November 5 was election day in the United States. There were some key elections that may have implications for 2014 and 2016.
In the US State of Virginia, The Democrat Terry McAuliffe beat the Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. It was interesting that the race was really close that confounded all the polls. The view from the Republicans, though, was epitomized by the Red State's Eric Erickson:
"...Cuccinelli had all the insiders aligned against him. He was the outsider. The gays hated him, the Chamber of Commerce hated him, the kid killers hated him, the GOP establishment hated him — all the insiders hated Cuccinelli and his campaign made the strategic blunder to try to work their way inside instead of dancing with the folks who got him to the dance. The campaign manager was fired too late and the campaign fell behind by double digits. Compounding that, the Democrats massively outspent him, Governor McDonnell is involved in a scandal, and the GOP voted to raise taxes with Cuccinelli struggling to distance himself from both.
The Obama Machine took advantage of all of this and went into high gear. They intended to deliver the state for McAuliffe decisively. .."
I found this quite amusing and the fact that somehow the actual issues did not matter. The fact remains that the Virginia landscape is changing which is a microcosm in the United States and the Republicans have to figure out how to appeal to the majority of the electorate who continue to confound the skeptics. The super conservatives who campaigned for the Republican nominee were shown to truly out of the mainstream.
The Republicans also lost badly in the City of New York. A Self-declared progressive and former radical, Bill DeBlasio, won a decisive victory and will be the next Mayor of New York City. He has promised a transformational program to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor that has persisted in New York City for the longest time. It will be fascinating to see whether he is able to pull this or not. There is of course, New Jersey.
Chris Christie won big in New Jersey. He is an interesting phenomenon. I especially was quite impressed when during the heat of the campaign in 2012, he stepped up and did the right thing by telling folks, "...I have a state to rebuild". His principled beliefs have also been a source of strength. Although a recent story in the New York Times about some of the decisions he has made as Governor on Budgetary matters may come back to haunt him as he begins his Presidential Campaign. What is clear is that he is planning on a Presidential Bid--and he will be a formidable candidate. This will be quite a campaign to watch. The challenge for the Republican Party is whether they would embrace the Christie Vision or whether they would continue to stick with the so-called Super Conservatives who have dominated the Party and caused the Republican Party to lose so much.
As Democrats savour these wins, there is still a realization of challenges brewing and the Economist's KAL ever so captured it so eloquently:
It is always fascinating to reflect upon US Politics-- always fascinating and fun. It is also at times challenging to be witness and reflect upon the dysfunction. November 5, 2013 was no exception. As I reflected upon that night, I could not help by noting how the mere right to vote is ever so cherished and must be remembered.
Excerpts also released also to http://www.outsiderviews.com, all rights reserved :-)