Bruce Braley and the Year Everything Went Wrong for Democrats

Good morning folks –

While Joni Ernst is touring all 99 counties, The Atlantic reports that Congressman Braley’s handlers are checking the box of doing public events by bring him into empty coffee shops and other tightly controlled locations.

Additionally, wanted to flag this elitist comment from Congressman Braley where he claims that he’s more qualified than Joni Ernst because he’s been in Congress for 8 years and before that was a trial lawyer for 23 years.

  • ELITIST TAKEAWAY: “Braley, who has been in Congress since 2006, can barely hide his contempt for Ernst. She does not know this state like he does, he tells me. ‘My opponent lived in Southwest Iowa and did not have the opportunity to spend as much time traveling around the state as I have in my life,’ he says. ‘In 23 years practicing law, I represented clients all over the state of Iowa. I have relatives in various different parts of the state. I represented 23 counties in Congress before I ran for the Senate.’” (Molly Ball, Bruce Braley And The Year Everything Went Wrong For Democrats, 10/25/14)

Bruce Braley And The Year Everything Went Wrong For Democrats
Republican Joni Ernst’s Unexpected Breakout Performance In The Race For Senate In Iowa Epitomizes This Midterm Cycle
The Atlantic
Molly Ball
October 25, 2014

Nothing has gone the way it was supposed to for Bruce Braley.

The Democratic congressman, who is behind in the polls in his race to represent Iowa in the Senate, is sitting on a couch in a nearly empty coffee shop in this small town east of Cedar Rapids that houses Iowa’s largest prison. (“The population is about 6,000, but 1,200 of them aren’t allowed to leave,” one local tells me.) Braley is trying to put a good face on a campaign where nearly everything has gone wrong.

“I’ve always known this was going to be a tough race,” says Braley, a blue-eyed 56-year-old with a thin fuzz of brown hair. This is what every politician on the wrong side of the numbers always says, and it’s rarely true. Plus, Braley says, he feels like the tide is turning in his favor. “There’s so much positive momentum, especially coming off the last two debates”—a seeming acknowledgement that his performance in the first of the three debates was lousy. Among his supporters, he says, he is sensing “a tremendous amount of energy.”

For some reason, Braley’s campaign stop here—he walked down Main Street, ducking into a couple of shops before stopping for a cup of coffee and a chat with the mayor here at Grounds & Goodies—was not advertised, and rather than come out to greet him, the whole town seems to have retreated indoors. Main Street is empty; there are six people in the coffeeshop. On this campaign stop, Braley will come into contact with no more than a dozen voters.