Another GOP Defeat.
From the WSJ Review & Outlook
April 27, 2009
Republicans lost another Congressional race on Friday, as Democratic newcomer Scott Murphy was declared the victor by some 400 votes in the March 31 special House election in New York state. But you wouldn’t know it from the response of House Minority Leader John Boehner, who declared that GOP candidate Jim Tedisco “forced the Democratic Party to invest heavily and defend a seat they should have had in the bag.”
New York’s 20th Congressional district is precisely the kind the GOP will have to win if it wants to regain a majority. It is one of the few Northeast districts where Republicans retain a party registration advantage, and Republican John Sweeney had held it for four terms before Democrat (and recently appointed Senator) Kirsten Gillibrand won in 2006. George W. Bush carried it twice.
Republicans lost because they fielded a poor candidate who ran a lousy campaign. While Mr. Murphy was a fresh face who could plausibly argue he’d assist President Obama’s call for change, Republicans picked an Albany careerist who personified more of the same. GOP power broker (and Al D’Amato pal) Joe Mondello rigged the nomination to deny a real contest, thus cutting out the likes of former state Assembly minority leader John Faso.
At one point, Mr. Tedisco had a 20-point lead but squandered it by waffling on the Obama stimulus plan, running anti-Wall Street ads that confused the Republican base, and waiting until the last few days to criticize pro-union “card check” legislation. In other words, Mr. Tedisco betrayed that he wasn’t all that different than the other politicians who have made Albany the tax and spend center of America.
Ed Note: Republicans shoot themselves in the foot every chance they get.
The fact that the race was so close shows that, had Republicans run a credible candidate, they had a chance to send a message to Blue Dog Democrats in Congress that Mr. Obama’s agenda is less popular than he is. Mr. Boehner would do better to stop spinning defeat and start looking for candidates who believe in something beyond their own careers.