U.S. News and World Report's Religion section says that "political analysts" view the Owens-Hoffman_Scozzafava debacle in New York's 23rd District as a failed result for Republicans because Republicans "overreached," by abandoning Dede Scozzafava, who has never been a true Republican,
and supporting Doug Hoffman (for 3 days), who then lost to a Democrat - the first
time in more than a century.
Don't they wish that were the case. The truth is, Liberals understand that Doug Hoffman lost by a miniscule margin, after receiving no backing, monetary or endorsements, from the GOP, and had two opponents against him until the weekend before the election when Scozzafava quit the race - and then endorsed the Democrat.
While Liberals "get it," although they won't admit it, GOP leaders are less clear. Can it be that the heart of the party, the voters, do not want party leadership choosing our candidates? Can it be that voters want true conservatives to have a chance in the primaries before the GOP starts announcing their endorsements? Well it can be, and as Newt Gingrich finally admitted after his careless hawking for Scozzafava, "the age of party leaders picking people is over."
U.S. News and World Report's Dan Gilgoff points out some interesting dynamics in the race to unearth conservative candidates:
(1) Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio - Florida:
The ongoing tensions are on clearest display in Florida, where Gov. Charlie Crist, facing the more conservative Marco Rubio, a former Florida House speaker, in the primary for an open U.S. Senate seat. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the GOP's senate campaign arm, has endorsed Crist, while Rubio is pitching himself as the grass roots' choice. "The conservatives are the ones being purged from the party," says Rubio, who claims the national senatorial committee has scared off potential donors, though the group denies it.(2) Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore - California:
A similar battle is underway in California, where former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who supports abortion rights, is fighting state legislator Chuck DeVore, an abortion-rights foe, for the party's nomination for U.S. Senate. An adviser to John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, Fiorina is receiving fundraising support from McCain and other establishment types. DeVore hails from Orange County, a bastion of conservative Christian activism and is a fixture on the tea party circuit, whose economic conservatives are helping fuel bids to take on establishment candidates.(3) Phyllis Schlafly and Sen. Bob Bennett - Utah:
In Utah, meanwhile, a longtime "pro-family" activist endorsed by Christian right icon Phyllis Schlafly is among the conservatives running against Republican Sen. Bob Bennett. Cherilyn Eagar says her state's tradition of picking nominees by convention makes it easier for her to benefit from the support of activists, including religious conservatives. "Bennett's version of national healthcare had a provision requiring insurance companies to supply abortions," she says. "I find that reprehensible in a state that is highly pro-life."It took Sarah Palin's endorsement of Doug Hoffman to grab the attention of voters outside of New York City. Gingrich hit back hard at Palin, saying that a win by anyone other than Scozzafava would result in Nancy Pelosi being "speaker for life." Most conservatives would rather lose the seat, than entrench another Olympia Snowe or Richard Lugar in the party. We've learned our lessons. So Gingrich had to go to bed knowing that the RINO he supported [Dede Scozzafa], asked her followers to cast their vote for the Democrat. Bitter, bitter lesson. And even after all that, Hoffman lost by only a small margin. Just think what could have happened had the GOP abandoned politics-as-usual and looked around for a real conservative. No, it wasn't "overreaching," it was an awakening. Thank you Sarah Palin.