May 14, 2008


McCain seen as cure for House Republicans (Stephen Dinan, May 14, 2008, Washington Times)

In the wake of their third special election loss in three months last night, House Republican leaders are rushing to embrace their presumptive presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, as their hope for staving off disaster in November.

"Candidates who hope to succeed must show that they're willing and able to join McCain in a leading movement for reform," House Minority Leader John Boehner, Ohio Republican, said in the wake of Democrat Travis Childer's victory in Mississippi's first congressional district — a seat that had been firmly Republican.

Seats like the one lost last night will be particularly easy for Maverick to carry on his coattails in November, but the goal should be regaining the majority in the House.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 14, 2008 11:46 AM

This all sounds nice, but most conservatives not named Newt Gingrich have never placed any value in leading the House of Representatives. Combine that with most conservatives' desire to sit out 2008, and I seriously doubt this will make much of a dent in stopping the expected losses of up to 20 House members.

174 days until GOP Doomsday.

Posted by: Brad S at May 14, 2008 12:16 PM

This was disastrous. The Republican successfully tied Childers to Obama, but with Cheney paying a visit his campaign nose-dived. Full stop, period, end of story.

Bush had carried this district with 59% in the past. McCain is already the putative candidate, so Davis (the Republican) already had the "benefit" of his coattails.

Your statement that they need him more than he needs them is nonsensical, unless you mean he intends to help enact all of the Democratic agenda.

Posted by: h-man at May 14, 2008 1:10 PM

What was the turnout like? I wouldn't have showed up at the polls yesterday--what's the point?

Posted by: b at May 14, 2008 1:40 PM

h: You don't appear to know what "coattails" means.

Posted by: b at May 14, 2008 1:44 PM

As upbeat as OJ is, I have a very bad feeling about the House and Senate this year. Republicans are going to be punished over gas prices, war fatigue and the MSM's ability to put everything on the Republicans while covering for the left.

Also it's unfortunate that the Dems have figured out something the Reps haven't. A conservative Democrat is still a democrat. Many on the right think a moderate Republican is a traitor that needs to be shunned or worse.

Posted by: Patrick H at May 14, 2008 1:44 PM

Issues don't matter in an open presidential--the winner carries seats.

Posted by: oj at May 14, 2008 2:20 PM

Heavy black turnout.

Posted by: oj at May 14, 2008 2:20 PM

It was tying him to Obama that won him the race.

Posted by: oj at May 14, 2008 2:23 PM

Republicans never sit out presidentials and Perot isn't running.

Posted by: oj at May 14, 2008 2:24 PM

I fully intend to vote for McCain, and for Republicans on the ballot in my area. All of my comments have been intended to give a realistic view of Republican chances this fall and ways they might improve those chances. Thank you for pointing out my stretching of the definition of coattails to include a putative candidate who has "visited" rather than campaigned in Mississippi.

I'm having difficulty viewing a comment I made earlier in the day regarding assimilation of Mexicans in our society. I thought the comment was on the point and not profane, vulgar, or particularly argumentative. Merely a restatement of concern about multi-culturalism not requiring effort on the part of immigrants to adopt American culture.

If by some chance I have wrongly accused you of removing the comment then I apologize.

Posted by: h-man at May 14, 2008 3:49 PM

h: You don't have coattails if you're not on the ballot.

Posted by: b at May 14, 2008 4:03 PM

A little math for those who need parallels:

In 1960, the GOP GAINED 21 House seats and 2 Senate seats while Nixon lost to JFK.

The only parallel to this year's election (given the particulars of the presidential election) is 1952. That year, the Dems lost 21 House seats and one Senate seat (along with control), while Eisenhower beat Stevenson 442-89 in the Electoral College. Also, from 1948 to 1952, the Dems lost a total of 50 House seats. The GOP could lose 17 more House seats this year (after last nite) in order to match THAT low point.

And for those of you who think Obama is the Dem's Reagan, keep in mind that the Dems lost 33 House seats and 11 SENATE SEATS in 1980.

Even though the GOP has started on the road to minimizing the losses in the House (since they do recognize the issue, and that's always the first step), it's still 174 Days until GOP Doomsday.

