in southwestern Pennsylvania, where most Republican strategists had expected to seize the seat of the late Democrat Jack Murtha. ... There are legitimate excuses for Republicans' losses in each of the special election races -- but not for losing every important contest. Some senior Republicans are starting to wonder (privately, at least) if Sessions has what it takes to take back the House in November."

CNN is more explicit about what those senior Republicans are saying:

"Both sources, one a Republican lawmaker and one a senior GOP staffer, said National Republican Congressional Committee [NRCC] chairman Pete Sessions took responsibility for the loss and promised to study the results and learn the lessons of the Burns' defeat. ... The source also told CNN that the NRCC 'has a lot of explaining to do and frankly, needs a proctology exam. People that are paid to win races can't keep losing them - especially now, in what is supposed to be the most favorable election cycle for Republicans in a generation.'"

I suspect that one reason why the GOP picked Sessions to run the NRCC in the first place is not because of his talent for winning key elections, but because he has the time for the job. He has the time for the job because he comes from a district so GOP-safe that any GOP nominee, even someone like, well, Pete Sessions, can safely win re-election without working up a sweat. That leaves him plenty of time for GOP fundraising in places like, well, Las Vegas.

And that's what the Congressman who north Texas keeps sending back to Washington term after term has been up to outside his district.

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