Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Post Election Analysis

We'll start at the top.

John McCain's concession speech shows he is a class act. Unfortunately, the Republicans nominated a good man, but a bad candidate, who ran a bad campaign. It was too negative. It was clear the American people wanted the country moved in a different direction. Barack Obama communicated that to the American people. John McCain didn't. In his heart of hearts, McCain has to regret choosing Sarah Palin as a running mate. While she energized the Republican base, she didn't expand it. The majority of voters surveyed believed Palin wasn't ready to lead the country, and you're in major trouble when that happens.

If Obama's administration is as good as his Wednesday morning speech, I think we'll be okay. Time will tell. It's clear the voters want change. It's now up to the new president to deliver.

The plurality in the popular vote isn't that great. On the other hand, Obama's electoral vote total is impressive. Here in Pennsylvania, Obama wins by 11 points. So much for the race tightening in recent days.

Chris Carney made things look easy in the 10th congressional district. His win is not a surprise. The very large margin is. The ad showing a "running man" and talking about Hackett's nine tax liens is the commercial of the campaign. Devastating.

It's abundantly clear Tim Holden is a US Congressman for as long as he wants to be.

As for Paul Kanjorski in the 11th, I hope he's learned the people of the district are more important than his nephews. Serving the people of the 11th is more important than forming alliances with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Sometimes, a major scare can make someone a better public servant, and I trust that's happened here. Lou Barletta had some hard hitting ads, and a few positive ones. The balance seemed off to me. I know a lot of people who said "tell me why I should vote for you." At times, it was tough getting an answer from the Barletta ads. Barletta also likely suffered from the Democratic tide that gave Obama big numbers in Pennsylvania.

Attorney General Tom Corbett cruises to another term. I suspect he's looking ahead to the race for governor in two years.

Jack Wagner had an easy time in his race for auditor general. He could be another in the running to replace Ed Rendell.

Jim Rhoades won his race for state senate, even though he passed away a couple weeks ago, after a car crash. There will be a special election to choose the new state senator. The Republicans have held that seat for a long time. I wonder if the parties will settle on candidates, or if there will be a free-for-all.

Frank Shimkus went down to defeat in the 113th legislative district last night. Even if he didn't do something "technically" illegal, what he did had a cloud over it. Requesting, and receiving, all those per diem expenses smelled bad to the voters, and now, Mr. Shimkus is out of a job. We are a forgiving people. We will accept a good explanation. You saw what he did when approached by a Newswatch 16 reporter and photographer, and that came after several requests for his side of the story. Shimkus eventually came up with the "memory problem due to concussions story." Too little, too late, and a lot of people had problems buying it. I should add Shimkus was booted off the primary ballot because a state judge ruled Shimkus deliberately tried to deceive the electorate when it came to where he lived. We will accept mistakes. You can see what happens when it goes beyond that.

As you can see, the people who run polling places in Chicago had no problem with photographing Barack Obama voting yesterday. As noted in Tuesday afternoon's blog, some county officials here in our area denied you that right. You paid for this election, and the voting machines, and many of the buildings tha housed polling places. Demand better. You deserve it.

The election is over. It's time to congratulate the winners, console the losers, and work toward making this a better state and a better country.

On second thought, there are no losers. Anyone who enters the arena should be congratulated for their their moxie. Politics can be a brutal business.

My participation in WNEP's "Vote '08" coverage ended early Tuesday afternoon. I watched a lot of the coverage Tuesday night. Cheerleading is not my strong point, but I was thrilled with the performances of my co-workers.