Just as Barack Obama overestimated his, which saw him helpless to prevent yesterday’s GOP landslides.
In last year’s campaign, the one true thing Obama said to his critics was, “The political ground is changing under your feet.” But what is not sufficiently recognized is that is going on again, right now, in the opposite direction.
That is what yesterday’s elections showed. And what yesterday’s political earthquake revealed about the landscape is that the biggest miscalculation going on right now is that the Republicans underestimate their own strength. As a result, they may fail to take maximum advantage of the political tsunami that is coming in 2010, just building to what is to come in 2012. For conservatives, this is a time of greater opportunity than 1977.
The Virginia Smackdown
Virginia in modern times had been a conservative Republican state, particularly in elections for national offices. But led by a badly confused Northern Virginia local business community that thought it saw advantage in runaway state taxes and spending, the state began trending Democrat a decade ago, electing two straight Democrat governors, and two Democrat U.S. senators. Just last year, the state went for Barack Obama by 6 points.
That trend was reversed yesterday in a Republican landslide that saw the GOP win every statewide office for only the second time in history. Republican Bob McDonnell won the Governor’s race by 18 percentage points, reflecting a swing of almost 24 points towards the Republicans in just one year. In other words, about one-fourth of Virginia voters swung away from President Obama to the Republicans in that year.
Moreover, young, conservative, grassroots leader Ken Cuccinelli won the Attorney General’s office by a similar margin. Cuccinelli won the hearts of local taxpayer activists 6 years ago by leading a shoestring revolt against a well-heeled, multimillion dollar, state establishment referendum for a sales tax increase. Incumbent Democrat Mark Warner, now a U.S. Senator, and the Northern Virginia business machine, both went down in flames to Cuccinelli’s rag tag grassroots irregulars, outspent more than 10 to 1. Cuccinelli is also the political leader of the state’s pro-life forces, pro-family groups, and social conservatives.
What makes this so significant is that Virginia has a one-term limit for Governor, and Attorney General is a traditional jumping off point for gubernatorial candidates, as it was for McDonnell. The youthful Cuccinelli is consequently a rapidly rising star nationally for conservatives. CPAC, take note, this guy is one of our own.
Republicans should make peace now with the Northern Virginia business community by supporting the extensive road building program they want to relieve traffic congestion, financing it out of general revenues by restricting the growth of other state spending. McDonnell won their support this year with this position, and there is no reason Republicans should not now implement this vigorously.
Don’t let the Obama spinmeisters tell you Obama had nothing to do with this race. He was all over it in mailings, ads, even appearances appealing to the black vote in Tidewater. The swing in this state represents the grassroots anger with Obama’s extremism.
Running the Table
Barack Obama won last year in New Jersey, one of the most solidly Democrat-controlled states, with 57% of the vote. As of this writing, incumbent Democrat Governor Jon Corzine has 45% of the vote, to 49% for Republican challenger Chris Christie, a lead of almost 100,000 votes. That is a swing of 12% towards the Republicans in just one year, in this ultraliberal state. Christie is now the projected winner.
This is a huge defeat for Barack Obama. He campaigned heavily with Corzine, which he didn’t have to do. That communicates massive overconfidence by Obama. Precisely while Obama barnstormed the state, Christie passed Corzine and grew his lead. Bottom line: if Obama can’t make it here, he can’t make it anywhere. Sure, Corzine produced terrible failures for New Jersey as Governor. But these election results represent voter wrath against Obama as well, even in this state.
Indeed, Christie won despite a third party challenger from the right. Even with that, Corzine and Obama could not win. In fact, voters overall turned down Corzine/Obama leadership 54% to 45%, a landslide loss for the Democrats. Christie showed just how Republicans have to deal with such third party challenges. It is their responsibility to win over the voters. It is not the responsibility of those challengers to stand down so the Republican can win. Remember, Reagan faced a third party challenger in 1980 from a moderate Republican, John Anderson. Reagan still swept to a landslide win over an incumbent Democrat President, by presenting a positive conservative vision Americans could believe in. That is the winning model.
With Mike Bloomberg’s re-election, New York City has now been governed by Republican mayors for 20 years. That shows New Yorkers are more tough-minded than the unthinking Democrat party machine captives of Detroit, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh, who are proving incapable of self-government as their cities literally melt away beneath their feet.
Hang Together or Hang Separately
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?