But the national mood is hostile, and conservative groups would consider his defeat a trophy for their wall. Mr. Frank is now spending more time on his re-election instead of pumping money into the campaigns of vulnerable Democratic lawmakers, the traditional role of a party grandee. As a result, Mr. Frank's focus on his own district will have reverberations in races across the country.
So far this election, Mr. Frank has dipped into his personal re-election account to donate just $35,000 to 12 Democratic candidates, according to campaign-finance figures compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, a fraction of his largesse two years ago, when he gave $248,000 to 86 candidates. This year, he has given $250,000 to the campaign arm of House Democrats, compared with $650,000 in 2008.
So that $248,000 went to whichever Democrat candidates in house races all across the fruited plain needed the money. I don't know where the great part of the $650K went, maybe to the Obama campaign. So I repeat: all politics is national. I don't doubt that Dennis Kucinich gives quite a bit of his campaign contributions away―he barely needs it to win a district which is 80% Democrat.