It seems like a year ago, but it was only a week ago today that the Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Christine Blasey Ford, the main and only potentially credible accuser, was all over the news and the focus of Democrat attention for the month before the confirmation. Now she’s all but gone from the news.
Here’s a screenshot of a Google News search for “Christine Ford” for the past week:
There’s just not a lot there. The name that once was the focus of Democrats and the news cycle is hardly mentioned anymore.
That’s not coincidence. Democrats realized that the attacks on Kavanaugh backfired, igniting Republican enthusiasm and creating meaningful polling increases for Republicans in key Senate races. That realization came before the formal confirmation, but with Kavanaugh on the court, keeping Ford the center of attention no longer served Democrats’ purposes.
Instead, Democrats have pivoted to, yes really, healthcare. CNN reported on October 9, 2018, just 3 days after confirmation and the day after the ceremonial swearing in at the White House, Senate Democrats shift focus away from Kavanaugh and pivot to health care:
Senate Democrats are quickly shifting their focus away from the polarizing Brett Kavanaugh fight and plan to intensely focus on health care in the final weeks of the midterm election season.
Top Democrats told CNN Tuesday evening that they view the focus on health care — specifically the GOP-led lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act and gut pre-existing condition protections — as more for salient in the eyes of voters, even as the GOP is campaigning heavily on the Kavanaugh fight to energize its base.
“It’s the top of voters’ minds,” said Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, of health care. “Even after everything that has happened here in Washington — not surprisingly the focus is on pocketbook issues. Not surprisingly rising health care costs are their No. 1 concern — as well as protecting people with pre-existing conditions.”
Voters, Van Hollen said, are “not going to be worried about the Kavanaugh hearings — after what happened, that happened. They’re going to be focused on day-to-day issues.”
NBC News reported on October 10, 2018, Senate Democrats look to turn focus back to health care:
Democrats are trying to turn attention to health care after a brutal month in which the confirmation battle of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh dominated news cycles, increasing previously apathetic Republican voter enthusiasm, according to party operatives.
Democrats have long believed that healthcare would help them as an issue in 2018, but the pivot away from Kavanaugh and Ford was stark this past week.
Christine Ford served a purpose for the Democrats initially, as did the unsubstantiated allegations of Deborah Ramirez and even the absurd allegations of Julie Swednick.
But Ford was the key. Now Democrats have pivoted away from her, dropping her like a hot potato.