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Election 2006: Winners and Losers

It's been one week since the 2006 general election, but The Fix is still digging out from under the campaign avalanche. Yours truly has spent the last week catching up on sleep and catching a cold, and I've been sorting through the returns with an eye toward compiling a list of unorthodox winners and losers.

The Fix's take is below. Remember: This list is meant to be a jumping off point for discussion not a conclusion. Feel free to agree (or disagree) with my picks in the comments section below or add winners and losers of your own.

WINNERS

Evan Bayh: The Indiana Democrat put considerable time and money into helping elect three homestate Democrats to the House. Bayh provided staff support and donations to Joe Donnelly, Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill. Their subsequent victories provided Democrats with three of the 15 seats they needed to reclaim the majority. Bayh quickly worked to turn those results into a validation of his governing philosophy. "Evan Bayh has developed a formula for winning under the most difficult of circumstances," wrote communications director Dan Pfeiffer in a memo sent to reporters. "He is fiscally responsible, tough on national security, shares the values of middle class families, and values progress over partisanship." That sounds quite a bit like a 2008 campaign slogan to us.

Brian Schweitzer: The governor of Montana was already seen as a rising star within the Democratic Party prior to the 2006 election. State Sen. Jon Tester's (D) victory over Sen. Conrad Burns (R) last Tuesday provides further momentum for Schweitzer on the national stage. It also provides him a bit of revenge. Schweitzer lost narrowly to Burns in 2000 -- four years before he was elected governor. Expect Schweitzer to be a prominent name in the vice presidential sweepstakes in 2008.

Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel: The heads of the two Democratic campaign committees entered this election cycle with huge expectations. Each man was seen as the perfect choice to lead Democrats to the majority despite the long odds -- especially in the Senate. Amazingly, each delivered. And now both are reaping the rewards of their successes. Emanuel is currently unopposed as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus; Schumer agreed to head the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for a second consecutive cycle and was named Vice Chair of the Senate Democratic conference.

Joe Biden: Already one of the most prominent voices in the Democratic Party on the war in Iraq, Biden's profile will rise even higher as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Biden may well use his coveted perch to further his own presidential ambitions. Or he may decide that serving in the Senate majority -- and in such a prominent position -- is more enticing than spending weeks and months in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

LOSERS

Elizabeth Dole: From the moment Dole beat Minnesota's Norm Coleman by a single vote to chair the National Republican Senatorial Committee, she faced a bevy of critics. After two years at the head of the committee, she had done little to silence those critics. The NRSC was drastically outraised by Schumer's Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, failed to convince top-tier candidates to run in a variety of once-targeted states, and made spending decisions at the end of the cycle that were strongly questioned by many within the party. Dole drew too much of the blame for the failures of her committee -- the political environment would have made the job impossible for almost anyone -- but she did little to protect her public image.

Bob McDonnell: Virginia's Attorney General was widely seen as the favorite in the 2009 governor's race. But with Sen. George Allen's (R-Va.) narrow loss to former Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D), Allen will likely have the right of first refusal for any statewide opening. During his concession speech, Allen seemed to hint that he would return to the political stage; it will be tough for McDonnell (or any other Virginia Republican) to beat him in a party primary.

John Kerry: Yes, we know that he has millions -- and MILLIONS -- of dollars on hand that could be transferred into a presidential committee for 2008. But his campaign joke-turned-gaffe steered the national conversation away from the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq and back onto Democrats' alleged weaknesses on national security issues. For many Democrats -- especially those inside the Beltway -- it reminded them of Kerry's penchant for misstatement ("I voted for it before I voted against it") during the 2004 campaign. The D.C. crowd was never going to get behind a re-run Kerry bid, but his comment likely cemented opposition among this influential crowd.

Female Democratic House Candidates: While women did make gains in the House and Senate this election, it was nowhere near the watershed some observers expected. Among the prominent losers: Diane Farrell (Conn.), Patricia Madrid (N.M.), Lois Murphy (Pa.), Darcy Burner (Wash.), Mary Jo Kilroy (Ohio), Tammy Duckworth (Ill.), and Patty Wetterling (Minn.). Of the 28 seats picked up by Democrats, only three were won by women.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 14, 2006; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , Governors , House , Senate  
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Next: Parsing the Polls: Hillary Clinton's Support at Home

Comments

Howard Dean was a winner because his 50 state strategy worked very well. Steny Hoyer is also a winner because he had a lot to do with Democrats winning a lot of seats in the House. Ditto for Rahm Emanuel.

The Republicans lost both Houses of Congress, but Arnold Schwarzenneggar was a rare Republican winner this year because while he stood his ground on tax cuts,he worked with both Republicans and Democrats on a host of other issues.

The Democrats took back the House of Representatives but Nancy Pelosi has the look of a loser because she tried to force her choice of John Murtha for the House Majority Leader on the Democrats, rather than Steny Hoyer, who's a much better choice than John Murtha. Because Murtha is ostensibly a one-issue candidate, he, too, is a loser (if for no other reason than by association with Pelosi).

Posted by: Noam N. Kogen | November 26, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I think Evan Bayh and were propably the biggest winner this election cycle. 3 congressional winners in a conservative state largely due to his backing. Sure, the national mood contributed, but Bayh deserves much credit. Not only in Indiana, but many house dem. candidates elected were moderates which could provide support for Bayh in a run.

Also a huge winner for the Republican side is Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlentry. He beat a good candidate in Hatch in a democratic year in a state that tipped democrat this year. Klobuchar blew out Kennedy and all the other statewide republicans lost. Pawlentry was re-elected with a non-apologetic conservative style that was worked well for Minn's. economy and has put him in a great position for 08' if he chooses to take that route.

Posted by: reason | November 18, 2006 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Winner - what about Elliot Spitzer who got more votes than Hillary?

Posted by: johnwdecatur@earthlink.net | November 18, 2006 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Under the winners: I think Arnold was one of the biggest winners in the republican party. A huge comeback in only one year after he lost in the speciel election with his prop initiatives.

Sure Angelides was a weak candidate, but the Governor still needed to convince the voters he was the right man in a year when few where republican.

Posted by: Ronnie Dahl | November 18, 2006 4:37 AM | Report abuse

Steve

I knew you had to have Montana roots, since you make a lot of sense when you write. My working life has actually been spent outside of Missoula. Though I grew up mostly in Missoula, I've lived in Harlem, White Sulphur Springs, Wolf Point, Malta, Chester, Deer Lodge, Ronan and Arlee. Due to a veterns disability, I am currently semi-retired in Missoula.

And I'm aware that Missoula is different from the rest of the state, but I've had some California experience and Missoula is nothing like California.(Actually California, itself, has many different cultural and political facets). Still the University influence has made it a cosmopolitian city.

Actually, if you can read a very good election history of Montana written by University of Montana Political Science professor Jim Lopach, the Democrat-Republican dichotomy in the state is split more north-south than east west. Setting the Pacific drainage counties aside for a minute, the state has traditional divided north-south, with the rangeland counties of the south voting solid Republican and the small-grains region of Northern Montana (the Golden Triangle and the HiLine)voting Democrat.

Those North Central and North East counties have become less democratic and more "swing" in recent years, largely over social issues.

Of course the rural counties play much less of a role politically as their populations have declined. Farms are bigger, kids don't stay at the farm and the businesses in the communities that provided far services have closed due to competition from the larger cities.

Gov. Schweitzer has an interesting description of the parts of Montana that are prosperous. Those communities are along U.S. 93 and Interstate 90 and Schweitzer calls it "the boot" which it looks like on the map, a high-heeled cowboy boot with Ravalli County at the heel. Flathead to Silver Bow on the shank and Bozeman to Billings for the foot and toe.

In that area, Tester, helped considerably by Missoula, won easily. Of the state's 10 most populous counties, Tester and Burns each took half. But only Flathead gave Burns a comfortable majority. In Yellowstone, Burns squeaked out a victory by only 1,700 votes, and Gallitan (Bozeman) was a virtual tie with Burns getting just a 200-vote edge in one of the state's fastest growing counties. Soon the vote dichotomy may be described as boot and non-boot.

As you can tell, I spend a lot of time studying the mundane political facts of Montana. History and politics of Montana is my passion.

But greetings to another Montanan! Here's to us!!

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | November 17, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Losers: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, who re-elected Ted "Chappaquiddick" Kennedy.

Winners: The Commonwealth of Virginia, which gained a Senator and lost a do-nothing rubber stamp.

Posted by: Leon Jester, Roanoke, VA | November 16, 2006 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Huge Winner: Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack

Using the Vilsack model, Iowa Democrats took majorities in the Iowa House and Iowa Senate, and elected a new Democratic governor. This is the first time in four decades that this has happened in the Hawkeye State and Gov. Vilsack was a major force behind Iowa shifting so strongly to the Democratic Party. Heck, now registered Democrats even outnumber registered Republicans here.

The man has done great things for our state and his legacy was validated by Iowans at the polls on November 7th.

Posted by: Ben Humphrey | November 16, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

well put slavin

Posted by: cb | November 16, 2006 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Back to Mark Warner as the big loser.

He is no doubt. There seems to be teflon on this man. How can he take $10mm, not care about the donors and just pay staff and consultants so much of that money.
Also. You are telling me that he wants to spend more time with his family. Well...he has a great family..three lovely daughters and a great wife...but they were there before he raised this money and before he made the cover of the New York Times. He knew all of this before hand and he just chickened out or something...

It would have been so better spent in the races around the country that J. Carville talked about today. Dean wastes $6mm but Warner wasted just as much.

There should be two Senator Warner's today or at least a Warner that had a great shot at being the President.

What a shame.

