Weprin blames Obama for stunning loss

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Assemblyman David Weprin is blaming President Obama for his stunning 54–46 percent loss to former television executive Bob Turner on Tuesday, claiming that he would have won the southern Brooklyn district if the Commander in Chief was doing a better job — yet many say the Democrat sunk his own ship with several campaign missteps, as well as his refusal to shave off his 1970s-style mustache.

“[The election] turned into a referendum of the President and I was an unfortunate consequence,” Weprin (D–Queens) said during a Monday-morning quarterbacking session with this paper on Wednesday. “If this election happened when the president’s poll results were better, I could have turned this around.”

It would have been quite a feat: Weprin lost the Brooklyn side of the bi-borough district — with just 33 percent of borough voters pulling the lever for him — in the fight for disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner’s seat. As the final numbers were tallied, Weprin was trailing by more than 4,000 votes on both sides of the district.

Weprin called Turner to concede the special election and congratulate his opponent on Wednesday morning. The victor acknowledged the President’s role in the election, according to Turner.

“He said ‘The election wasn’t about you or me. It was beyond both of us.’ ” Weprin recalled.

Calls to the Turner campaign were not returned on Wednesday, but during his victory speech, Turner said his win proved that voters have “had it” with the President’s “irresponsi­ble fiscal policies” and his “treatment of Israel.”

“This is an historic race,” Turner told his supporters after claiming victory. “We’ve been asked by the people of this district to send a message to Washington — and I hope they hear it loud and clear: Mr. President, we are on the wrong track.”

The Obama-baiting began in late July when former Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat who frequently endorses republicans, announced he was backing Turner as a backhand slap to Obama’s claims that Israel should withdraw to its pre-1967 borders and give some of its land back to the Palestinians.

Koch’s endorsement marked the beginning of the GOP’s push to connect Weprin to Obama at every turn. For the next month and a half, nearly all of Turner’s campaign literature had pictures of Obama.

“American families are worse off now than they were two years ago, thanks to the failed leadership of President Obama and politicians like David Weprin,” one flier read.

The voters apparently believed the hype: more than 60,000 people turned out to vote, a surprising turn in a special election expected to generate low numbers and be decided by party loyalists. There are three Democrats for every Republican in district, so many thought a Weprin victory was assured. Comparatively, just over 110,000 district residents voted in the 2010 election, where Weiner defeated Turner’s first bid for the House of Representatives and several state elections — including the race for governor — were on the ballot.

Weprin staffers say campaign polls show that the President’s shadow loomed over the election, but many Brooklynites say that Weprin was to blame — not Obama.

Chaim Deutsch, president of the Flatbush Shomrim patrol, said Orthodox Jewish voters were outraged that Weprin — an Orthodox Jew himself — voted for gay marriage earlier this year.

“This race was less about Turner and more about gay marriage,” Deutsch said. “[Weprin] not only voted for gay marriage, but he posed with them and went to the gay pride parade. He went out of his way to show that he supported gay marriage, that’s why Orthodox residents went against him.”

Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Marine Park) said the Assemblyman was facing a “perfect storm” of problems on election night — the largest being that no one in the borough knew him.

“Coming into this election, Weprin had close to zero name recognition in Brooklyn,” said Fidler. “Turner put him on the defensive at day one, so his campaign never established any credibility. They skipped that step.”

Sheepshead Bay Democratic District Leader Michael Gellar said that when Weprin did focus on the issues, he spoke about how the GOP-controlled Congress wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare — subjects that voters quickly tuned out.

“[Weprin] kept carrying on that Turner wanted to get rid of Medicare and Social Security. That would have worked a few months earlier when it was in the news — like it did when [Democrat] Kathy Hocul won a Republican seat upstate,” said Gellar. “But that was a one trick pony you can’t use over and over. People will start to resent you for it.”

Another problem was as clear as the mustache on Weprin’s face — the Assemblyman should have shaved his ’stache, Gellar said.

“Politicians usually don’t have facial hair, because it looks like you’re hiding something,” Gellar explained. “Mustaches and beards stop people from seeing the real you.”

Updated 5:26 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

kevin from staten island says:
Wah wah wah...
Sept. 15, 2011, 10:19 am
kevin from staten island says:
Maybe you should take some responsibility yourself for a loss in a district that has been blue since the 1920's instead of regurgitating the media narrative that this was some kind of "referendum".

Be a man.
Sept. 15, 2011, 10:21 am
D.A.O. from Miami says:
Wow, this is a stunning example of someone with complete lack of ownership. How does this politician (Weprin) live with himself, blaming his loss on another politician in office? There's a Republican now in office and this guy Weprin has the gall to say, "The election wasn't about you or me. It was beyond both of us." You have got to be kidding me. That's complete lack-of-ownership bull. Weprin lost by some 3,000 votes. If he didn't raise the requisite funds or do enough GOTV, that's on HIM and his campaign staff to own.

If that's the kind of skirting of responsibility this guy takes, then I'm almost glad he's not in office in this capacity.
Sept. 15, 2011, 10:22 am
kevin from staten island says:
Speaking of being a man. I cannot believe what a complete idiot the previous representative from this district was to have even provided the republicans with this opportunity.

