Republicans and the temptation to hubris.Nov 18, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 10 • By JOHN J. DILULIO JR.
THE MEDIA PUNDITS and partisan spin-doctors are nearly unanimous: President Bush and the Republicans won a big, bellwether victory in the 2002 midterm elections. Most Democratic leaders, many in obvious don't-blame-me mode, agree: Bush's post-9/11 popularity, his peripatetic campaigning and fund-raising for Republican candidates, and his likable personality turned the tide.
Why voters turned Republican.Nov 18, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 10 • By CHUCK DONOVAN and FRANK CANNON
IT WAS SATURDAY AFTERNOON, 72 hours before the polls opened in Georgia, and President George Bush was in the state for the fifth time in 2002--three of them campaign swings for Saxby Chambliss. It was part of the last stage of a fierce drive that put Bush in 17 states in 15 days. The president took to the microphone in front of 6,000 cheering Republicans at the Cobb Galleria Centre and quipped, "Saxby said keep it short, the [University of Georgia] Bulldogs are playing." The crowd howled its approval.
Throughout the 2002 campaign, President Bush did keep it short--and simple.
A handy guide.Nov 18, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 10 • By JEFFREY BELL
JUST BEFORE THE ELECTION last week, I half-attentively watched Norman Ornstein explaining to a television interviewer that President Bush was taking an enormous risk by campaigning for so many marginal Republican candidates. The reason I was half-attentive is that it wasn't the first such analysis I'd heard.
The premise of such interviews, though never quite stated, was that Bush was a bit of a dunce for not realizing that he would get blamed if a number of these GOP candidates were to lose.
Get ready for a whole new confirmation game.Nov 18, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 10 • By TERRY EASTLAND
ON JUDGES, things will be different. The wars over judges of the past two years were made possible by the simple fact that the Democrats controlled the Senate. They used their power to block an unprecedented number of President Bush's appeals court nominees. Now that the Democrats constitute the minority, the outlook for Bush's nominees--including any he might make to the Supreme Court--is considerably brighter.
The first thing that will change is the Judiciary Committee.
Are they going to become the stupid party?Nov 18, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 10 • By DAVID BROOKS
ARE THE DEMOCRATS about to go insane? Are they about to decide that the reason they lost the 2002 election is that they didn't say what they really believe? Are they about to go into Paul Krugman-land, lambasting tax cuts, savaging Bush as a tool of the corporate bosses? Are they about to go off on a jag that will ensure them permanent minority status in every state from North Carolina to Arizona?
If you look at the Democrats' reaction to their debacle last Tuesday you can be forgiven for thinking so. The Democrats went through all the stages of grief simultaneously.
(Besides being unemployed.)Nov 18, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 10 • By STEPHEN MOORE
THE ELECTION NIGHT returns were not even fully revealed before liberals began handing out recriminations. Across the country, Democratic activists and deep-pocket donors were devastated by the failure of party leaders to use the sagging economy to deliver a knockout punch to the Republicans. But it's not as if they didn't try.
In the weeks leading up to the election, the party's three heavyweight 2004 presidential aspirants--Tom Daschle, Dick Gephardt, and Al Gore--plastered Bush for mishandling the economy and the stock market. At the Democratic economic summit on October 11, Rep.
What fired up Republicans? New Jersey, the judges, a tasteless funeral, and the odor of Clintonism.Nov 18, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 10 • By NOEMIE EMERY
CHALK UP A BIG ONE for Priscilla Owen, an unsung winner of last Tuesday's election, and a partial architect of the Republican victory. Owen is the Texas judge who was a Bush nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She was described by the American Bar Association as "highly qualified," but her nomination never made it to the Senate floor.
In the Lone Star State Republicans won 16 state-wide elections and now control all 29 state-wide offices. Are Texas Democrats doomed?11:00 PM, Nov 6, 2002 • By BETH HENARY
TUESDAY NIGHT, the Texas GOP delivered for former governor George W. Bush--in grand fashion. Besides holding the governor's mansion and the Senate seat vacated by retiring senator Phil Gramm, the party refused to concede any statewide office to a Democrat, leaving the Democrats' representation at the highest levels of Texas government at zero.