Posted by: Brad S at May 14, 2008 6:02 PM

Brad: Now I'm really confused. Your historical "GOP Doomsday" analogy shows that the GOP will crush the Dems in the Presidential race and pick up a couple of dozen House seats.

Unless you're suggesting that McCain=Stevenson and Obama=Eisenhower, which is way too insane for you to possibly be saying.

Posted by: b at May 14, 2008 6:23 PM


McCain has somewhat of a tendency to have a dull-as-dishwater, Stevenson-like personality. And Ike had a fairly decent Obama-esque cult-of-personality going for him back in those days.

But if you want to know why I have a "GOP Doomsday" attitude, look no further than this: In 1952, 1958, 1980, and 1986, both parties got shelled on Election Day in some form or another (Dems in '52 Presidential race, GOP in '58 in House/Senate, Dems all-around in '80, GOP in '86 in Senate). What do they have in common? Election Day in each case was November 4.

When is Election Day this year:)

Posted by: Brad S at May 14, 2008 6:42 PM


The turnout was high, which is what I've been talking about for the last few months.

While the right has been "investing" in think tanks (see "bureaucracy") that can't lobby (but throw nice parties), the left has been paying kids to walk precincts, organize, and enroll others in their vision.

We've been funding a corrupt party (embezzlement of NRCC funds, bribes and earmark kickbacks), they've been growing a movement. (while profiting nicely off of earmarks as well, mind you)

You and OJ are walking into a buzz saw. Even if McCain is the phenomenon you predict, all it takes is 10-20 conservative Dems to endorse him over Obama allow them to defeat their fat, weak, corrupt Republican incumbents (who will stupidly rely on the same moronic consultants flogging the worthless "Pelosi/Obama" drivel)

Posted by: Bruno at May 14, 2008 8:13 PM

First term president and sixth year of presidency. It's called historical norms.

Posted by: oj at May 14, 2008 8:28 PM

Nixon beat JFK, which is why his party won seats.

Posted by: oj at May 14, 2008 8:29 PM

Turnout was high among blacks. In the presidential they'll be swamped.

Posted by: oj at May 14, 2008 8:29 PM

Each one of these special elections will be run again in November - and each one will probably flip to the GOP.

The best way to take the energy issue out of play is to start attacking the Dems right now for their ostrich policy on domestic energy production. At $4 a gallon, most consumers (upwards of 75%, I bet) would easily support drilling in Alaska, off the continental shelf, and many other places.

But the GOP is probably going to go all timid and soft - McCain has to step back from his gooey love affair for environmentalists and start pointing out that Bill Clinton vetoed ANWR drilling in 1995 - had he not, we would be getting oil from there today.

Obama can't say diddly on energy, except for all the lefty buzzwords. He probably doesn't even know what LNG stands for, or the difference between heavy and light crude.

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 14, 2008 9:50 PM


At some time, you're going to have to realize that drilling in ANWR will never happen until, at the very least, Ted Stevens and Don Young are out of office. Nobody trusts either man to be above lining theirs and their own constituents' pockets for ANWR to be an effective policy solution.

Since about 90% of the most recent run-up in oil prices is speculation-driven, why has no one attempted to cut the speculators off at the pass? For example, the natural gas that goes into your home (and the heating oil that goes into OJ's home) has its consumer price regulated by your state's Public Utilities Commission. Your gas company has to make a rate case before they get their rate increase. Sometimes, in the case of my state (CO), the rate increase gets rejected.

Why not let the state Public Utilities Commissions regulate the price of gasoline at the consumer, retail end (while keeping the commercial end unregulated, as businesses can hedge fuel prices)? After all, isn't gasoline as crucial a utility as NatGas or electricity? It should be noted that the supply of NatGas continues to expand, even with that price constraint. The same thing can happen with automobile fuel, even if it changes the retail gasoline model a bit.

The consumer regulation model has placed something of a brake on the spot price of NatGas (Cali's experiences in 2000-01, notwithstanding).

Posted by: Brad S at May 14, 2008 10:10 PM

"h: You don't have coattails if you're not on the ballot"


heh, heh. you sure got me on that one.

Take it up with Wikipedia about the necessity of being on the ballot.

Posted by: h-man at May 15, 2008 5:45 AM