Thanks Anthony. You've done your country and city proud.
Sept. 15, 2011, 10:22 am
Haliwell Hobbs from Guadalajara says:
Maybe you should blame that silly toupé you have on your head. I wouldnt vote for anyone that phoney.
Sept. 15, 2011, 11:28 am
Eli from Brooklyn says:
Weprin lost because he not only voted for the Gay Marriage Bill when the Bill came up for a vote in June but he also said that Gay Marriage is a Civil Issue & not a religious issue eventhough he is an Orthodox Jew which angered the Majority of Orhtodox Jews which ultimately cost him the election. If Weprin would have voted against the Gay Marriage Bill he probably would have won the election.
Sept. 15, 2011, 11:29 am
Randy from Brooklyn says:
Turner also used the same stupid mosque issue over and over again.
Sept. 15, 2011, 11:36 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Yes We Can!

Hope and Change!

All Fired Up Ready to Go!

We are the ones we have been waitng for!
Sept. 15, 2011, 12:08 pm
Al from Park Slope says:
Perhaps its just refreshing to elect someone who is new to becoming a politician instead of these political insiders
Sept. 15, 2011, 12:08 pm
Joey Bots says:
The toupee did not help!!
Sept. 15, 2011, 1:13 pm
Eric McClure from Park Slope says:
Oh, please, David Weprin! This election was about a tired political hack appointed by a morally bankrupt political machine in a bypassing of the voters to try to replace a disgraced and abrasive career politician. Your sad campaign -- not the President -- was the problem.

New York's Democrats need to wake up, replace the corrupt machine, and put good, smart, progressive candidates in office.
Sept. 15, 2011, 1:39 pm
You're Wrong from Bushwick says:
The Reason Weprin lost was because of his progressive views. Give me a break. I agree with the theory that this was the perfect storm. Obama isn't very well liked in this district--might I remind you that Weiner ran against race riots and Al Sharpton in this district when he ran for City Council. Race was surely a factor in trying to "send the President a message".

Moreover, low voter turnout played a huge roll. If President Obama were on the ballot more blacks and Hispanics would have come out to vote.

However, the biggest misstep in this campaign was having Parkside run the election. These guys are more focused on numbers and calculations than on visiting people and making personal contact. While Turner was out on the street meeting and greeting voters, Parkside was busy calculating what the vote was like in 2010 and 2008.
Sept. 15, 2011, 1:55 pm
Mike from Bay Ridge says:
So they elected a Republican. Celebrate diversity!
Sept. 15, 2011, 2:10 pm
Sam from Bk says:
Poor Obama gets blamed for everything!
Sept. 15, 2011, 5:05 pm
Guido Fauci from Shore Road says:
Not a word about Craig Eaton and the Brooklyn GOP delivering Brooklyn for Turner....

Just what's up with that?
Sept. 15, 2011, 11:24 pm
Raul Rothblatt from Prospect Heights says:
A defeat has many causes, but I would say the biggest is Vito Lopez, the Brooklyn Democratic Party boss. He put his efforts in the special election for Assembly in Bushwick, and ignored the congressional race.

If you care about the success of the Democratic Party, you should know about Vito. Democrats in Brooklyn need grass-roots leadership, and Vito Lopez is getting in the way of that.

This loss should focus the mind of people who don't like the GOP. It is a wake-up call, and the Democrats in Brooklyn need new leadership.
Sept. 16, 2011, 9:19 am
Dick Cheney from Park Slope says:
I love to see leftist Dems cry.. your tears are so sweet!

I give Obama a ton of credit for being able to continue to espouse the same policies that have had at best no impact on the economy, claim for the umpteenth time to redouble his focus on jobs, claim that the Obama Care is good for the economy. The guy looks beaten but appears willing to take more punches.

Weprin was a horrible candidate but his defeat was certainly influenced by Obama not 100% but at least 50/50.

You will be better if you accept the truth now than have it shoved down your throat in 2012.
Sept. 16, 2011, 10:48 am
Guido Fauci from Senator Street says:
Still not feelin' the love for the Brooklyn GOP and Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig Eaton for ALL that they did to get Turner elected.

Just what was that, again?
Sept. 16, 2011, 5:06 pm
Quicke from PH says:
It was the stash that cost him the election. The man looked like a stalker. Unless the GOP can do better then a Tea Party yahoo, obama will win in 2012. The GOP/Tea Party or party of "no" has done nothing to sway voters in their favor. Their policies or lack of policies, stem from the 70's handbook and everybody knows it. Besides if Obama was 100% white and not the 50% you can't see, the Tea Party would be non-existent. This race is about "race." how many minority Tea Party people do you know?
Sept. 18, 2011, 4:08 pm
Not so Quicke from Parkville says:
How does that "race" thing work exactly?

In 2008 didn't a lot of 100% white people vote for 50%-white Obama, and didn't a lot of 100% black people vote for 50%-black Obama. Of course, a lot of 100% Latino people voted for 0%-Latino Obama and a lot of 100% Jewish people voted for 0%-Jewish Obama, etc., etc., etc....

As for "Tea Party" -- there really weren't that many in the 9th CD.
Sept. 19, 2011, 8:03 pm
liz from brooklyn says:
you all full of —— every thing you all blaming obama i wish he wont in this position this country is plain racial who dont want to say it i will if obama was white things would of been different their is no other reason an am white and i love him more because jesus have him their.
Sept. 29, 2011, 6:28 am
Mike from Bay Ridge says:
To liz from brooklyn: am white too and hate him more cause he played hand dealt badly and should not have elected been just cause skin color this country not racial in 2008 cause it voted for him three years later now racial but why?
Sept. 29, 2011, 2:04 pm

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