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A PR nightmare threatens Democrats with the 2010 midterm elections on the horizon March 8, 2010

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Democratic Rep. Eric Massa announced his resignation from Congress recently, soon after reports that he was being investigated for sexually harassing a male staffer. Massa admitted to using language that might make others feel uncomfortable, but insisted that the investigation was somewhat of a witch hunt. He stated:

“There is no doubt that this Ethics issue is my fault and mine alone. But in the incredibly toxic atmosphere that is Washington D.C., with the destruction of our elected leaders having become a blood sport, especially in talk radio and on the internet, there is also no doubt that an Ethics investigation would tear my family and my staff apart.”

Massa’s scandal is horrible news for the Democrats, who have had a string of public relations disasters involving Gov. David Paterson of New York, Congressman Charles Rangel of New York, former NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and former presidential candidate John Edwards. Many are now drawing comparisons to the scandalous period just before the 2006 midterm elections which led to major losses for the Republicans. In short, the ruling party faces a PR nightmare that threatens its majority.

To see what conservative commentators are saying about these scandals, watch the following videos from the Fox network:

Discussion Questions:

1.  How might major scandals impact public perceptions of the Democratic Party heading into the midterm elections?

2.  In your opinion, how well has the Democratic Party responded thus far to news of these scandals?

3.  How could the Democratic Party’s PR strategy change to minimize the impact of these scandals as the midterm elections get closer?

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