EXHIBIT A. Before the "Democrats Only Won Because They Ran A Bunch Of Republicans" meme gets set in stone, people should realize that the result in Tennessee pretty much obliterates a good piece of that theory. Harold Ford makes Bob Casey look like Emma Goldman, and he got handled pretty well by the nebbishy Bob Corker. (And the voters down there should be ashamed that the odious TV ad worked as well as it did.) Ford talked about Jesus, guns, and his own heterosexuality, and he lost to a guy so nondescript that he has no shadow.
"THE VOTES ARE IN AND WE WON." Spencer is happily prescient. Conservative Democrat or not, it's nice to have a Democrat in a crucial race who understands politics. In a recount, you have to seize the initiative and establish the right narrative: Webb did it. Good for him.
A QUESTION FOR BUSH'S PRESS CONFERENCE TOMORROW. "Mr. President, you said last week that 'However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses.' Did the American people just vote for the terrorists last night?"
THE BIG ISSUES. CNN's election coverage has been really superb. Smart, fair, informative analysis that managed to keep the focus on actual results without tumbling into constant political speculation or prophesizing. And the War Room style worked well, with Wolf Blitzer and Company wandering around a massive set rather than sitting at a table. Visually, that worked far, far better than the traditional seated set-ups of the other networks. It also allowed the anchors to take up less visual room, and give more to the giant screen and its sweet, sweet election results.
WEBB NEEDS TO DECLARE VICTORY.Jim Webb needs to take a page out of Bush's 2000 playbook and declare victory now. I was in Austin on election night 2000, and the second that Bush confidently told supporters he won, the momentum changed entirely. Bill Daley was left pleading that the race was an open contest, and for the next excruciating 36 days, Al Gore was painted as -- you all remember Sore Loserman. Webb is a Marine through and through. He has to know the value of seizing the high ground, whether or not he actually occupies it. Please, Senator Webb: speak to your supporters, and thank them for providing you your victory.
SERIOUSNESS. Hey, Lynn Swann, nice Super Bowl. Thirty years ago, you millstone you. Took down a whole state al most by your lonesome. Ohio used to be fun, too, didn't it, boys? Has anyone seen Ken Blackwell's pants running down the street by themselves yet? Meanwhile, Don Sherwood seems to have choked late in the campaign, while Rick Santorum's career has gone to the dogs.
WHAT'S RIGHT WITH KANSAS. In addition to retaining the governorship under the able leadership of Kathleen Sebelius and the third district under Dennis Moore, Kansas Democrats picked up the second district and, even more satisfyingly, kicked out the attorney general, Phill Kline. Kline was a particularly loathsome politician who, in an effort to wrest the social con crowd, subpoenaed the records of women who'd had late term abortions. He was beaten by Johnson County's DA, Paul Morrison.
EVEN SOUTH DAKOTA HAS POSTIVE NEWS: Not only is the draconian aboriton ban heading for defeat, but the ridiculous initiative to impose retrocative legal liability on judges is going down by an 80-point margin.
RAGGED COATTAILS IN OHIO. Though top-ticket Democrats in Ohio have swept to victory, their coattails may not be long enough to make the gains the party was hoping for in the state's congressional delegation. Here are the numbers -- which we must take on faith from the website of outgoing Secretary of State Ken Blackwell -- in the four key House races. The only Democrat with a lead is Zack Space in the district of disgraced and just-resigned Congressman Bob Ney.
District 1 John Cranley D - 64,796 - 48.41% Steve Chabot R - 69,058 - 51.59%