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Liberals: Don't blame Patty for Obama's flaws

From msnbc.com's Tom Curry
SEATTLE -- The message from Democratic activists lined up outside the Westin hotel in Seattle Tuesday to enter the fundraiser with President Obama and Sen. Patty Murray: Whatever disillusionment some Democrats might feel so far with President Obama, they shouldn’t take it out on Murray by failing to show up in November.

Judith Lonnquist, an attorney from Seattle who called herself “an old feminist warhorse” and “a hard-core Hillary Clinton supporter” in 2008, called Dino Rossi, Murray’s likely GOP opponent in November, “formidable.” She said, “We need to take this seriously because we need Patty Murray in the Senate.”

Obama “is taking a really bad rap,” Lonnquist observed. “He’s got this baggage from the Bush administration; He’s doing a pretty good job of cleaning it up. I’d give him a B-plus.”


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She gives Obama an A++ for his Supreme Court nominations, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. So why not an overall A++?

“I would rather not say bad things about him," she said. "I’ll leave that to the Republicans.”

But prompted with the word, “Afghanistan,” Lonnquist said, “That’s one.”

She added, “Not jumping on the Gulf oil spill quickly enough is another.”

Another attorney who was waiting to enter the Obama/Murray lunch, Todd Nichols of Everett, Wash., said of three-term Democrat Murray: “It’s really hard to believe that she could lose. She’s very thorough, she does all her homework… and she’s consistently been the highest vote getter in this state for many years. It would have to be a big wave election.”

As for disgruntled Democrats, Nichols said, “There are a lot of people who wish the president had pushed for a public option, or Medicare for All, or a national health program. They feel the same way about individual members of Congress -- but I’ve never heard any complaints at all about Patty Murray.”

Nichols, who originally backed fellow trial lawyer John Edwards in the 2008 Democratic primaries, said he wished Obama would find his inner Truman and use the bully pulpit to challenge Republicans for blocking his agenda.

“Harry Truman did a good job of that," Nichols said. "I wish we had more of that spirit.”

Give 'em hell? Without skipping a beat, Nichols gave Truman’s 1948 rejoinder: “Tell the truth, and they think it’s hell.”

Across the street from Nichols, a gaggle of anti-Murray protesters toted hand-made signs saying, “You are Fired, Patty.” They mingled with others carrying, “U.S. Out of Afghanistan” signs and about 100 immigration demonstrators calling for jobs and an end to deportations.

Jennifer Eck, a stay-at-home mother from Sedro Woolley, Wash., said Murray and Obama “are driving this country into the ground.” Much of Obama’s agenda is unconstitutional, she said. “Health care: where does it say we have to buy a product?”

Eck said she voted for Rossi in today’s Washington Senate primary.