- Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC) chases his paramour to Argentina, making his soon-to-be-ex-wife a popular figure. She uses her political clout to help a long-shot Republican woman who emerges as the party’s nominee for governor, and suddenly becomes a national figure.
- Sarah Palin quits half-way through her first term as Alaska governor, and goes on to become a star of stage, screen, tabloids as well as the parent of a Dancing With the Stars celebrity.
- Obama Administration raids Governors mansions, which sets up opportunities for Republicans to win Arizona and Kansas from Democrats. Republican governorship in Arizona eventually leads to ruckus over state immigration law which injects itself back into the national debate.
- Illinois and New York governors resign due to scandal.
- Term limits creates unusual number of open seats in an already clogged 2010 election calendar.
- Republicans win 2009 races from Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey.
- Illinois Republican voters on Feb. 2nd select Bill Brady, a darkhorse by an infinitesimal margin, which was an open of highly competitive confused races still to come
- In Texas, an unknown tea party candidate (Debra Medina) holds her own in a debate against the veteran GOP governor Rick Perry and U. S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. This should have warned pundits to pay attention to everyone in a race – because the voters were.
- The “ex-governors” decide to run to reclaim seats in CA, GA, IA, MD, OR.
- Independents declare in more than one state, setting up three-way contests which all but assure a few states will elect governors who don’t get a majority of the vote.
Continuing from our theme from last week of reflecting on the developments that combined to make up this awesome crazy cycle, lets take a look at the following developments that shaped the 2010 gubernatorial races.
Continuing from our theme yesterday of reflecting on the myriad of developments that combined to make up this awesome crazy cycle, lets take a look at the following developments that shaped the 2010 House races.
by Bernadette Budde
In the rush to get this election out of the way, let’s reflect on the myriad of developments that combined to make up this awesome crazy cycle. One by one, the events have collided with each other, convincing us that it would be impossible for anything more unusual to happen. My mother still starts many of our conversations with “this is the best one yet” to describe some family or community happening.
Think about it: nobody would have known Christine O’Donnell unless Joe Biden was on the Obama ticket. Delaware wouldn’t even be in the rotation. Marco Rubio wouldn’t be running for the Senate if Mel Martinez hadn’t resigned. If Ted Kennedy and Bob Byrd were still alive, would anyone talk about Republicans in these Senate seats? Tell me Indiana and North Dakota would be on the list of automatic GOP gains if the incumbent Democrats were still running. Where would we find zing in this cycle if John McCain made a conventional choice for veep in 2008? Look at the following, not in chronological order, as you get your head ready for November 2.
by Greg Casey
Bernadette Budde refuses to talk about the number of Democrats she thinks will be defeated this election or whether the GOP will win enough seats to control one or both houses of Congress next year. She argues that operating coalitions on specific issues of importance to business matter more than notions of which party is nominally in charge. She is right of course, but also wrong.
Despite everyone’s best efforts to be as bipartisan as possible, the elephant in the room this cycle is impossible to ignore. While neither party is monolithic in its support or opposition to policies that support & promote the conduct of ethical commerce, the leadership of the Democrats in this Congress and this administration has demonstrated a sustained & pronounced disdain for the fundamentals of free enterprise. I know, I am not supposed to say this. Many will argue until they are blue in the face that it is not so. But it is.
The recent unsubstantiated attack by the White House on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the unrelenting claims that business interests are trying to “buy” this election indicate many in that camp care more about political power than making good public policy. To those who work inside Washington, that is not news. While the Chamber is certainly big enough to defend itself, there is a certain in-your-face, nastiness about this anti-business tirade that requires that we call it what it is.
As we have made known several times before, there are many decent, pro-prosperity Democrats in Congress and across the nation that have earned and deserve business support. To their credit, the Congressional Blue Dogs have tried to moderate the anti-business philosophy of their party leaders, as have some of their own leaders. Regardless of which party has control of Congress, these Democrats will be essential to the passage of good prosperity legislation. It is unfortunate many of them will get painted with the same brush as their more extreme colleagues.
In the end, however, business is left to wonder what they can do to protect themselves in the next Congress if the congressional committees are chaired by the same cast of characters. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an agency out of control and there seems little desire on the part of the leadership in the majority party to do anything about it. So, in many ways numbers do matter if they provide even nominal control of Congress, with its oversight and regulatory responsibilities.
Regardless of which party controls Congress in January 2011, it will probably be as close to total gridlock as anything we have ever seen. The margins will be tight and the administration has proven to loathe changing its course. Despite the most ardent desire of some in the business community to truly act in a bipartisan manner, unless or until the leadership of the majority party changes its attitude towards us, there is little we can do but to work toward changing the majority in charge. It simply is what it is.
by Bernadette Budde
I will remind you again: I have no number and don’t know which party will control either body. Instead, the business community’s objective ought to be something much bigger than guessing a final number count. After all, this isn’t personal but professional for all of us. We enjoy the competition and the speculation, but no matter the outcome, when the election is over, it is the policies that affect our employees, shareholders, customers, communities that drives us to be involved. Regardless of the party in control, we have to turn out a product or service. That requires building workable coalitions to enact legislation that makes it easier for us to accomplish our workplace bottom lines.
If you are still struggling for how to explain this election, take a look at my Top 10 goals for a good outcome this cycle.
Top 10 Bernadette’s version of good outcomes for 2010
Election Day is just a week away and if you haven’t decided to skip the lines by voting early you really should go and do that now. In preparation for our live-blogging election night coverage we are reviewing, state-by-state, what has already happened that has led us to this cycle which keeps getting weirder every minute. Today we will start with Alabama and get through Georgia as we recap the past few months.
Alabama: Incumbents Ousted in Primaries
There is a time for politics and a time for governing. The time for politics is over the time for governing is upon us.