The electorate demonstrated how serious it was Tuesday. Candidates perceived as flamboyant or unserious did poorly, outside of California. This was true of both parties: Christine O’Donnell, Carl Paladino, Alan Grayson, Charlie Crist, and Jack Conway all suffered from images of buffoonery or vicious, amoral opportunism. O’Donnell improved tremendously as a candidate during her race, but could never escape the lightweight image with which she was painted. The worst thing a candidate could afford to become, in this season of deadly earnestness, was a joke.
Sarah Palin did the GOP a lot of favors during this election. She’ll have plenty of markers to call in, if she runs for President. Conservatives4Palin put together a scorecard of candidates she endorsed, and it boasts a very impressive number of wins. She poured her strength into crucial victories, including most of the people I’ve already mentioned, plus the likes of Renee Ellmers (NC), John Boozman (AR), and Kelly Ayotte (NH). Dismissing Palin as some kind of fringe, “divisive” figure is transparently foolish. She made a difference for a bounty of good candidates, who will make a difference for America in the years ahead.
As expected, this election was a stunning repudiation of President Obama. Voting for ObamaCare proved as deadly as putting on a red uniform and joining Captain Kirk on a mission to the planet of flying telepathic piranhas. The only House candidate Obama directly campaigned for, Tom Periello of Virginia, was an early casualty on Election Night. Obama’s old Senate seat is now in Republican hands. Presidents can come back from such defeats … but considering how many Democrats ran away from Obama to survive Tuesday night, the potential for a Clinton-style comeback seems minimal.
Do yourself a favor and pick up Doc’s Book: