Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), who as chair of the DCCC is in charge of House Democrats’ campaign efforts, told reporters on Friday that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) should be impeached over her efforts to remove an independent redistricting commissioner.
“I think the people of Arizona should consider impeaching Jan Brewer for what she did,” Israel told reporters at a briefing on Friday.
This week the state’s Republican-controlled Senate backed Brewer’s decision to oust the head of the independent redistricting panel, Colleen Coyle Mathis, over GOP complaints that the proposed Congressional map favored Democrats.
Nonetheless, Israel told reporters that Democrats have a real shot at returning to majority status in 2012 thanks in part to relatively neutral redistricting results, which he said Republicans had counted on to strengthen their incumbents and add GOP-leaning seats.
“We’ve gone from a gale force wind against us to a sustained breeze at our back,” Israel said, citing superior fundraising, an impressive slate of recruits to run for House seats, and abysmal poll numbers for the House GOP Majority.
“There is a strong anti-incumbent mood in this country,” Israel said. “They want problem solvers. They want less ideology and more solutions.”
Of course, some of that anti-incumbent tide, driven in large part by weak job growth, also hurts Democrats — it’s the number one challenge to President Obama’s re-election chances. Asked whether the House Democrats can retake the majority while Obama’s approval ratings were low in many key districts, Israel acknowledged that it was a concern.
“Look, the president’s numbers need to improve,” he said. “But House Republican numbers are toxic, radioactive. I think this could be one of the most challenging environments that incumbents have ever run in.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.