Big GOP Win, Yet Feeling Uneasy
Posted by Warren Peterson on November 4, 2010
I got out of bed the day after the Republican sweep expecting a feeling exhilaration, the joy of victory. Instead, while happy for the wins, apprehension was in the air. The wave, that sweep over 60 more Republicans into the House, maybe 6 in the Senate and a 23 to 9 Republican advantage in governor’s races from Pennsylvania to New Mexico, barely made a GOP ripple on the Left Coast. That Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer and most likely Patty Murray could survive after the Democrat’s record of fiscal irresponsibly and in-your-face partisanship clouds the significant gains across the nation; and the political resurrection of Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown as Governor of California, well that should lead one to despair for the Golden State.
The failures in the far West were not due to a lack of money. Republican candidates, especially in California, had plenty of cash. Except perhaps for Senate in Nevada, the GOP candidates were strong and clearly qualified. Indeed, Washington gained at least one congressional seat and made strong gains in state legislative races. But in the financial train wreck State of California, Democrats swept the statewide offices and lost maybe one seat in Congress. To the south, Oregon kept the Governor’s chair in Democrat hands.
This election was advertised as the prelimary to 2012 when Republicans plan to replace Obama and take control of the Senate where Democrats must defend 21 seats plus 2 liberal independents versus 10 for the Republicans. The GOP’s hopes are far from guaranteed. An unexpected robust economic recovery, potential House Republican missteps and a host of unknowns may lie in the path to Republican dreamland.
To win, Republicans must layout a reasonable conservative agenda and spend the next two years selling it to the public. Also, starting now, they need to find, develop and support good candidates. Sorry but Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell don’t make the cut. Some of their statements and past positions not only caused them to lose but also provided fodder for the Left and their friends in the media to ridicule Republican candidates nationwide. Washington’s Maria Cantwell is up in 2012. If Clint Didier or someone of his ilk makes it in the top two, she will waltz to an easy win. Worse, the Senate race could drag down Rob McKenna in his run for Governor against the likely Democrat, Jay Inslee. There are conservatives in the Republican stable who would make excellent Senate candidates. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and State Senator Joe Zarelli come to mind.
I just want to wake up November 7, 2012 with the Obama nightmare over, the House and Senate firmly in conservative hands and a Republican governor in Olympia. Pure joy!
Cross Posted on: Sound Politics