Swing State

Politics and Humor…but I repeat myself

McCain Gains Political Capitol from elections

 Washington Post Article

Sen. John McCain emerged from yesterday’s elections as one of Republicans’ only winners as Democrats made solid gains and both parties turn an eye toward 2008.
    The Arizona Republican, who wasn’t up for re-election, rallied to the side of Republican candidates at 131 events — a strong showing that displayed his rising popularity. His strength was underscored Monday when Charlie Crist, Florida’s new Republican governor, chose to skip a scheduled rally with President Bush for an event with Mr. McCain.
    “There’s going to be a batch of people who are going to personally owe McCain and there’s going to be another batch of people who are going to have to rethink their view of him,” said Michael McKenna, a Republican strategist and pollster.
    “He was a pretty solid party stalwart this go around, in a cycle when it was not easy to be a party stalwart.”
    As both parties took stock of wins and losses last night, the soul-searching began for Republicans, while Democrats will now focus on capitalizing on their gains.
    Foremost among those Democrats are rising star Sen. Barack Obama, the charismatic Illinois Democrat who recently said he no longer rules out running for president in 2008, and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the New York Democrat who checked off an important box on her presidential to-do list by getting re-elected, amassing a substantial campaign fund and a solid springboard victory in the process.
    But the prospects for both parties in Congress are more bleak with a lame-duck president and leaders of both parties staking out positions for the election in two years.
    Neither party ran on a forward-looking agenda, with Republicans asking voters to stay the course on Iraq and the economy while Democrats proposed rolling back some of the Bush tax cuts and said they represented a vote of no confidence in the way the administration has prosecuted the war.
    Without a mandate for either party, there is little to push Capitol Hill off the gridlock that has stalled further tax cuts, Social Security reform and other major initiatives.
    And Democrats have their work cut out for them in 2008 defending House seats they won last night on solidly Republican ground. Four of those seats were the result of disgraced Republicans: Rep. Don Sherwood in Pennsylvania and former Reps. Mark Foley in Florida, Bob Ney in Ohio and Tom DeLay in Texas.
    Still, Democrats’ wins in the House, giving them control for the first time since 1995, will alter the agenda on several thorny issues, including key gun legislation such as the assault weapons ban, which lapsed under Republican control but could come back under Democratic control.
    Democrats have also promised to revisit and expand Mr. Bush’s Medicare prescription drug program

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November 9, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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