She's going negative early, it seems. I thought that was a curious choice given her own rather ungracious excuse for losing in 2006:
In the course of her conversation with Mike Pintek, she brought up this article from the Washington Post to criticize Congressman Jason Altmire. It begins with this:
Hart says she believes she lost because of Altmire's negative ad campaign.
"I was not going to play the games. Unfortunately I think that took a toll. In retrospect, I had everyone in Washington, D.C., significant number of my colleagues, call me and say you need to cut his legs off, was the term they used," Hart said. "And you know what, you don't need to cut his legs off. He clearly did that his entire campaign, he's new at this, I that hope he doesn't do it the next time."
Good point, Altmire's one of those freshman Democrats. So how many of these votes have there been? 18:
Half a dozen freshman Democrats took to the House floor one late-October morning to cast their lot with Republicans.
Their actions went unpunished by the Democratic leadership that day, as they have on many other occasions in recent weeks. The symbolic gesture -- casting nay votes on approving the House Journal, essentially the minutes of the previous day -- would have no bearing on the leadership's agenda.
While they overwhelmingly support that agenda, the bloc of freshmen has begun casting votes against such minor procedural motions in an effort, Democratic sources and Republican critics say, to demonstrate their independence from their leadership. The number of votes that the potentially vulnerable newcomers to Capitol Hill cast against House leaders is tallied and watched closely by interest groups and political foes.
How many votes has he cast so far? 1,226, according to the Washington Post. According to that webpage, Congressman Altmire's voted with the majority of his party 85.7% of the time.
"I'm viewed as an independent. I'm viewed as a conservative Democrat," said Rep. Jason Altmire (Pa.), the first freshman to regularly oppose his party's leadership on the journal vote.
Like several others, Altmire offered no explanation for voting against all but one of 18 roll calls on the routine measure, adding that he had no "pre-planned" rationale for the votes. "I'm certainly not going to win or lose my reelection based on my journal votes," he said.
Missy Hart's making a case for those 17 votes. Let's do some math, shall we?
If we round to the nearest integer, 85.7% of 1,226 is 1,051. So it looks like Jason Altmire has voted with his party 1,051 times. But let's see what happens when we add those 17 votes Missy Hart's so upset over.
So had Jason Altmire voted with his party on those 17 votes, he would have voted with his party 1,068 times.
That would be 87.1% of the time. By my count, that would move him up 15 spots on the list. Of more than 400 members of the House.
And that is what Missy Hart's upset over.
She probably should be upset - by the same accounting at the Washington Post, she voted a whopping 94.4% of the time with her party in the 109th Congress.
By the way, voting against the journal is not even a new idea:
Thanks for the tip, Missy.
"They're trying to create separation. Our guys did it in '95 and '96," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), a member of the GOP class of 1994.
At the time, freshman Republicans saw congressional popularity plummet during a budget fight that led to a series of federal government shutdowns. Fearful of being tied closely to then-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), many freshmen also began voting no on the journal in a similar effort to distance themselves.