Posted by: L. Frogg | November 15, 2006 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I've gotta wonder how many people who either slam or ignore Dean are channeling a little Carville right now because some folks are coming on now eating their lunch.

Winner: Definitely Ohio... it's been to damn long in the Red despite the real issues on the ground.

Posted by: rpppolyp | November 15, 2006 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Alan:

Graduated from Corvallis down in the Bitteroot and my mom is a precinct captain in Hamilton, so I'm aware that Montana is in play now.

To go a step further, Burns is the only Republican senator to be elected more than once since before WW II, but a Missoula liberal can't win a statewide election.

Republicans were poised to align Montana during the Racicot years, but deregulation of the energy sector has given the Dems a chance to claim MT.

I'd caution you though that Missoula isn't Montana, its more California. The eastern part of the state is still heavily Republican.

Posted by: Steve | November 15, 2006 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Mulder - I also agree that it would be good for people to research. But, some are simply just not inclined that way. You and I know that you don't have to be a genius to do it; but I know a lot of people I work with who were never taught how to do it. They simply just don't know how.

I think that you can tell that what I want to see, requires more than Google right now. Hopefully, in a couple of years there will be a multitude of hits when you search on netroots. And, that somebody soon will have some objective study of the netroots. I just haven't seen anything which equates to schorlarly research on the netroot phenomon. Most likely somebody is doing something by now.

If the netroots are as successful as their proponents make them out to be, more power to those who know how to use them effectively.

If by chance, they're not, then all of us should at least know that.

Keep on postin'

Posted by: Nor'Easter | November 15, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Nor!

I'm just hoping that people on blogs will learn to google first, ask second. The default position of "I'm ignorant of that fact and won't look it up" really bothers me.

BTW, I would have liked to use "deceiveinveigleobfuscate" as my handle-it's an x-files reference-but it's too long for some blogs.

Posted by: lieinveigleobfuscate | November 15, 2006 5:19 PM | Report abuse

lie(and other bad stuff) - I ain't payin'

Somebody will earn a Doctorate for the research I'm asking for.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | November 15, 2006 5:16 PM | Report abuse

First, Alan, thanks for the Montana history. Interesting.

Second, I may be the one who lit the match on the netroots issue yesterday, so I'm going to string it out just a bit more (even if nobody is reading this thread anymore).

A) It generated enough conversation, that it would to be worth being a topic unto itself some day. But, with specificity as to organized vs. informal netroots. I saw a lot of confusion caused by the two being addressed as one.

B) Basically, I would like some netroot supporter to provide some empirical data which shows their effect on various races.

Certainly the blogs such as this are energized, and one would have to believe that at least some people become more active as a result. But, the story about the 91 year old making calls for MoveOn has as much weight as my observation that nobody I know who campaigned, did so as a result of netroots involvement. Both are valid and good, but prove nothing in showing the true impact of netroots.

Unfortunately, the netroots promoters I've seen as the public face of the phenomonon have not been able to convey the substance behind what they are promoting.

KOS enjoyed his "15 minutes of fame" with Lamont. He seems serious, but his case was no more than "Netroots are a force because netroots are a force." I wouldn't mind seeing him more successful; but CT showed "It isn't so, just because I say so." Tom Mattzzie MoveOn.org's PAC Director sounded like a typical political hack the other night on MSNBC when Tucker Carlson caught him in an overblown statement, which Carlson legititmately challegned and Mattzie stubbornly refused to address. The typical BS from Mattzie Took MoveOn down a notch in my book.

Ajax cited fund rasing in Montana and Virginia. Legitimate netroots in 2004, but it's an Internet way of life now. Part of the standard political process, no longer in the netroots venue.

I noticed that Ajax cited primaries in both of those states. When put together with CT, it occured to me that netroots may have a significantly larger impact in primaries than they do in general elections, simply because the truly active people are the ones voting in primaries. [That would be a concept worth pursuing in a general study on overall netroots effect.]

Ajax also challenged that "...if you want to have an informed opinion, you should inform yourself." That's primarily what I've asked for. Something objective, something empirical, which shows just what impact the netroots (organized and informal) had on races.

Until somebody can provide something like that, the supporters are telling the World, "Netroots are a political force, because we say so!"

As an intellectual/research challenge: Prove It!

You may be more right than you know; or...you may not.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | November 15, 2006 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Next person who asks me to do their research for them without offering me cash . . .

Posted by: lieinveigleobfuscate | November 15, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lieinveigleobfuscate | November 15, 2006 4:55 PM | Report abuse

lieinveigleobfuscate -

I appreciate the invitation to expand my reading list and welcome any sources you may wish to share.

That said, twice on this thread, I have asked for examples of Netroots "victories" beyond Ned Lamont. I think Alan from Missoula has made an intelligent argument to refute John Tester as a Netroot victory, so I am back to Lamont as the sole "victory". I have an open mind and am asking to be educated, but to this point, the silence from the "Netrooters" on this point is deafening.

Posted by: Other Red State Dem | November 15, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Mark Warner decided 2008 was not his year for the big prize. He lost nothing by being mentioned as a possible candidate and he left the "contest" (a bit early to call it that) on his own terms. Meanwhile, he stumped for Democratic candidates nationally and raised his profile. It may be debatable whether Warner is the chief reason for recent Democratic success in Virginia, but he is now seen nationally as someone who can turn red states blue. I'd have to say he's a winner in 2006--though he has to decide carefully how to maintain and build his positive, centrist image beyond 2006 and 2008.

Posted by: Smith | November 15, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

otherredstatedem,

i hightly reccomend you expand your reading beyond the hallowed halls of the MSM and realize that their biggest sins are sins of omission. As in "these facts don't match the narrative that we've all agreed upon, so we're not going to report them."

Posted by: lieinveigleobfuscate | November 15, 2006 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Steve:

I don't know if Schweitzer has to "change" Montana into a "blue" state.

Both Montana Senators are now Democrats. The GOP still hold the lone US House seat, but when we had two districts, the Western Montana 1st District was always held by a Democrat.

Democrats have the governorship and control of both houses of the Legislature.

There are five state offices that voters elect state-wide, the Governorship, Attorney General, State Auditor, Secretary of State and Superinendant of Schools. Democrats hold all but one (Secretary of State) of these offices as well.

How blue do we have to get before people stop thinking of us as red?

The truth is that historically we have had Democrats in Congress and the state government has see-sawed back and forth. Remember that Conrad Burns is only the second GOP senator the Montana people have elected since the US Senate became selected by the popular vote. I see no reason that history won't continue.

Call us purple, if you must use a color code.

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | November 15, 2006 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Netroots deserves some of the credit in these races. But I think some posters have grossly overstated its role in Montana.

Tester won with good old fashioned grass roots politics. It was miles on the pickup odometer and lots of shoe leather. Plus, he was the better candidate than John Morrison for one important reson, he had a significant tie with Montana Agriculture. Morrison's problems with an old affair that touched on an investigation his department did, did not have as much impact as most think.

As the union vote of the Butte-Anaconda mining and industrial district declined from the Depression through the 1970s, Montana voters came to elect senators with ag background. Mike Mansfield, a political science professor who grew up in Butte and Lee Metcalf, a Ravalli County lawyer were the last Montana Senators without ag connections. Mansfield, Majority Leader from 1961 through 1976 left the Senate in 1976 and Metcalf died in office in 1978 while visiting in Helena. He had already declined to run for re-election and the primary campaign to replace him was underway.

Since then Montana Senators have had ag credentials. Democrat John Melcher was a livestock vet who succeeded Mansfield (he was 2nd district Congressman at the time). Max Baucus, who grew up at one of Montana's largest ranches, the Seiben Ranch, succeeded Metcalf (Baucus was 1st District Congressman at the time).

After two terms, Melcher was defeated by Conrad Burns, who built an agricultural radio broadcasting network, centering mostly on the livestock industry, and had been an auctioneer. He was one of the Yellowstone County Commissioners when he ran. And he was beaten by Jon Tester, who was president of Montana's part-time Senate (it meets just 90 days in odd-numbered years) but is a full-time grain farmer in Big Sandy, Montana.

The net certainly helped. It has made grass-root fundraising vastly more easy. But "netroots" don't have much sway in Montana politics. Tester got a huge lead from Missoula (we counted our votes on time here), which gave him a 2-1 vote with a 15,000-vote cushion that sustained him though the night (15,000 votes is a lot in Montana). But it was the winning of agricultural counties in the Golden Triangle and Montana HiLine that made the final difference, that and the fact that in most of the other Ag counties Tester lost by only thin margins.

In Montana small grains farming counties are "swing counties." The grassland livestock counties have always been solid GOP. Tester also won every Montana county with an Indian reservation, even usually conservative Lake County. The Indian vote has come into it's own in rural Montana and not many of the vote for Republicans. Conrad did not help himself by working with Abramoff to give millions to a wealthy Michigan gambling tribe.

Burns claimed victory in his "home" county, Yellowstone, Montana's largest, by a mere 1,700 votes.

Tester confounded national pundits during the primary, blasting Morrison out of the water to the suprise of those in the east who said "he with the most money wins."

Burns outspent him 2-1 in the general. Montana television stations were deluged by the nastiest record-distortion ads at the end of the campaign, thanks to help from the national GOP party, with the ads running 3-1 against Tester. Yet, the good guy won.

Old fashioned politics did the trick. In Montana it's still possible for any one who takes the initiative to meet the state's polititians. I have met them all. In Montana, person-to-person contact goes a long way.

In Tester, Montanans met a well-spoken but plain spoken guy with a Montana rural accent (no it doesn't sound like the rodeo-cowboy accent most easterners think we have). He talked good sense and had a command of the issues important in Montana.

