Campaign

As goes Hawaii?

As Washington sorts through this weekend's Pacific upset and victory by Republican candidate Charles Djou in Hawaii's heavily Democratic 1st congressional district, I believe there are emerging indicators of how Hawaii could be a bellwether of sorts for November.

Yes, Congressman-elect Djou garnered 39 percent of the vote in a three-way special election in which two Democrats essentially brought each other down with their bickering and failure to cede the stage. Conventional wisdom holds that, when Djou is forced to run against just one Democratic opponent in less than six months, all will be corrected in Hawaii and Democrats will once again assume control of the seat. But conventional wisdom can't seem to assign an empirical value to two key factors, and it's these ingredients that may propel Republicans to the majority in the House of Representatives come November.

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Reductio ad absurdum

In 1803, emissaries from the American president, including future President James Monroe, signed a treaty, which was then the largest real estate purchase in history. Thomas Jefferson authorized his ambassadors to sign the Louisiana Purchase Treaty despite some misgivings he had about its constitutionality. He did it because he thought it was a great deal (it was — 15 million bucks for property that would later make up parts of 14 states) and because he wanted to enhance American security.

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Rand Paul: Get unreal

Will someone please tell me why there is so much attention paid to the newly announced scientific development, where researchers, using computers, were able to create synthetic life? What's the big deal? We've had synthetic life in Washington, like, forever.

How real could it be here when we find out some of our senators have never used an ATM? Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) for one, told the Omaha World Herald this week, "It's true, I don't know how to use one.” He isn't great at withdrawing his own money, in other words, just spending ours.

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Tuesday's lessons

On Tuesday morning, as polling places opened in Kentucky, Arkansas and Pennsylvania, Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), now in charge of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told me: "This is unlike anything I have ever seen."
 
Hours later, as expected, a volatile electorate would show its hand. And as expected, Rand Paul would beat Trey Grayon in the GOP Senate primary in Kentucky in a drubbing, Sen. Blanche Lincoln would limp to a plurality — forcing a runoff — in her three-way race in Arkansas, and Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) would see his more than 30-year Senate career die in the rain when Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) won their primary going away. 

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Rand Paul and the winged monkeys: Palin 5, Republican Establishment 0

Just as the winged monkeys descended from the huge UFO that hovers over Washington to slander and disgrace Sarah Palin when John McCain selected her for VP, MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow insinuates that Tea Party activist Rand Paul is a racist and an extremist in his first TV interview.

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We got them just where we want them

“We got them just where we want them.”

That was my initial sardonic reaction to the fact that Republicans lost a not very close race in the 12th district of Pennsylvania.

It is hard to spin this loss as anything more than a setback for the GOP.

The only thing I can really come up with is that it may make the Democrats overconfident about their prospects in November. And there is some evidence that the majority party is letting its guard down a bit.

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Primary follies

So many questions: Will Arlen Specter switch back to the Republicans? Will this setback cramp his style when it comes to asking really inane questions this summer at the Judiciary Committee hearings for the season's Supreme Court nominee? I guarantee you, we're going to miss his loopy musing.

Moving right along: Does Super Tuesday winner Rand Paul show up as an "R" for Republican or a "T" in November's Kentucky Derby? Does he now plan to kiss the hand of godfather Mitch McConnell or continue to tell McConnell just what it is he can kiss?

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Skunk at the garden party

Rand Paul’s election may very well mean the beginning of the end of the neo-conservative movement in the Republican Party. It also might mark the beginning of the end of the social-conservative wing of the Republican Party.

During the nomination process of the presidential election two years ago, I wrote about the impact of the Ron Paul insurgency and its potential impact. Paul was a fundraising sensation and he had a cadre of committed followers who believed profoundly that the federal government had grown too big, had become too intrusive, had gone to war for all the wrong reasons and was too involved in the daily lives of the American people.

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Benefiting from your opponent's errors

A.B. Stoddard answers viewer questions about several special elections and considering two new political scandals as well as the administration's approach to implementing the healthcare reform bill.

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Nikki Haley, Sarah Palin and Jenny Sanford: The Three Sisters awaken

They were there at Arthur’s death and at the beginning of Siegfried’s ride; the Three Sisters are harbingers of mythic beginnings and endings, calling from native hills and rivers. So the arrival of Jenny Sanford in the morning and Sarah Palin in the evening to support Nikki Haley in the South Carolina governor’s race is most auspicious.

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