Yes..of course the obvious: Mr. Dave Brat, the Tea Party and whoever assumes the very powerful job of House Majority Leader are big winners.
But the not so obvious? Think 2016! Virginia has been very important in 2008 and 2012 — always uncertain, a swing state, and often one of the final 4 states that elects the President. It has 13 electoral votes. With the news of last night, I don’t think Virginia is a swing state come 2016.
That is big and good news for Secretary Clinton should she decide to run for President. Here is why:
It will be very hard for the Virginia Republican Party to rebuild before 2016. The former Republican Governor and his wife start a criminal trial this summer (and that is bad p/r even with an acquittal.) Majority Leader Eric Cantor was a big power in the Republican Party in Virginia. As a big power, he could influence politics in Virginia. He is now out. That’s a big blow to the Republican Party in Virginia. And of course – and this is politically important – one of President Bill Clinton’s best friends, Terry McAuliffe, is now the State’s Governor. That is big. That can only be good news for Secretary Clinton should she decide to run. She could get his endorsement even before she makes a decision to run! That is how close they are.
And Republican winner? Senator Rand Paul is a big winner. A Tea Party win (big picture) helps him. It shows the Tea Party matters, has influence, and that means 2016. Who can get that Tea Party vote in 2016 and still get traditional Republicans? Senator Rand Paul. He is liked by the Tea Party yet he endorsed the non tea party candidate back home — Senator Mitch McConnell — who won his primary. That is big. Thus, at least for the moment, he can please both elements of the Republican Party – Tea Party and traditional Republican. That will be very important come 2016.
As an aside, Senator Rand Paul has also done what is unusual for a Republican. He has gone to Howard University and University of California Berkeley to talk to those two student bodies which are solidly Democrat maybe even historically hostile to Republicans. Senator Paul is jumping in with both feet – trying to make that Republican tent big – and with the Republican Party looking fractured tonight…keep your eyes on Senator Paul.
Of course…something could happen tomorrow and I would completely change my mind. These are just my thoughts tonight….just having some fun with the political board game.
But NOW, I want to hear what you have to say.
And this is NOT about WHO you want to be President but rather who do you think are the big winners from last night?