He is no cookie-cutter liberal, though the Burns campaign tried hard to portray him as such. One of Burns' tactical errors was campaigning hard on the war, which is just as unpopular in Montana as everywhere else. Burns was forced to go to his right-wing base to shore them up, ignoring Montana independants.

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | November 15, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

It's good to see I wasn't the only person mystified by the mainstream press's bizarre dismissal of the role that Howard Dean played in the 2006 Democratic Revolution. I realize they have had it out for him since long before he committed that ghastly sin of getting excited at a pep rally, but it's just downright delusional not to be able to see what happened in this country a week ago. Sometimes I just shake my head and wonder what alternate universe these journalists are living in. Someone send them a lifeline.

Posted by: Mark | November 15, 2006 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm very surprised you didn't include Santorum among the losers. He's a leader (and a star) within the GOP. His name had been surfacing as a 2008 VP candidate. He spent $25+ million on his reelection campaign. He lost by nearly 20 points. His defeat was more satisfying to Democrats than any other candidate. Whether we're debating current or future prospects, Santorum comes out a loser.

Posted by: Chris in PA | November 15, 2006 12:08 PM | Report abuse

About 5 months ago, you were handing George Allen the GOP presidential nomination for 2008. Now you've got him leading the GOP race for Va. governor in 2009 because of his "narrow loss" to Jim Webb. Huhhhh? Allen destroyed a double-digit lead over Webb, imploding against the first strong opposition he ever faced.

Virginia Republicans bury their failed candidates--Early, Kilgore, Ollie North. Why should Allen be any different? The M-word video isn't going away and neither are all the other stories from George Felix's not-too-distant past.

Get over him.

Posted by: Virginia Values | November 15, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

While I like Edwards, he is a former one term Senator, losing VP candidate, and former trial lawyer. He has populist views, but that's about it. I don't see him as a player beyond the first three weeks of primary season.
Obama did as little as possible for Democratic candidates, revving up his own Prez bid during his book tour but avoiding most opportunities to campaign with Dem candidates. Maybe he was afraid of ending up with a mixed record on whether his candidates won or not. Does backing only the sure winners make you a winner? Again, I see little in his future except a VP run.
In my mind, the real winners are the Deans, Kerrys, Gen. Clarks who went out on a limb to help candidates with marginal chances to win and then pulling a lot them over, even though the losses made them look not as effective. Having courage makes a person a winner in this field, not a high win percentage.

Posted by: capeman | November 15, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Winners: I think John Edwards and Barack Obama both came out of the election looking stronger: Edwards because his brand of populism played so well in the Midwest and Mountain West, where the 2008 election will be decided; and Obama because the crowds he drew while campaigning, both in size and enthusiasm, showed him to be broadly charismatic. And that makes Hilary a big loser.

Posted by: pjust | November 15, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Yeppers, before Dean, there was the $50/state strategy.

Posted by: roo | November 15, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Re: Kerry
As said above he was counted out not long before Iowa.
Never underestimate the man.

Posted by: NYFM | November 15, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

While not the biggest Dean fan, I'd have to agree with those who list him as a winner. My wife was a fan in 04, and I see him as not being prime time ready as a pol, but his 50 state plan did two things, it kept the big money out of the hands of the most endangered incumbents, and sent the President to NE 3 and KS 2, seats that should not have been in play. In addition it helped in other ways, keeping Hoeven out in ND Senate race, recruiting attractive candidates in MT, VA, etc.

Don't know about Schweitzer as a national figure, and don't know whether it would be a good idea even if he were interested since he has the opportunity to change MT to a blue state in the next 6 years.

I'm glad to see a Western strategy in play, because if in 08, Repubs have to defend ID, GA and NE, in the Senate, it gives the Dems a better chance of taking MN and NH and solidifying their narrow lead in the Senate.

A 50 state strategy also benefits a long term majority in the House, since many of the seats we took won't be in play in the next cycle. Look at NE 2 (Omaha), WY AL, ID 1, and you have to think Shays and some of the handful of Republican dinosaurs in the NE are in deep trouble.

Posted by: steve | November 15, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

While not the biggest Dean fan, I'd have to agree with those who list him as a winner. My wife was a fan in 04, and I see him as not being prime time ready as a pol, but his 50 state plan did two things, it kept the big money out of the hands of the most endangered incumbents, and sent the President to NE 3 and KS 2, seats that should not have been in play. In addition it helped in other ways, keeping Hoeven out in ND Senate race, recruiting attractive candidates in MT, VA, etc.

Don't know about Schweitzer as a national figure, and don't know whether it would be a good idea even if he were interested since he has the opportunity to change MT to a blue state in the next 6 years.

I'm glad to see a Western strategy in play, because if in 08, Repubs have to defend ID, GA and NE, in the Senate, it gives the Dems a better chance of taking MN and NH and solidifying their narrow lead in the Senate.

A 50 state strategy also benefits a long term majority in the House, since many of the seats we took won't be in play in the next cycle. Look at NE 2 (Omaha), WY AL, ID 1, and you have to think Shays and some of the handful of Republican dinosaurs in the NE are in deep trouble.

Posted by: steve | November 15, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

governors rule (double meaning)

and because of that richardson should quietly be at the bottom of winners list, he is at the helm of the governor's assocaition when they finally have more democratic govs than gop.

Posted by: nantucket | November 15, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Give Dean all the credit in the world. As a Dem living in a "red state", the 50-state strategy has turned us purple.

That said, I am still not clear why the "net roots" deserve much credit. Again, beyond the Lamont "win", what else was there? I still don't understand how defeating a long-time Democratic Senator in a primary is a victory for Dems. In any other state, that likely would have cost us the Senate.

I didn't pay much attention to Montana, so I am willing to give on Tester, but not on Webb. The Virginia Senate seat was handed to Webb on a silver platter by George Allen, and he still almost blew it.

The real winners were West & Midwest moderates like Governors Richardson and Sebelius. If Dems veer left after this election, we have no chance of winning the White House in 2008. In fact, we likely would struggle to hold the House as well.

Posted by: Other Red State Dem | November 15, 2006 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Actually Sandy, from what I can tell so far -- YOU are a buffoon. You have absolutely nothing to contribute.

Posted by: drindl | November 15, 2006 10:32 AM | Report abuse

And Dean's strategy helped Dems regain footholds in red states.
The other thought that crosses my mind is that it seems to me that, in many races, Republicans often feel like they have to spend at least $2 for every $1 spent by the Dems, so if Dean just gets Republicans to divert their resources this way and divide their attention even more, that can do nothing but help Democrats nationwide.
Dean's strategy is a winner.

Posted by: Capeman | November 15, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The Kerry bashing is just playing into the GOP Swiftboating hand. Isn't everyone tired of this kind of politics?
He was out there raising money and sharing his own campaign cash to Democratic nominees around the country and has major chits to cash in.
He was, also, one of two Democratic contenders who did the right thing in the CT Senate race, supporting and campaigning for Lamont (see the insider diary at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/11/14/122820/27.
He has been out front, taking hits while the Clintons and others triangulate (as normal). These people are for the war at the same time they are against the war. Geesh.
And, for you Biden fans, he has been wrong so often on so many things Democrats care about (War, bankruptcy, pro-corporation, plagiarism etc.) that he has about as much chance as Lieberman. Non-starter.

Posted by: capeman | November 15, 2006 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"All this bad news has left some in the GOP grumbling that Romney has spent more time organizing his potential '08 presidential bid than working to keep statehouses red."
Newsweek 10/27

He made 45 visits to 20 states according to the Boston Globe

5 each to NY (loss-never in play), UT (win-never in play), MI (loss), NH (loss-never in play)
4 to IA (loss)
2 each in SC (win), CA (win), AZ (loss), CO (loss), FL (win), RI (win),
and 1 each to GA (win), NE (win), OH (loss), MO (not up), TX (win), TN (loss), IL (Loss), KY (not up), ID (won)

For identified priorities and potential pick ups, Romney spent his time among his 3 "home states" of MI, UT and MA and visited primary prizes NY and NH while virtually ignoring OH, OR, IL, CO, MD in his travels.

According to Boston Globe 10/1, Of the $20M raised, priority targets were:
$1M+ to FL (won), MI (loss), IA (loss)
$900K to MA (loss)
$750 K to OR (loss)
CO, MD, WI got $500K (all losses)

How did those investments work out?

If you are looking for candidate so-and-so or Governor X to stand uup and say Mitt Romney killed our chances, it won't happen. But behind the scenes and on paper, it was obvious what Romney's priorities were in 2006 and I guarentee it will not help him in 2008 to have these questions lingering on the minds of much needed supporters like the few Republican governor's that are left and the unsuccessful GOP candidates whose organizations could help build a grass roots support for a presidential bid.

Posted by: RMill | November 15, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Anis Shivani: "The real winner is the type of candidate (like Tester and Webb) who'll shun the Democrats' characteristic cultural genuflections to return to economic basics."

Exactly. The cultural issues are dead letters for the Democrats, and Iraq will not be an issue for ever. The only issue that can unify the Democrats for a sustained period of time is economic populism.

Posted by: Zathras | November 15, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Sandy,

Thank you for your pointed, factual and only slightly delusional contribution to this conversation. I take it you voted GOP.

Posted by: lieinveigleobfuscate | November 15, 2006 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I think you could also say moderate voters in each party were the winners. I crossed party lines because the Republicans went too far to the right, while the Demoacratic Party nominated a middle of the road candidate that I could feel good about voting for. Hopefully, both parties will see that you win elections from the middle and not the extremes.

Posted by: Mikepcfl | November 15, 2006 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with Sandy. Dean's strategy worked and is the way to go from here on out.

Posted by: Tom | November 15, 2006 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Sandy,

Do you have anything intelligent to offer, or are you just into name calling?

