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DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, is being likened to “Baghdad Bob,” the former Iraqi information minister famous for denying obvious losses during war with America, for her effort to put a positive spin on the defeat by a Democratic candidate in Florida’s 13 congressional district Tuesday.

Republican David Jolly was victorious over Democrat Alex Sink 48.5 percent to 46.7 percent, with Libertarian Lucas Overby collecting 4.8 percent of the vote.

It was the first major test of the Obamacare effect on an election, with both sides spending millions of dollars rehearsing national campaign strategies.

Wasserman Schultz, whose Twitter handle is @DWStweets, sent out a brief tweet, stating: “The GOP underperformed tonight in the #FL13 – a district they’ve held for decades.”

It provided a link to a longer comment, in which she noted:

Former Iraqi Information Minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf, better known as "Baghdad Bob"

“Republican special interest groups poured in millions to hold onto a Republican congressional district that they’ve comfortably held for nearly 60 years. Tonight, Republicans fell short of their normal margin in this district because the agenda they are offering voters has a singular focus – that a majority of voters oppose – repealing the Affordable Care Act that would return us to the same old broken health care system.

“While tonight Democrats didn’t win, we are proud of Alex and the race she ran based on a vision of opportunity for all and an agenda that would grow the middle class and protect Florida’s families.”

Wasserman Schultz’s positive spin on the Democrat’s loss prompted a flood of sarcastic responses on Twitter, including:

  • Evidently “underperformed” is Libspeak for winning
  • Yes, @DWStweets the Democrats should continue to run on #Obamacare. Let me know how that works out for you
  • He underperformed so much that he won
  • Baghdad Bob right there.
  • And Putin underperformed in Crimea.
  • Fine with underperforming and still winning. And there’s more coming
  • Reagan carried 49 of 50 states in ’84. Underperformed.
  • Your brain is what’s underperforming.
  • I would love to see your prepared tweets had Sink won. I imagine they included words like “validation” and “referendum”

The election was to replace the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young, a Republican who held the House seat for 42 years. He died of cancer in October.

Jim Geraghty on Twitter flayed Wasserman Schultz’s analysis by noting: “@DWStweets says GOP ‘fell short of their normal margin in this district.’ Indeed, as Rep. Bill Young ran unopposed seven times.”

The White House chimed in Wednesday on the Democrat’s defeat.

“Any fair assessment of the role that the debate about the Affordable Care Act played reaches the conclusion that at best for the Republicans, it was a draw,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

“It’s a race where, again, Republicans held the seat for 58 years, where they routinely won that seat by 30 or more points,” he added. “And last night, they won by less than 2 points. So it is what it is.”

Carney did not mention the race was in a district Barack Obama carried in both 2008 and 2012.

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