Posted by Damozel | Elsewhere in the world of politics, a Democrat, physicist Bill Foster, defeated the Republican dairy magnate, Jim Oberweis, in the special election to replace Dennis Hastert's seat. (The Fix) A physicist versus a dairy magnate? And the physicist won? The smart guy beat the rich guy? The Democrat beat the Republican?
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Foster had 52.5 percent of the vote to Oberweis's 47.5 percent. That result was amazing given the 14th District's clear Republican lean. President Bush won the district, which spans into the far western suburbs of Chicago, with 55 percent in 2004 and 54 percent in 2000. Hastert won reelection easily for more than two decades.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, was quick to cast the race as a national barometer. Foster's victory is "a stunning rejection of the Bush administration, its Republican allies, and presidential nominee John McCain," he said.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) called the race "the shot of change heard around the world." (The Fix)
The Republicans, on the other hand, are downplaying the result, pointing out that Oberweis made himself unpopular among voters during previous campaigns.
Oberweis, who owns a chain of dairies throughout the state, ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2002 and 2004, and governor in 2006. His previous primary campaigns were knock down, drag out affairs as was his primary win over state Sen. Chris Lauzen (R) earlier this year -- races that left his image among voters seriously tarnished. (The Fix; emphasis added)
Note to the DNC: Mention this to Hillary and Obama.
Anyway, however the GOP downplays it,
[t]he defeat -- whether or not there are national implications -- is a major setback for the NRCC and House Republicans. The NRCC spent nearly $1.3 million defending the seat, a significant percentage of the $6.4 million the committee showed on hand at the end of January. That is a major investment of limited resources -- only to come up empty.
House Republicans, already dispirited by the loss of their majority in the 2006 election and more than two dozen retirements within their ranks since then, will likely take this defeat hard. Watch to see whether a rash of retirements breaks out over the coming weeks as vulnerable members take the Illinois special election as a sign of things to come in the fall. (The Fix)
After years of Bush and Rove, Bush and Rumsfeld, Bush and Cheney, and all their Republican enablers, excuse me if I do a little happy dance, despite the grim state of the Democratic primaries. I need something to feel good about.
It's Not a Recession Till they Announce It