Posted by: Fred_Flintstone | November 15, 2006 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Dean should most definately be on the Winners List. For those of us Democrats who live in red states, he gave a measure of hope that we could win. And clearly we did in several places. If the Dem establishment writes off red states, then many (most?) of us Dems in redland are likely to give up on the Dems and start thinking third party.

Posted by: Fred_Flintstone | November 15, 2006 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Howard Dean is a buffoon

Posted by: Sandy | November 15, 2006 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Howard Dean and his "50-State Strategy" proved to be stupid and utterly pathetic. What a waste of time.

The guy is crazy, he sucks, and he is useless. The Democratic congressional leadership produced the victories, NOT this stupid delusional "Netroots" fantasy nor Howard Dean, who is an insane wacko with zero credibility.

Posted by: Sandy | November 15, 2006 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Dean and the 50-state strategy are winners for a reason no one else has cited: state legislatures flipped to the Democrats. In Indiana, the addition of DNC staffers allowed the state chairman to concentrate on fundraising, not just answering the phone or talking to the media. Legislative districts that had never been competitive became so, shocking Republicans and forcing them to spend more on 100 local races. Result: the Indiana House is once again Democratic and the state Congressional delegation went from 7-2 Republican to 5-4 Democrat. The 50-state strategy helped flip Congress, gave Democrats a majority of governors and packed some serious muscle on the farm team. By 2008, instead of the White House riding on Ohio or Florida, 8 or 10 states may still be in play the final week. (If we ever abolish the Electoral College, it won't just be states that are in play, but every voter.) Dean was right; it's a sign of respect when you ask people for their vote.

Posted by: joshtom | November 15, 2006 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Chris: As the discussion here indicates, there's a lot of interest in the role that Howard Dean's 50 state strategy played in the Democratic win, as well as in the importance of the netroots.

Perhaps now that there isn't quite as much horserace reporting to do, you or one of the other Post political reporters could look into this. I'd really like to get a more inside view.

Also, as others have mentioned, you should drop in now and then. You might talk w/ Marc Fisher and Joel Achenbach about how they handle their blogs. Neither monitors them in any detailed way, but both drop in and comment on a couple of posts, answer a couple of questions, or make some summary comments toward the end of the day. These brief interactions make posters feel more like they are talking to you, rather than just talking. More fun for everybody.

Posted by: THS | November 14, 2006 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Big winner is Bill Richrdson,DGA Cahirman. The i"nside the beltway" crowd is completely missing the story of how many Democratic Governors won this cycle under Bill Richardson's leadership. And he is far and away the most qualified person considering a presidential bid (unmatched domestic and foreign policy experience).

Posted by: Ted | November 14, 2006 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Specifically looking at the impact on the 2008 Presidential election:
DEMOCRAT
Winners
- Clark and Bayh (red state appeal, helping Dems defeat Rep incumbents)
- Richardson (governors races went well, midwest is rapidly becoming a key battleground)
- Clinton (increased vote in conservative upstate NY)

Losers
- Obama (Ford lost in Tenessee despite Obamas high profile endorsement. Can Obama appeal to the South?)
- Edwards (what did he do?)
- Kerry (added to the evidence that he couldn't run a good campaign)

REPUBLICAN
Winners
- Frist (yes i know hes seen as yesterdays news, but he did help Corker hold Tenessee)
- Jeb Bush (Florida Governors mansion stays Repub)
- a couple of VP candidates who held their seats

Losers
- Allen and Santorum (lost re-election)
- McCain (popular, so lots of campaigning for others. Didn't do a lot of good though)
- Romney (Governors elections generally went badly, and result in MA suggests he wouldn't win his home state in a Prez election)

Its going to be exciting for the next couple of years!!

Posted by: JayPe | November 14, 2006 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Winners: The 2nd Amendment, though not on the ticket. The election of all these gun-toting Democrats should help free the party from the gun-control ball and chain that hobbles it in every election.

Losers: The Old South. Starting to look angry, isolated, and wrong once again.

Posted by: OD | November 14, 2006 11:14 PM | Report abuse

A huge winner in NH-01 was Carol Shea-Porter who became NH's first Congresswoman ever, beating out an incumbent Republican in what was considered a safe seat until it was too late.

Grassroots, people-powered politics was the winners here as well. This campaign only spent about $240,000 and earned the rest with the energy of an inspiring candidate and hundreds upon hundreds of volunteers working the phones, neighborhoods, and street corner visibility.

Posted by: Chuck | November 14, 2006 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Biggest losers of all-time:

1) Howard Dean - a freak. The guy is crazy. He should be institutionalized. No one takes him seriously.

2) The so-called "Netroots." The beat Lieberman in the primary, and what did that accomplish? Lieberman comes back and wins the general election. Is there any greater example of a colossal waste of time and hot air than all of this? It's just laughable. "Netroots" = a big nothing, except a Democratic Party version of a Star Trek convention - people who sit around on their computers all day "blogging" and accomplishing nothing except yelling at each other over meaningless issues and wasting time. Get a life, people.

Posted by: Sandy | November 14, 2006 10:40 PM | Report abuse

The big winners in my book were the Founding Fathers and the blue dog Dems.

Posted by: harlan kane | November 14, 2006 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I think its pretty clear that Gen. Wes Clark is among the biggest winners in this. The man endorsed candidates all over the country and sent nearly 50 of those candidates to office. Consider this: Clark helped elect a liberal to Lt. Governor in Alabama. That's a feat of mythological proportions.

Posted by: YellowDog | November 14, 2006 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Will somebody please tell me what part Joe Biden played in the 2006 election ??? Sorry, I just don't get it.
Rahm is God? I don't get that, either, since most of his hand-picked candidates lost. Schumer deserves the credit. Dean worked his fingers to the bone for two years implementing the 50 State Strategy and, surprisingly this soon, got some results and provided an expaned playing field for others - but, not even an honorable mention here. Do I smell DLC? The Hotline has a more balanced view. http://hotlineblog.nationaljournal.com/archives/2006/11/post_120.html

Posted by: Carol | November 14, 2006 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Um, George W Bush and Karl Rove and Ken Melhman? Hello?

And as for Evan Bayh, hahahahahahaha.

Posted by: Greg in LA | November 14, 2006 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Chris, mentioning Patty Wetterling among women candidates as losers this election cycle was a little misleading, as her opponent was also a woman. MN-5, an open seat, went male to female after the September primaries.

Posted by: MN | November 14, 2006 9:40 PM | Report abuse

A Winner: The people of Ohio.

Sherrod Brown's strong win is great boost for sensible people in Ohio. We must continue to fight to stave off becoming a banana republic and continue to clean out corrupt Cheney/Bush stooges at all levels in our state.

Posted by: Cincinnati Progressive | November 14, 2006 9:34 PM | Report abuse

A lot of Republicans are talking about the party "losing its Conservative way," but what I see is a movement finding out that its various wings aren't always compatible. The true wingnut "social conservatives" are finding out that Bush isn't and never has been really one of them. By the same token, the paleocon fiscal tightwads don't get anything from him either. I'm hoping the internecine warfare keeps ratcheting up so that the coalition is completely demolished. Then government can really get back on track.

Posted by: Staley | November 14, 2006 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Poor Mark Warner. He bows out of the race despite being so well positioned. It seems a rare mistake from someone so politically astute.

Why don't people believe his family convinced him not to run? It seems to make so much sense. If he always intended not to run in '08, then surely he would have run for the Senate from the outset. That would have positioned him well for a shot at the Presidency or Vice Presidency later on.

Mark Warner is not a big loser. He's a winner, for putting his family first. Avid Politicos like us will just have to cope...

Posted by: JayPe | November 14, 2006 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean and his 50-state strategy shares tier one on credit for the 2006 electoral successes. Through Dean's effort, many districts were competitive that otherwise would have had no attention.

Posted by: tomt | November 14, 2006 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Mark Warner. If he had stayed in the presidential race, all eyes would be on him.

Elected Democratic Governor of Virginia ("red" state). Gets his heir apparant (Gov. Kaine-D) elected to follow him in 2005. Gets Jim Webb-D elected to senate (defeating potential presidential and Virginian rival George Allen-R) which gives the Democrats control of the Senate.

It would be a coronation right now for Warner in '08. No one would be talking about anything or anyone else. It would be all Mark Warner all the time right now.

The mood is right for a moderate Democrat to run in '08. To bad the right person for the job dropped out of the race.

Posted by: The Biggest Loser | November 14, 2006 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Ajax,

Schumer supported Webb in the primary as did many other DC establishmentarians

Posted by: JimD in FL | November 14, 2006 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I think a big loser is Mark Warner.

1) He should not be Senator elect.

If he did not want to run for the White House, he could have beaten George M. Allen easily. Now he has to maybe take on John Warner, which would be difficult at best.

Let us not forget that Mark supported his old buddy Harris Miller for that seat. Johnny come lately to Webb.

2) If he stayed in Presidential hunt he would really be in good shape. His message was a real winner last week. Moderate voices, honest government, bi-partisan approach.

Mark you made the wrong move twice. I am sure you will do it again!

Tell me this. You did not know that you would not spend time with your family before you ran for President. Please.....Tell me this..what happens to the $10mm you raised. Paying staff and Four Season hotel bills???

You could have been the champ!!...You chickened out...Hillary and Barack would have had a race on their hands and you would have raised the money needed.

Posted by: Joseph Turtle | November 14, 2006 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Ajax, McNerney won because of support from Defenders of Wildlife -- who donated over $1 million -- and the Sierra Club, who put boots on the ground. The "Netroots" had very, very little to do with McNerney's win.

