“Elephant” no longer an Endangered Species
by Danielle Beach
Gubernatorial- 10 new seats for Republicans
The May 2009 Time magazine cover page declared that Republicans were an “endangered species”. Last night, the new Majority Leader of the House John Boehner – who is replacing Nancy Pelosi – declared that it is a repudiation of democrats and Obama’s policies. He announced that it was time to “roll up our sleeves and do the people’s business”.
President Obama visited Ohio twelve times to campaign for democrat Ted Strickland but the Republican John Kasich won. Both Senate and gubernatorial positions went to the Republicans. In Illinois, President Obama’s former senate seat, again a republican won.
Harry Reid, however, did retain his seat against Sharron Angle despite a 14% unemployment rate in Nevada and thus he retains his Senate majority seat. California and Hawaii kept the incumbent democrats.
Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana went down in flames as expected. Historically, the Republican gains mark the biggest midterm election seat swap since 1938 when Democrats lost 71 House seats. It has already eclipsed the 1994 Republican tidal wave in which the GOP netted 52 seats.
Overall, the 2008 theme of Change now seems to have been rejected by the people and instead Change course was the message. The Republican Party, however, will have to prove that its goals of 1) creating jobs and 2) cutting spending will effectuate results which will be difficult with a House majority but not a Senate majority. In addition, Republicans do not want to increase taxes in a recession which makes it even more difficult. Boehner, from a large family of working class men, is ready for the job and it will be interesting to follow his progress.
The emerging star of Election night was Marco Rubio, a Cuban emigrant who is someone to watch in the future as a magnet for the Latino vote. The still inchoate Tea Party movement played a major role in his advance.