"Incumbent wins!" National Review editor Rich Lowry jokes about Blanche Lincoln's surprise victory on Fox News's election coverage. Lowry's right, in a sense, it's not often that folks are so surprised by what was once expected in elections. But this year is different.
Incumbents aren't going to have such sway -- indeed, it could be hinderance for many candidates. And, in this run-off election in Arkansas, big labor with their big money bags suffered a big loss.
Ben Smith reports that a White House official called him with this startling message:
"Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members' money down the toiled on a pointless exercise," the official said. "If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November."
But it's more than just the money. It's a rejection of the ideas the unions are peddling. The unions wanted this election. Bill Halter, Lincoln's Democratic primary opponent, is for card check. Lincoln is not. Card check is the unions' signature issue.
This election is just weeks after big labor suffered another major loss. In Pennsylvania, big labor wanted Arlen Specter, offering money and institutional support. That didn't matter to the voters, who elected not to send Specter back to Washington.