Posted by: coyote | November 14, 2006 7:23 PM | Report abuse

A little sample of what Dean and the Netroots accomplished this cycle, and why they obviously need to be on the list as "Winners":

Netroots endorsed Tester over D.C. establishment and Schumer favorite Morrison in the MT-Sen democratic primary. Morrison would never have beaten Burns, wasnt honest enough. Tester's only support was netroots, in terms of publicity and fund raising. Without Tester we wouldnt have taken the senate, and without the netroots we wouldnt have Tester. Ask Tester if you dont believe me.

Netroots endorsed Webb over D.C. establishment favorite Harris Miller in the VA-Sen democratic primary. Miller would never have beaten Virginia because although he could self-fund, he was a bigtime lobbyist. Webb's main support was netroots, in terms of publicity and fund raising. Without Webb we wouldnt have taken the senate, and without the netroots we wouldnt have Webb. Ask Webb if you dont believe me.

Oh, and in the House, add Murphy and Sestak out of PA, McNerney out of CA, Hall and Gillebrand and about 8 other victorious candidates who never would have made it without the Netroots support, which we supplied many months before the D.C. establishment even considered these races remotely winnable.

To those who attack the Netroots and question their impact on this most recent election cycle: you are of course entitled to your own opinion, but if you want to have an informed opinion, you should inform yourself.

Posted by: Ajax | November 14, 2006 7:15 PM | Report abuse

LOSER: MICHAEL STEELE!!

Posted by: came up just short | November 14, 2006 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I know we're going to spend the next two years explaining this to people, but I say again. John McCain is not a moderate. He's just as much of a neocon hawk as anyone in the White House. He talks about "cutting spending" which is code for slashing Medicare and Education spending. His only major policy difference with the administration is campaign finance.

Posted by: Zach | November 14, 2006 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's not going to run in 2008. What Dem in their right mind would want to mop up the mess in Iraq?

That's McCain's job and its the Dems job to keep Congress while he does it

Posted by: mjz/NV | November 14, 2006 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's not going to run in 2008. What Dem in their right mind would want to mop up the mess in Iraq?

That's McCain's job and its the Dems job to keep Congress while he does it

Posted by: mjz/NV | November 14, 2006 6:56 PM | Report abuse

John Gaguine,

Kerry did not say anything insensitive. He made a joke on Bush and dropped a word (something that obviously never happens to people here in DC).

This was then spin out of measure by the media, who thought it was more important to repeat the same thing again and again than to inform us that Bush had said he would keep Rumsfeld, or to tell us that Bush's attacks on Kerry were simply outrageous.

So, yes, I hope he will run.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 14, 2006 6:51 PM | Report abuse

'Nor'Easter, thanks. But I disagree with your "netroots - loser" thought unless you're talking about "organized" netroots. On the surface those efforts were marginally effective. But the "informal" netroots, what we're doing right now, right here, that tends to bring more players to the table, a plus in my book. Informal netroots contributed mightily to fanning the flames of Democratic anger, regardless of which side the comments were made on. In the past, too many Dem's stood on the sidelines feeling they didn't have a voice. We all have one now, the net and it's only getting better.'

Hear, hear. And Nor-easter, if you weren't involved, you have no idea what the netroots contributed, how much organization, how much money was raised in $5 and $10 contributions, how much GOTV -- you can't imagine how many MILLIONS of calls were made by grassroots volunteers. I have a friend whose mother is 91 and she made calls for Move-On. You really can't imagine the passion--and the volunteer coordination that the netroots contributed. I'm sorry you missed it, it was great to be part of.

Posted by: drindl | November 14, 2006 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden is a winner in that he's back to a committee chair. But as far as the presidency - he took his shot and was found wanting by the electorate. I don't know what would be different this time around.
P.S. And I sincerely hope that Kerry has mortally wounded whatever presidential hopes he had, and that it isn't just the DC folks who were appalled by his actions (most notably his reluctance to apologize for his insensitive remarks).

Posted by: John Gaguine | November 14, 2006 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Give Dean big points, whatever you think of him. He executed his strategy and made Democrats viable across the country. As of '08, let's go Al Gore - it's your time.

Posted by: bsterritt | November 14, 2006 6:19 PM | Report abuse

BlueDog - I'm still waiting for Chris to give us (especially RMIll) credit on TV by saying "My sources on The Fix say..."

Posted by: Nor'Easter | November 14, 2006 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Winner: Chris C and The Fix. For hosting us all, & getting some national exposure. Still think you play too much to the GOP, Chris, but appreciate the effort. That's all for now.

Posted by: BlueDog | November 14, 2006 6:14 PM | Report abuse

How on earth do you leave Gerlach off this list? Every pundit including you had him on the list of the first incumbents to go -- and he was one of only three (the others being Heather Wilson and Chris Shays) to survive. Wow -- come on, this was supposed to be a cakewalk for those Democrats...and the Republicans who built a wall survived the wave. Gotta give some credit there for sure, I mean, for a while you were ready to call her Congresswomen Lois Murphy and Patricia Madrid.

Posted by: BillinPa | November 14, 2006 6:13 PM | Report abuse

lieinveigleobfuscate (can I shorten that to "Evil Fog?")/BlueDog - 1) "if he (Dean) wasn't responsible for the success, what did he do wrong" No better question than that!

2) If enough people complain to the Ombudsman at a paper about the Ombudsman, is the Ombudsman required to do something about it?

The more I read Howell, the more I have to wonder about the Post editors.

3) re: netroots - I don't doubt that netroots did and will continue to have an effect on our electoral process. My comment was based on "raised expectations." What I've seen since July is a lot of self-promtion by netroot proponents (activists?) touting how powerful they are. I didn't see quantifiable results. Somebody may be working on that now; but it will take a while to do valid research.

Blogs certainly contribute to the discussion, making it more lively and thought provoking. But, I think that the Administration had a lot to do with "active" participation in this election. I know a reasonable number of people who campaigned this year, and none of them said that they did it because they were inspired through the Internet. A number said that their inspiration (negatively) was the President.

I'm not sure that the "vehicle" is mature enough yet to really know how effective it is. It is probably changing right now under our nose. Remember how raising contributions via the Internet was innovative just two years ago; now it's routine. What happened to "Meet Ups?" etc. It's an infant technology/tool. What's next? Who knows?

I called netroots a loser because of the raised expectations. The promoting done by KOS and others in CT helped give us Joe (as you noted). Can we quantify what impact it had on the Tester victory? Don't know, but i do know that Tester had visibility and credibility to begin with (President of the Montana Senate). Just because people claim something, doesn't mean it's so. (Sounds like a WMD discussion.)

All of the "hit and run" netroots promoters who took credit on this blog from the Summer through last week had the appearance of people impressed with the "Next New Thing." [Please note the "hit and run" qualification]

What Next New Thing will be on their radar scope in 2008? I don't see them staying the course as this thing develops. I will; but I don't know about them.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | November 14, 2006 6:11 PM | Report abuse

BIG LOSER: Hillary Clinton, stabbing a fellow Democrat in the back. Why should we believe her after this?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 14, 2006 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Concerning Kerry, remember that those who vote in the Democratic primaries are not the DC insiders, thanks God.

So, you may want to reconsider the common wisdom that you insiders think is so true and remember 2004. You were so quick to dismiss Kerry then, just as you are doing now, and you looked foolish then. Why should we even consider what you say on his subject?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 14, 2006 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Loser: Bush.

Posted by: Kenney | November 14, 2006 6:02 PM | Report abuse

The winners were the folks that won their elections, no matter at what level be it local, county or state.

Posted by: lylepink | November 14, 2006 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I think all this Dean versus Emmanuel/Schumer bickering is nonsense. They both played their roles.

As for Republican gerrymandering being a loser... if it weren't for that, the Democrats might have picked up 50 seats.

Clark was not a very polished campaigner in 2004. It is difficult to make the presidency your first run for political office. He has become a much more polished campaigner and stumped vigorously and quite well for many Democratic candidates. I think he is the single most electable Democratic candidate. He will have a lot of appeal in the red states. Even Karl Rove would not be able to make a soft on national security image stick.

Posted by: JimD in FL | November 14, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

CLEAR WINNERS:

1. Socially Conservative Democrats (see the PA senate race, Indiana house races, VA senate, and the social conservatism that earned Harold Ford the close-call he got in TN)

2. Joe Lieberman (see #1, above); Lieberman has to become a pivotal player now.

CLEAR LOSERS:

1. Republican State Televi---oops, I mean "Fox News". The long-awaited return of critical thinking sounds the death-knell of canned jingoistic GOP propaganda.

2. Hillary. Can you see Hillary winning in Virginia, Indiana, or Kentucky?

3. John Kerry. Massachusetts Senate Delegation renamed the Rest Home for Coulda-Beens.

4. "The Decider"; President Bush's alter-ego gives way to the considerably less dramatic "The Negotiator"

UNCLEAR OUTCOMES FOR...

1. Comedy Central's Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert. Can THE DAILY SHOW keep on its present roll, given the President might now be awakened from his denial-induced stupor?

2. Women seeking high office. Nancy Pelosi's Speakership could either...

A. Get the public used to a woman in high office in DC, and everyone can get over the novelty value of it -- thus paving the way for women seeking the Presidency

or....

B. Lead to everyone generalizing a Pelosi failure to mean that women can't hack it at the top

No pressure, Nancy :)

3. The people of Iraq

If we leave as irresponsibly as we arrived, it could be a long decade for the Iraquis

4. Conservatism: Republican defeat leaves room for *someone* to take up the mantle for small government and individual rights.

Posted by: Independent Woman | November 14, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse

So other than a vanity candidacy, what does Biden bring to the table except to help himself, that is?

Here's what Wesley Clark did to help in the 06 election cycle:

1) helped 42 candidates win their races across America, including 25 candidates who flipped their seats from Republican to Democratic seats.

