In the run-up to the 2010 elections, congressional Republicans promised to cut spending by $100 billion as a first step toward controlling deficits. Conservative voters loved it, and a whole group of GOP congresspeople were swept into office with those words on their lips. Of course, when it came time to actually write a budget, Republicans were a little more modest in their goals, pushing instead for a $35 billion cut in federal spending, which Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryancalled a "downpayment" on the party's promise to cut the budget.
On Wednesday, Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia announced he would not seek a second term. He won in an upset against former Sen. George Allen in 2006 and helped give Democrats control over the Senate. Allen is a likely Republican contender for the seat in 2012, which could be a critical year for Democrats.
To get a handle on this, TAP spoke with Larry Sabato, of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, about what this means for Democrats in Virginia and on the national level.
If the applause following his introduction was any indication, Mitch McConnell is a popular man with convention-goers. As the architect of the "No" strategy, McConnell bit into Obama's popularity with long, drawn-out legislative battles and tough, uncompromising rhetoric. He blocked judicial nominations, kept Democrats from fully staffing the administration, and encouraged the Tea Party as it organized against Obama's policies. And of course, along with the House Republican leadership, McConnell was integral to the GOP's huge gains in November.