Republicans didn't just beat their opponents; they pummeled them. With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Governor Rick Perry and U.S. senator-elect John Cornyn led their opponents Tony Sanchez and Ron Kirk by 18 and 12 points, respectively.
The Republican sweep makes a Supreme Court retirement likely in the near future.11:00 PM, Nov 6, 2002 • By TERRY EASTLAND
ONE CONSEQUENCE of the shift of Senate control to the Republicans may be to nudge a Justice or two towards retirement. It's about time we had a vacancy. The last was in 1994, when Harry Blackmun stepped down and his seat was taken by Stephen Breyer. More than eight years have passed--the second longest period without a vacancy since the early nineteenth century. So far history has blanked George W. Bush--he hasn't had a single opportunity to name a Justice. The only president ever to serve one full term and not appoint a Justice was Jimmy Carter.
Minnesota voters looked back into the face of '70s liberalism, and flinched.1:22 PM, Nov 6, 2002 • By KATHERINE MANGU-WARD
THE "VOTIN' MINNESOTANS" (you have to say it with the accent) have done it again. Republican Norm Coleman has squeaked by former vice president Walter Mondale in an election featuring record turnout and a few lessons in campaign strategy.
Minnesota is known for its high voter turnout--it usually exceeds the national average by about 20 points--but with an estimated two-thirds of eligible voters showing up at the polls for a mid-term election in the snow, they may have set some records this year. Some polls were still open as late as 10 p.m.
Terry McAuliffe wants you to know that the Democrats did just fine yesterday--and that they're still mad about 2000.11:00 AM, Nov 6, 2002 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
THE BIG STORY of last night's elections was that America overwhelmingly chose the Republican vision of the future over the Democratic vision (or lack of vision). The big story today is what the Democrats will do in the face of their resounding defeat. By all indications, they still don't understand that they have a problem.
Late last night, amidst the wave of Republican victories, there were two beacons of establishment liberal thought who previewed the lack of understanding among Democrats.
Out of obscurity, Bob Ehrlich defied conventional wisdom and defeated a political dynasty.10:57 AM, Nov 6, 2002 • By RACHEL DICARLO
REPRESENTATIVE BOB EHRLICH hesitated for months before announcing his candidacy for governor of Maryland. And with good reason. To run he would have to risk a safe seat in Congress to challenge Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1. His name recognition was low, and early polls showed Townsend with a whopping 26 point lead. Sympathetic local talk-radio hosts speculated that while Ehrlich would be the GOP's best candidate, he still had little chance of beating even a weak candidate like Townsend in this solidly Democratic state.
Around the horn with last night's victors and vanquished.8:20 AM, Nov 6, 2002 • By FRED BARNES
THE ERA WHEN THE PARTY that doesn't hold the White House automatically gains seats in the House and sometimes seats in the Senate as well--is over. Democrats bucked that century-old habit in 1998, winning 5 House seats while Bill Clinton was president. And Republicans, led by President Bush, did it even more decisively in yesterday's congressional election. For the first time ever, the presidential party captured control of the Senate in a midterm election.
There's one particular reason for the death of the off-year trend: House incumbents have safer seats than ever now.
Following John Thune's South Dakota odyssey long into the night.8:00 AM, Nov 6, 2002 • By J. BOTTUM
AT THREE IN THE MORNING, I gave up. A rejoicing sort of giving up, you understand, as Jean Carnahan's concession speech meant the Republicans had done it--seized control of the Senate, made it work. George W. Bush has turned into a man so presidential than he can even campaign for his party without losing his presidential aura.
Are Republicans really trying to keep African-Americans from voting?2:45 AM, Nov 6, 2002 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
NO ONE should have been surprised when Terry McAuliffe, head of the Democratic National Committee, released a statement yesterday afternoon suggesting Republicans set out to intimidate minority voters.