2)The WesPAC community raised over $1 million for candidates, not to mention the millions of hours of volunteer time members of the Clark community provided to campaigns in every corner of our nation.

3) At least 6 veterans were newly elected to House and Senate yesterday.

"Gen. Clark was the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's] number-one requested surrogate, especially in red states and swing states during this cycle. As we travel around, in places that other Democrats don't go, there is a clamor and enthusiasm to see Gen. Clark serve in public again. Obviously, with the war and national security at the top of the agenda, Clark is well-suited to lead the country in a better direction than it's going now."

Posted by: Texas Democrat | November 14, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Biden? Bayh? are you kidding?

I like Craig Crawford's assessment better:

http://www.cqpolitics.com/2006/11/from_cq_weekly_the_08_race_for.html

Posted by: Red State Dem | November 14, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I agree with whoever said Gore-Obama in 08. That's been my thought ever since last Tuesday nite.

Posted by: Texas Democrat | November 14, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Where was the love for Dean in '04? I never saw anything wrong with "war cry(?)", yet within two weeks no Deaniacs. Will Clark campaign any better than the first time (oh, that time he was the Clintons' puppet and did'nt count)? Biden would seen the best best for the Hillary haters. However, it is all about money money money. Who has it NOW?? Oh Hillary and John K. Maybe, someone can convince John to share for a VP slot.

Posted by: A Hardwick | November 14, 2006 4:49 PM | Report abuse

How can anyone declare McCain a winner? Here's a pandering loser who continues to suck up to Bush and the Stay the Course bunch, who continues to advocate increasing troop levels. He didn't learn anything from the election. He's no maverick, he's no moderate either. Check out his voting record. Smoke and mirrors on torture. His own party hates him.

Posted by: Hardheaded Lefty | November 14, 2006 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I concur with above statements, both HOWARD DEAN and the Western Democrat were big winners. What Dean said on the Daily Show rings incredibly true after last Tuesday, "All we needed to do was ask for their vote. It shows respect to ask for someone's vote." (I'm paraphrasing but you get the point. Schaller's thesis is elitist garbage. Dean understands how to build a legitimate movement.

Posted by: mike w | November 14, 2006 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Obviously the netroots are winners in this election cycle. Also a winner is the fact that Dems used faith to help in there victories. Both are major forces to be taken seriously in 08.

http://www.faithfullyliberal.com

Posted by: Aaron | November 14, 2006 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Netroots a winner? Really??

I may not spend as much time on the the Net as many of you, but the one "victory" I heard championed before the election was Ned Lamont. That sure didn't work out real well.

I don't think Democrats can afford many more of those types of victories. The defeat of moderate Democrats in future primaries will send us right back to the minority status from which we just escaped.

Posted by: Red State Dem | November 14, 2006 4:43 PM | Report abuse

RMill,

Can you provide a single example showing a Republican governor to be pissed with Romney?

Romney raised and distributed record amounts of cash (>$20 million) to republican governors, and campaigned for many of them. The fact that they still lost is indicitive of the candidates themselves and the mood of the country.

Nobody's performed the chairmanship role of the RGA better, it was simply a very very uphill fight.

Posted by: murphy | November 14, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Star11

On an earlier thread, my opinion (for what it's worth) is Biden is old news with baggage, and I don't think he can get the nomination. He "won" by getting his name out and message heard (divide Iraq). He'll get a cabinet seat, I think he's tired of the Senate. He's always thought of himself as geopolitically savvy and I think he wants to be Secretary of State.

Anonymous: Yes, Clark's star rose and will continue. Look for him to be the sleeper winner, now and in the future, since the MSM seems to be ignoring him.

Posted by: BlueDog | November 14, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Down here in SE New Mexico (where Republicans still rule), as well as inside the beltway, we are talking about Kerry's apparently being unable to learn from his mistakes. Doesn't the man have a speechwriter? Glad to hear he is good at raising money from our Dem base, but we can't afford another stumbling presidential campaign in 2008.

And kudos to Howard Dean for our state fieldworkers. Boos to the state party, who pulled them out of the field to help Madrid.

Posted by: nmaif | November 14, 2006 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The female Democratic candidates you mention may not have come up winners, but Democratic Congresswomen are doing extraordinarily well in the new order. Pelosi will become the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. history, third in line in the presidential succession. Five of 14 Senate party leaders announced by Harry Reid are women.

Posted by: JR | November 14, 2006 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Biden seems great - but can he beat the plagiarism incident in a run for the White House? To go back to an earlier thread, wouldn't this count as a skeleton - even though well-known?
He is so straight-forward that it might be refreshing. Well, he does ramble at times, but at other times, the forthrightness is appealing.

Posted by: star11 | November 14, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

General Wesley Clark lifts Mike Beebe to a huge double digit win in the Arkansas Governors race and helps the Democrats sweep all statewide offices - the only place in all of the South to see this - is the only person to lift a finger for his former staffer Carol Shea Porter, who was elected to the US House in NH - was the first major surrogate to help Jim Webb - top surrogate for Joe Sestak and Tim Walz - and was the DCCC's top requested surrogate...I think its safe to say that Clark's stock has risen....

Posted by: Anonymous | November 14, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Losers:
GOP gerrymandering strategy
"Terrorism" scare tactics
Hanging Chad Harris $Portfolio
"Crusader" ideologists
The King (Bush)
The Queen (Foley)
All the Kings Horse odds-makers (Rove)
All the Kings Men (neocons)

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | November 14, 2006 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I.W.

No, I don't think 06 can be used as a good predicator for 08. Too much depends on the future Prez nominee's. What it really says about 08 is "anythings possible. Right now, 08 is an open book. Each party has a strong but controversial leading candidate followed by a loose pack of wannabe's.

Nor'Easter, thanks. But I disagree with your "netroots - loser" thought unless you're talking about "organized" netroots. On the surface those efforts were marginally effective. But the "informal" netroots, what we're doing right now, right here, that tends to bring more players to the table, a plus in my book. Informal netroots contributed mightily to fanning the flames of Democratic anger, regardless of which side the comments were made on. In the past, too many Dem's stood on the sidelines feeling they didn't have a voice. We all have one now, the net and it's only getting better.

Posted by: BlueDog | November 14, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

What happened to all of the columns about Ohio's newest senator, dem Sherrod Brown, and new dem Gov. Ted Strickland? I thought Ohio was supposed to be one of the "key" states.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 14, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

the best thing about the MSM blackout on Howard Dean is that they won't even address the question of "if he wasn't responsible for the success, what did he do wrong." there's just the sound of distant sleepy crickets where commentary would be if they weren't avoiding the question. but information abhors a vaccuum, and the Internet has taken away their domination of the conversation. hence our posts here, the blogs (left and right-wing, it's all good), and Deborah Howell and the rest of the Post's total melt-down when it comes to dealing with the new players on the field offering up our thoughts (which have always been there, never expressed) and criticisms of a media we find too-often biased by the corporations, misled by the "insiders" who remain obstinantly off the record, and crippled by their own laziness and hubris.

Posted by: lieinveigleobfuscate | November 14, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Where is Howard Dean? He was so clearly a winner I'm stunned to have him not mentioned at all.

Posted by: Providence | November 14, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't call Mitt Romney one of the big losers for his role as RGA chair. Given the circumstances, Republicans didn't do too badly in Gov races. They held onto the close ones - Rhode Island, Nevada, Idaho, Minnesota, Alaska

JoeyJoeJoe

Alaska, Idaho and Nevada should have never been close.

Lost Ohio (key state), an incumbant Gov in MD, could not cash in on weakend Dem incumbants in MI, WI, IL and got beat in his home state (wait which home is that?) while he was galavanting across the country.

Most embattled incumbants had to do their own heavy lifting to get out of trouble (Arnold in CA, Carceiri in RI).

Republican Governors are pissed at Romney and he will not be getting warm welcomes in many states.

Posted by: RMill | November 14, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean was obviouly a winner. Not only did his 50 state strategy start to show some results only two years in, but he brought the party back to the people. Dean also returned the party to pragmatism rather than ideology. He encouraged Democrats to ease up on the social issues, and work on issues where there is a general consensus like Iraq, healthcare, and economic fairness.

Posted by: Melanie | November 14, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

nor'easter,

you said "until the netroots can do better than tilt a single Primary, they are not a force. The netroots time may come, but it's not here yet; and it may turn out quite differently from what they envision"

Um, you should get out more. NOT electing lamont against the Pervisity that is Joe is one of the few Netroots failures. Does the name Tester ring any bells?

Posted by: lieinveigleobfuscate | November 14, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

And what is with Elizabeth Dole these days? I have always regarded her as a very savvy politican and dignified woman. When I saw her on "Meet the Press" the Sunday before the election, she came off as shrew, hysterical and downright belligerent. And her comment about how Democrats are content with losing the War in Iraq was beyond the pale. Elizabeth Dole has gone from being what most American should aspire to be to something that we all dread becoming. Shame on her!

Posted by: Kay D. | November 14, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Important question: Can '06 be fairly judged as any sort of predictor of an Electoral College outcome in '08?

One idea I have is to look at a state's Senate votes for the Dem. candidate, compare them to the Senate votes for the Repub. candidate and see if the state would have gone "Red" or "Blue" in a General Election

For this to work, you'd have to take as an assume that any Dem votes in Senate races roughly equate to Dem votes in the '08 Presidential election (a huge assumption). But even if you do make that assumption, could you say Dems would have won a national election in a winner-take-all system, Electoral College system?

If you take the contested senate races from last Tuesday and assign Electoral College votes to states based on the Senate Result, what do you find?

Just a thought...
I.W.

