2010 Midterm Elections: Low Turnout Yields Coalition Government To Deal With Deteriorating Economy

            American voters generally turned out in the 40% to 44% range to sweep the Republicans into power in the House of Representatives.  This is a sign of deep, deep economic trouble.  Sometimes voters elect the solution and sometimes they elect the problem and force it to govern.

            The Republicans, with Tea Party kibitzing, ran against the health care reform, the bailouts and deficit spending.  By taking control of the House, but not the Senate, the Republicans are going to be hard pressed to deliver on any of their promises.  Are the Republicans really in favor of letting the banks and international payment system collapse?  Stay tuned in the next round.  Can the Republicans repeal the health care bill without the cooperation of the Senate and White House?  My guess is no.  Unmentioned in the election analysis is that the Democratic retention of the Senate is a sign voters approve of Obama’s foreign policy.

            When Obama was elected, the Republicans refused to cooperate.  Now, the voters have given them a seat at the table and forced them to take some responsibility for the serious situation (economic collapse and two wars) for which they are primarily responsible.

Sarah Palin Has A Bright Future In Entertainment

            One question that was answered in the election was “Can Sarah Palin be elected president?”  The answer is “no.”  Senator Lisa Murkowski’s re-election victory as a write-in in Alaska, Palin’s home state, is the proof.   

A Good Day for Inherited Power

            The election was good for the sons and daughters of former high political office holders.  On both coasts, in New York and California, Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo, sons of former Governors, won election.  Brown was even a former Governor himself.  Ah, it brings back memories of those halcyon days when the president was the son of a former president.  And, of course, Bush exercised the counter-programming tradition of his family to inject his new book into the election returns. 

            Rand Paul, the son of former Libertarian and Republican presidential candidate and Republican Congressman Ron Paul, won election to the Senate in spite of saying he opposed the Public Accommodation Provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Fortunately for Rand, he was running against an Attorney General.  Ben Quayle, the son of former Vice-President Dan Quayle, won election to the House from Arizona and, as mentioned above, Liza Murkowski, the daughter of former Senator and Governor Frank Murkowski, who appointed her to the Senate seat he vacated, won re-election to the Senate on a write-in vote.  She lost the Republican primary to a Tea Party candidate backed by Sarah Palin.  Is the United States a great democracy, or what?

            And let’s not forget newly elected New York Senator Kirstin Gillibrandt, the daughter of a powerful upstate political leader, who was appointed by Governor David Paterson, who is the son of longtime State Senator Basil Paterson.  Let’s face it, politics in America is a family affair.

A Bad Day for the Self-Financed Millionaire Candidates

            While the sons and daughters of the politically connected were having a field day, the multi-millionaire self-financed candidates who spent up to $140 million of their own money did not fare so well.  Meg Whitman, former ebay CEO lost to Jerry Brown.  Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO lost to Senator Barbara Boxer.  Linda McMahon, CEO of the World Wrestling Federation, lost to Senator-elect Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut Attorney General who lied about having served as a Marine in Vietnam.  Carl Paladino, the wealthy Buffalo businessman, lost to Andrew Cuomo.  Tom Foley seems to have lost the Connecticut Governor’s race.  Even former Senator Mark Dayton almost lost the Minnesota Governorship.

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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf