2010 election thoughts

Tuesday evening, November 2nd, 2010 will go down in history as a huge night for the Republican Party and a devastating night for the Democratic Party, especially here in Tennessee.

It had been only two years since Americans elected Barack Obama to the White House, effectively mandating the Democratic party to do whatever they wanted. It appeared to be a season of liberal rule in Washington DC. In an election where it seemed no Republican was safe, Obama brought more money, support and new voters to the table and ran one of the most successful campaigns of the past 30 years. But after two years of continuous pushes from the left, American voters took to the polls and made sweeping changes, both in DC and at home.

At this point, nearly 72 hours later, the results are still unclear across the country. However, here is what we know, sort of.

1. The GOP took control of the House, thereby removing Nancy Pelosi from her position as Speaker. As of tonight, the GOP had gained more than 6o seats (they won more than 60 but a few GOP candidates did lose, lowering the total number of seats swung in the house).

2. The GOP won at least 6 new seats in the Senate. Although they were unable to take control, the GOP gains were made in traditionally blue states, including Illinois, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

3. The GOP picked up 7 Governors Mansions across the country. Adding minor insult to injury, the Dems lost an 8th Mansion to an Independent in Maine.

4. The GOP took control of around half of State Legislatures across the country. While this may not seem to matter much to the casual observer, it is an unbelievably massive swing. Conservative control of state legislatures means that liberal-leaning legislation will be on hold for a little while and the Federal v. States issues will take major precedence. Get ready for Gay Marriage, Abortion, Marijuana and many other issues to be discussed on state levels that end up pushing the Supreme Court to decide what authority the states really have over themselves.

So, what takeaways are there for Tennesseans? I have a few.

First, we need to seriously consider whether or not Senator Bob Corker is the best option for Senate in 2012. I personally believe that he is. In the vein of Alexander and Frist, he attempts to work with the other side in order to craft and pass meaningful legislation. Many around me would like to see this seat represented either more liberally or more conservatively. I think Sen. Corker is like that third bear’s porridge; just right. If the TNGOP puts up a more conservative candidate, conservatives run the risk of having a moderate Democrat (Bredesen) running and stealing a seat that should never be lost in this state.

Secondly, as the GOP prepares to redraw the district lines, they need to decide how much they think Tennessee’s cultural landscape with change over the next 20 years. Sure, Chattanooga isn’t huge, but it’s much closer to Atlanta, Raleigh, Birmingham, and other cities than Memphis or Nashville are. Business drives people and Sen. Corker actually set up Chattanooga to thrive for a while if they can continue to drive new businesses into East Tennessee. Let’s plan for the future.

Third, the Tea Party needs to realize that nominating candidates that will lose the general election is a terrible idea. Although the candidate might have huge support from the far right, the moderates and independents (even disenfranchised democrats) won’t consider voting for the Christine O’Donnell of Tennessee. Although the stereotype of the South is one of rednecks, bare-footed momma’s and whiskey, some of us actually do care how we are portrayed nationally. I’ll gladly dump the stereotypes on lower Broadway; let’s send real political minds and thinkers to represent our state.

The last topic, and probably most important, is the GOP and Democrat party nominations for President in 2012. Much to the dismay of many of my friends, the campaigns aren’t over. They’re only just beginning for many people on both sides of the aisle.

Democrats have already been asking if Obama can win his primary as a sitting POTUS. Republicans are frothing at the mouth over the possibility of taking back both the White House and Senate in 2012. The question is who will rise to the top of the GOP mess? Will it be Huckabee, who won the first 2012 “If you could have any GOP POTUS nominee right now, who would it be?” poll? Romney? Palin? Gingrich? Barbour? McCain? Bloomberg?

No matter who it is, they had better be competent and a true leader. For this reason, I think it rules out Palin, Romney and McCain. At this point, I see Gingrich challenging President Obama in 2012 and it being a truly landmark election… As if the one we had a few days ago wasn’t landmark.

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