Posted by: Independent Woman | November 14, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

mattinnewjersey,

quit reading the tripe of the MSM-for instance today the post falsely claims that "most democrats oppose redeployment"-and start reading the blogs.

google 50 state strategy, it'll get you far. google that is.

Posted by: lieinveigleobfuscate | November 14, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Also forgot Busby in CA-50, lost for a second time this year.

And Cynthia McKinney lost in the primary and while her seat stayed Dem it went to Hank Johnson.

Sen.-elect Sherrod Brown's seat OH-13 went to Dem Betty Sutton.


Should also comment on the rough time Republican women had.

Rep. Nancy Johnson CT-5 lost
Rep. Melissa Hart PA-4 lost
Rep. Sekula-Gibbs gets to play Congresswoman for a few weeks, she lost TX-22
Rep. Harris lost FL US Senate race
State Sen. Topinkna lost IL Gov race
State Sen Joy Padgett lost OH-18 race
Martha Rainville lost VT at large race

WY-at large Incumbant Barbara Cubin is locked in a recount battle.

Posted by: RMill | November 14, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Winners: The Troops (credit to Bluedog)
Dean
Emmanuel/Schumer
Pelosi/Reid
And, the GOP, only if it has the internal restructuring which it's needed for years

Losers: W and Rove
Club for Growth
NetRoots (until the netroots can do better than tilt a single Primary, they are not a force. The netroots time may come, but it's not here yet; and it may turn out quite differently from what they envision.)
And, George F. Allen

Posted by: Nor'Easter | November 14, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree 100% that John Kerry's late-campaign gaffe probably sounded the death knell for his '08 run. Besides, I thought that the Democrats refused to give any presidential loser a second chance? I'm rooting for Joe Biden at this point.

Posted by: Kay D. | November 14, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden (D-MBNA) may have been a winner in all this, but the liberals and netroots won't back for president the democrat that supported malicious bankruptcy reform at the expense of the middle class.

Posted by: Ben | November 14, 2006 3:29 PM | Report abuse

HOWARD DEAN HOWARD DEAN HOWARD DEAN

Oh, for Christ's sake Chris, the winner is Howard Dean, I'm sorry, will you beltway pundits try for once to stop giving us your regurgitated lockstep 'conventional wisdom' narratives? Because they are utter crap.

Dean built party organizations in every state so that every candidate had some support and organization and didn't have to start from scratch. Once a long-shot candidate like Webb or Testor won the primary or started building financial support, he put DNC money behind them -- something Emmanuel and Schumer would never have done.

He understand that the future of the Dem party is with the Western states and their libertarian values. He is the only one in hte party who understands we need a solid philosophical framework to run on, not just more donations from corporations and special interests, which is all Schumer and Emmanauel stand for.

I know the WaPo, like all major media outlets is owned by corporations and carrying water for them, but try to pretend at least, to acknowledge reality.

Not mentioning Dean in this, when he should be at the top of the list just makes you look like a hack and a shill.

Posted by: drindl | November 14, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

CC; Neither NM-1 or OH-15 have been officially called, though it doesn't look good. Both seats would stay in Republican women's hands.

Others you did not mention-
OH-2 Wulsin vs. Schmidt not called but does not look good for Dem Wulsin. Again, a Republican woman would hold this seat.

MN-6 is a new Republican congresswoman.

Still hope for Christine Jennings in FL-13.

LA-2 There is a chance that Karen Carter will unseat Jefferson.

It looks like Democratic women had tough luck against Republican women candidates.

Posted by: RMill | November 14, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I hope you are right about Biden being a winner. Hopefully he will exploit his new chairmanship for political gains. He may not have the money and star power like Hillary but he is well qualified.

Posted by: David | November 14, 2006 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I am a bit unclear as to how much credit Dean deserves.
Anyone has more details?
It is insufficient evidence just to say he had a "50-state strategy".
In several articles, I have read how Emmanuel skillfully managed several campaigns and the entire chess game. In these articles, Dean seems like an afterthought.

Posted by: mattinjersey | November 14, 2006 3:07 PM | Report abuse

RE: Woman Candidates in the Loser Field

While several high-profile women lost on election day, I would harldy say that as a category, they belong in the loser column.

First of all, women represent 4 of the 28 seat pick-up, not 3. They are: Nancy Boyda from Kansas, Kirsten Gillibrand from New York, Gabrielle Giffords from Arizona, and Carol Shea-Porter from New Hampshire. Christine Jennings could still win in Florida considering the mess there with the voting machines.

Second, four additional women will join the Democratic caucus because they won primaries in safe districts: Mazie Hirono from Hawaii, Kathy Castor from Florida, Yvette Clarke from New York, and Betty Sutton from Ohio.

Finally, Karen Carter from Louisiana appears likely to defeat William Jefforson in the December run-off.

That means that between 8 and 10 (most likely 9) new women will join the Democratic Caucus in January -- the biggest gain since 1992.

Posted by: drew | November 14, 2006 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Howard Dean also a winner? His 50-state strategy clearly gave us the infrastructure to take advantage of last-minute opportunities to pick up seats in places that we wouldn't otherwise have a chance.

Posted by: margaret simmons | November 14, 2006 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't call Mitt Romney one of the big losers for his role as RGA chair. Given the circumstances, Republicans didn't do too badly in Gov races. They held onto the close ones - Rhode Island, Nevada, Idaho, Minnesota, Alaska, and recruited candidates who seemed good at the time, like Mark Green and Bob Beauprez. If Romney failed in anything, it's in letting the MA GOP fall into near-irrelevancy. Seriously, what's the point of being a Republican in that state at the moment?

Posted by: JoeyJoeJoe | November 14, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Losers: the Neocons whose armchair warrior scare crap should get the boot but good.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 14, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Winners: The Troops. Now a real debate will occur regarding Iraq and how to proceed instead of "stay the course" which translates to "kill our troops". It will take a while, but at least now some change is coming that will likely reduce our troops exposure to death and destruction.

Posted by: BlueDog | November 14, 2006 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Winners -

Dem "Netroots" activists who trumped once long shots like Tester when the MSM were barely following the campaigns.

Obama - The rock star treatment he got on the campaign trail and in the MSM (Time's "Next President" Cover anyone?) elevated him to top tier status for '08.

Extreme Right Wing - The ether cloud appears (finally) to be lifting in most parts of the country who now realize that dumb scare tactics about (gasp) gay people are nothing compared to the lives being lost, the world respect being squandered, and the money being wasted in Iraq.

Purple Mountain States - They are the new fad in political circles. The new CW - Dems can "whistle past Dixie" and pick up the White House by going Moutain West, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Montana.

And last, but of course not least ..THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ..who have been handed their government (and hopefully ACCOUNTABILITY) back!

LOSERS

W and Turd Blossom
Macaca Allen
Liddy Dole (I think the people of NC may be rethinking NOT electing Erskine)

Posted by: Arm Chair Analyst | November 14, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Winners -

Dem "Netroots" activists who trumped once long shots like Tester when the MSM were barely following the campaigns.

Obama - The rock star treatment he got on the campaign trail and in the MSM (Time's "Next President" Cover anyone?) elevated him to top tier status for '08.

Extreme Right Wing - The ether cloud appears (finally) to be lifting in most parts of the country who now realize that dumb scare tactics about (gasp) gay people are nothing compared to the lives being lost, the world respect being squandered, and the money being wasted in Iraq.

Purple Mountain States - They are the new fad in political circles. The new CW - Dems can "whistle past Dixie" and pick up the White House by going Moutain West, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Montana.

And last, but of course not least ..THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ..who have been handed their government (and hopefully ACCOUNTABILITY) back!

LOSERS

W and Turd Blossom
Macaca Allen
Liddy Dole (I think the people of NC may be rethinking NOT electing Erskine)

Posted by: Arm Chair Analyst | November 14, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I'm disappointed not to see Michael Steele atop the list of Winners. You said he "came up just short" in blue-state Maryland! And I'm sure that not being tapped to head the RNC has to make him even MORE of a winner in your book.

As for the losers, how about Karl Rove? George Bush? George Allen?

Oh, and as for those "prominent losers" among the female Democratic candidates for the House, how about the fact that so many of them made it a competitive race where nobody gave them a shot against the incumbents? We'll see many of these women again in 2008, and their prospects will only increase because of their work this cycle. Hard to see how that makes them losers.

It must be embarrassing to be so wrong so often.

Posted by: subpoena power | November 14, 2006 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Winners -

Dem "Netroots" activists who trumped once long shots like Tester when the MSM were barely following the campaigns.

Obama - The rock star treatment he got on the campaign trail and in the MSM (Time's "Next President" Cover anyone?) elevated him to top tier status for '08.

Extreme Right Wing - The ether cloud appears (finally) to be lifting in most parts of the country who now realize that dumb scare tactics about (gasp) gay people are nothing compared to the lives being lost, the world respect being squandered, and the money being wasted in Iraq.

Purple Mountain States - They are the new fad in political circles. The new CW - Dems can "whistle past Dixie" and pick up the White House by going Moutain West, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Montana.

And last, but of course not least ..THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ..who have been handed their government (and hopefully ACCOUNTABILITY) back!

LOSERS

W and Turd Blossom
Macaca Allen
Liddy Dole (I think the people of NC may be rethinking NOT electing Erskine)

Posted by: Anonymous | November 14, 2006 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Hillary--LOSER (period).

Posted by: Jon | November 14, 2006 2:47 PM | Report abuse

HD Baby. HD.

Posted by: Mattye | November 14, 2006 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Howell has a hand in the "don't address the masses" edict here at the Post. They'd rather not get their hands dirty; did'ja read Howell's little essay on how hard it is for her to please Democrats and Republicans? As if pleasing people in the Ombuds job.

