November 10, 2006
As has been rumored, RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman announced he will not seek another term. The Washington Post notes that he won praise (and even grudging admiration from Democrats) for strengthening the computer-based system that identified and turned out (conservative) voters, which has been at the center of recent campaigns here in Virginia. In my opinion, that strategy is well past the point of diminishing returns, and is just about exhausted. Is it time to try a different approach?
Peggy Noonan lauds Rep. Harold Ford (D) and Senators Lincoln Chafee, Rick Santorum, and George Allen (all R) for their classy concession speeches. (Hat tip to Michael Oliver.) Indeed, they provided a fine example for the members of their respective parties to follow. The election is over, now let's move on and try to make democracy work. How ironic would it be if Republicans fell into the same fit of hysteria, paranoia, and bitter sarcasm that the Democrats did after Bush was reelected two years ago?
Speaking of hard feelings, you have to give credit to the Dems for setting aside their vitriolic hatred of Bush & Co. for just long enough to win the election. I was checking my archives and found a post from Apr. 15 in which I expressed doubt that they could take advantage of divisions within the Republican Party. I stand corrected.
Chad Dotson announced he is "closing up shop" at Commonwealth Conservative, which leaves a huge void in the Virginia blogosphere. I will dearly miss his news and commentary.
UPDATE: Following up on the "Dems adapt" theme, I have to give credit to Howard Dean for shutting his big trap and getting down to business with a "50-state" full-court-press strategy that paid off big time. Who would have thought they had a chance in the Virginia Senate race? I wouldn't say Howard Dean qualifies as a genius, but he may well be smarter than Karl Rove. Thanks to Rudy Riet for pointing that out. He says that James Carville and other Democrat insiders "think that Dean has ruined their party..." Sounds like jealousy to me.
UPDATE: I also have to give credit to U.Va.'s Larry Sabato, whose "Crystal Ball" predictions of the election results were almost perfect:
|Crystal Ball Predictions||+7 Dems||+29 Dems||+6 Dems|
|Election Results as of Nov. 9||+6 Dems||+29 Dems||+6 Dems|