From NBC's Mark Murray
On MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," White House adviser David Axelrod today argued that it would be wrong to read too much into last night's GOP gubernatorial wins in New Jersey and Virginia -- and what they might mean for next year's midterm elections.
And if you read us earlier this morning, Axelrod does seem to have a point.
But looking back at First Read's coverage the day after the 2005 New Jersey and Virginia contests, we had forgotten that Rahm Emanuel -- then chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and now White House chief of staff -- had called us to argue the very point Republicans are now making: that the two gubernatorial contests say something about the upcoming midterms.
Here's what we wrote then:
Democratic House campaign committee chair Rahm Emanuel, calling First Read immediately after Kaine's and Corzine's victories were announced, argued that it's clear Democratic voters were already energized earlier in the year when Democrat Paul Hackett nearly won a traditionally GOP-leaning Ohio House district. "I think that's even more true today." He also pointed out that the mayors of Detroit, Cleveland, and St. Paul, MN were all losing. "A lot of incumbents are losing to change," he said (although he neglected to mention that these three mayors are Democrats, though the one from St. Paul endorsed Bush last year).
*** UPDATE *** Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's office also sends along this Nov. 2005 Roll Call piece. "In an interview last week, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) said that regardless of the results, the gubernatorial outcomes stand to have a huge effect on how 2006 is viewed. 'Whatever the outcome of those elections, it will have an impact on people's interpretations of the upcoming election,' Emanuel said, adding that Democratic wins across the board could have a positive impact on the party's 2006 recruiting efforts."