Posted by: lieinveigleobfuscate | November 14, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Kerry raised $15 million for Democratic candidates this election cycle. Most of the posts above mention him. What's the percentage of Americans who devour political blogs or think like Washington insider to consider Kerry a "laughingstock"? Whatever his "crimes," he is a principled charismatic natural born leader. He's also in a great position in 2008 to say ... "if I had been President" or even "told you so." Dems need to stop discarding political heroes who fall to the onslaught of Repug dirty tricks in their search of the next knight in shining armor.

Posted by: slavin | November 14, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Completely agree with everyone that it is total crap that Dean isn't on the list. He is the ONLY winner from this election. His 50-state strategy, the 'culture of corruption', not to mention the fact that the state parties raised more money then ever before, and the DNC raised the most money ever. He is an amazing party chair and he will lead the dems to a new era in their history. I have said this before here but it deserves repeating, Dean will go down in history as the person who saved the democratic party.

Also SD, I would look for Easley to run in 08 for Senate, or one of the Democratic congressman. Either way Dole is done, the big doners are going to throw her out for her incompetence.

Posted by: Andy R | November 14, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean is a big winner. The Democrats will gain the White House in 2008 only if they stay with Dean's 50-state philosophy.

The Democrats have to admit that playing only the "battleground" states has served them up two losses in elections they could have won.

Montana and the Dakotas elect Democrats to Congress. Don't tell me Democratic Presidential Candidates can't win electoral votes here if they go after them. We aren't Red, we're Purple and it's insane to default to the GOP in these states.

How important are three states with three electoral votes each? Well, if Al Gore had taken just one of them in 2000, he would be President Gore today. Besides, we cover a lot of territory on a map, just think how much better the television election night map looks with these large states colored blue.

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | November 14, 2006 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I'll concur,Dean should be on the winner's list right at the top. The Dems would'nt have challengers with party support in many of the districts(rudimentary as it was) where they did not field any before if Dean hadn't pushed the 50 State strategy . Schumer and especially Emmanuel did not want that from the get-go.

Besides, a fair portion of Rahm's handpicked candidates either lost their primary to the more progressive Dem or lost to the Repub in the general.

And as an aside, why do we even address Cillizza in these comments? It's a disurbing trend that the writers here do not follow or respond to their commenters.

Posted by: pearls to swine | November 14, 2006 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Why does the MSM insist on not acknowledging Dean and the Netroots? I mean Rahm Emmanuel rejected the 50-States strategy that was actually the correct strategy for this election. If we'd have followed his lead, the Dems wouldn't have EITHER of the Bi-Cam.

Is this some kind of MSM punishment for thinking outside the beltway? For making snarky remarks at you alls expense? Just to be clear, after the past 6 years of journalistic kow-towing, y'all deserved it.

Posted by: lieinveigleobfuscate | November 14, 2006 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Why does the MSM insist on not acknowledging Dean and the Netroots? I mean Rahm Emmanuel rejected the 50-States strategy that was actually the correct strategy for this election. If we'd have followed his lead, the Dems wouldn't have EITHER of the Bi-Cam.

Is this some kind of MSM punishment for thinking outside the beltway? For making snarky remarks at you alls expense? Just to be clear, after the past 6 years of journalistic kow-towing, y'all deserved it.

Posted by: lieinveigleobfuscate | November 14, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Republican microtargeting and the 72-hour plan was another loser, because it did not work nearly as well as its boosters claimed. In fact, Democratic microtargeting should be a winner as it performed far better than the press seems to understand.

I've posted more details on my blog http://microtargeting.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Keith | November 14, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that McCain is both a winner and a loser. The Republicans might be more willing to accept someone with moderate poses (if not positions) like McCain now, but with George Allen completely gone the far right vote will coalesce behind the likes of Romney more quickly.
Also, how about Edwards. The rise of Bayh is no good for him. But Warner being out the 08 race is great for him and anything that helps Howard Dean hurts Hillary, which probably helps Edwards. Also, the new 7/6 split in favor of the Dems in NC House delegation (which came very close to being an 8/5 split) plus the fact they have a Dem governor kind of puts the lie to the idea that the Republicans have a hammer lock on NC.
Speaking of which and speaking of Dole: Will she attract a decent opponent in 08?

Posted by: sd | November 14, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Kerry must be close to facing the inevitable and backing out of his '08 bid. He's become a foot-in-mouth laughingstock that's badly hurtig all Dems. He won points with his gracious concession speech (doesn't everybody?) after the '04 election and then proceeded to act as if nothing happened. He's acting as if he's still gthe nominee. He's no Al Gore. No sympathy votes for him.

A lot of Martinez bashing from the right-wing.
http://polibuzz.blogspot.com/2006/11/quick-hits.html

Posted by: matt | November 14, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Schweitzer indeed remains a rising star in the Democratic party and is becoming an icon of the rebirth of the moderate Democrat in the West. Whether he figures in 2008 politics is another matter. He will be running for reelection that year and as he has said to pundits who see some national role for him in 2008, "They've been smoking too many pinecones."

But those who seek the support of Western Moderates in the Deomcratic party will have to beat a path to his door. Montana may be a backwater (most of us like it that way), but Schweitzer has come to symbolize an important new trend in the Democratic party. Presidential candidates will be seking his support.

It is interesting to see some of the conservative talking heads in television opining that the GOP lost because it lost its conservative roots. For sure, the Bush deficit is anathema to traditional conservative thought, but the GOP has all but lost it's moderate wing in Congress. The Democrats appealed to the independants with largely moderate candidates and whipped up on the GOP.

If the GOP goes in to the 2008 election thinking that turning farther right is their path to salvation, they should be ready for another whuppin".

There was a day when moderates from both parties ran the Congress and held the Presidency. The Democrats have demonstrated their ability to retreat from this partisan purism in the 2006 election. Unless the GOP is willing to do likewise, they should be prepared for another 40 years in the minority wilderness.

Posted by: Aalan in Missoula | November 14, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

You left out Howard Dean, the architect of the Democratic victory. He's proved the weakness of Thomas Schaller's thesis in "Whistling Past Dixie": the fifty-state strategy is the wave of the future. Emanuel has leaped to take the credit, much of which actually belongs to Dean. Dean seems to prefer working from behind the scenes now. The pundictocracy seems hell-bent on removing Kerry from the 2008 sweepstakes, hence the rush to condemn his "joke." The real winner is the type of candidate (like Tester and Webb) who'll shun the Democrats' characteristic cultural genuflections to return to economic basics.

Posted by: Anis Shivani | November 14, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The Big Loser Republican Extremism-- and the Republicans in the if they keep re-electing the same out of touch ideological crew (or their soul mates) proving they are incapable of learning anything.

The Big Winner, the American People, they came close to turning the country in Tom Friedman's phrase a "Banana Republic," but dodged the bullet. God knows what Bush would have done if Rove salvaged the House and Senate.

As for Democratic candidates Gore-Obama up, Clinton-Edwards in stasis, Kerry in ashes.

As for Republican candidates-- hey, I really don't care. I'm a Democrat, put me in the class of winners, for a change.

Posted by: Jeff-for-progress | November 14, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

My thought exactly Intrepid. Rahm bitterly opposed Dean on his winning 50-state strategy. Just who is influencing the MSM on this anyway? Must be the Clintons.

Elizabeth Dole is a good choice for loser. She embodied the Peter Principle beautifully.

Another winner may be Trent Lott who is again pushing for Senate leadership, minority this time, stepping over the bones of x-presidential wanna-be Frist who should also be prominent in the loser ranks.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | November 14, 2006 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Can we please strike Kerry and Gore and Jeb and Newt and Rudy from the political discourse going forward?

Warmed Over News. Aging athletes not aging gracefully if one accepts the analogy.

It's alot like watching the Chicago Cubs. A bunch of high priced, big ego, celebrities-of-a-sort, with high opinions of themselves, and too much time on their hands, supported by an organization with more money than anyone knows what to do with. As long as people continue to pay tons of money for tripe, they will continue to serve it.

Or maybe watching the Cubs is alot like National Politics.

As long as there are untold numbers of dim bulbs in the electorate willing to throw alot of money the politicians way no matter how bad their performance, why should they change the quality of their performance.

Chickens and eggs arguments.

Posted by: Bob | November 14, 2006 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I feel compelled to mention Sibelius, Cantwell, and Clinton. Sibelius has jumped from the lips of the Great Mentioner to the teeming masses of bloggers. Not a surprise to those of us paying attention, but she is going national fast.

Clinton did win among demographic slices that are hardly counted as her core. She still raises the ire of the chattering classes but proved a hit masses.

Finally, Cantwell might not have turned water into Columbia Crest Chardonnay, but she did rise from the dead.

Posted by: Rick Pincus | November 14, 2006 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean should definitely be listed as a winner. It was his 50 state strategy which influenced more Democratic victories than Emmanuel's design. And a big loser was George Bush. Who did he help? A much shorter list than who did he hurt.

Posted by: larry | November 14, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Chris- While I'm rarely in total agreement-- I must say: Yep. John Kerry's lack of comedy prowess (and ability to defense himself subsequently) has refreshed the memories of many democrats as to why, although he's an outstanding senator, my large and beautiful dog makes a better presidential candidate.

Posted by: Damian in Pittsburgh | November 14, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

A big loser, but apparently was not one was Mitt Romney. He headed the Republican Governor's campaign committee and they got trounced. His hand picked Lt. Governor got trounced and he is persona non grata in Mass. because he has neglected the state for a presidential run. He was for abortion before he was against it. What goes?

Posted by: sidney finkel | November 14, 2006 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Why is Howard Dean left of the list of winners? His 50 state strategy contributed much to the Democrats success on election day.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | November 14, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

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