Friday, November 26, 2010

Post-Election 2010 Thanksgiving Weekend

I just wanted to say a few quick words here on this Thanksgiving weekend about a month that all right-thinking Americans should be grateful for. The Republican Party won an historic and immense victory in this year's midterm elections!

In a bit, I will be able to tally up my record in all the race predictions I made before we begin to look ahead to the elections for Governor and U.S. Senate in 2011 and 2012. First though, it is certainly worth it for a staunch Republican like myself to be very happy that 2010 worked out electorally as well as it did. I personally put a lot of effort into campaigns that once would have appeared uphill here in Illinois for both the U.S. Senate and my Congressional district. It was a great feeling to have played even a small part in contributing to victories in both of those races. This coming Monday, my outgoing Congressman Mark Kirk will take the oath of office in the U.S. Senate and will take over the seat once held by Barack Obama. Getting to experience the tension of watching numbers come in and the thrill of victory on Election Night at his campaign party, was one of the most exciting things I have ever gotten to experience thus far in politics.

Of course, amid all the celebration, there are still bits and pieces here and there to be disappointed about. For example, my party fell short of winning the Governorship in my home state that could have quite a negative effect for many of us in the Land of Lincoln. Furthermore, while Republicans did pretty darn well in U.S. House elections, the gains we made in Governorships and in the U.S. Senate, while certainly nothing to downplay, did see us not win some highly targeted elections. Quite simply, as we see every election year, primary voters nominated the wrong candidates, and they so often ran bad campaigns, and lost, in spite of what was a clear national trend in favor of the GOP. Due to those reasons, the Democrats might have managed to keep control of the U.S. Senate, and Majority Leader Harry Reid himself, is still an elected official.

I have to wonder just how many seats or offices we left on the table. If I had to, I could probably compose a list of at least 20 candidates for Governor, U.S. Senate, or U.S. House, where I was disappointed with the GOP primary result, and if I had my way in selecting the candidate, we probably would have won those races as well in 2010. Nothing in life ever goes perfectly though, and we Republicans can hopefully learn this lesson from 2010 as we go about selecting candidates for 2012 will be aiming for the White House to the State House.

From a purely partisan perspective, it's all good with me though. The 2012 Presidential election is now on deck, and the fact that the Democrats still control the Senate is not going to help them politically. Even more gratifying was the decision of House Democrats to keep the beleaguered soon to be ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The Democrats suffered a shellacking this November, but yet Obama, Reid, and Pelosi remain as the faces of the party. Just how lucky can we Republicans get?

Generally speaking, the implications of the GOP blowout this year could be significant and long lasting. The gains Republicans made in state legislative chambers across the country is enormous. For one thing, important policy is often implemented first in the states. Then, there will be many states now where GOP Governors and legislatures will be able to draw and state and federal legislative districts that will benefit the Republican Party. My side picked a good year to have such an amazing showing, right before the census based redistricting and reapportionment process.

The challenges our country face, both domestically and internationally are still incredibly difficult and the elected Republicans in our federal, state, and local governments will have a difficult job in serving in times like these. I wish them the best, as well as those who do not belong to my party, but will have the honor of holding office in the greatest and freest country the world has ever known.

On January 1, I will also plan to post a blog entry in which I, a fairly unimportant political junkie and grassroots Republican Party activist, will endorse my choice to be the next President of the United States. Those that know me either personally or from the online political world may not be all that surprised as to who my choice is now all but certain to be, but I am very much looking forward to that next campaign.

Two years ago, all sorts of pundits and prognosticators were hailing the election of Barack Obama and strong Democrat majorities in Congress as evidence that America had shifted to the left, and that Republican Party had been marginalized and was perhaps on its way to extinction.

Thanks to the political missteps and policy misfires of our opponents, and the dedicated efforts of those on my side, both establishment and insurgent alike, the Grand Old Party proved that the rumors its demise were greatly exaggerated. Hopefully, the best yet, is even still to come.