During the recent election season pundits talked constantly about how the deck was stacked against Republicans. They suffered the misfortune of having as their party head an extremely unpopular President, they were defending more Senate seats than the Democrats, and the top issue in the election ended up being the economy rather than national security which traditionally benefits Republicans. Conventional wisdom was that even with outstanding candidates and unlimited money this would be a hard year for Republicans to win.
I guess I have never been big on conventional wisdom. Instead of the glass half empty view of the election, I saw some opportunities arise for Republicans. There is no doubt the Democrats had the upper hand, but there were some things within the control of Republicans that might have led to success if the candidates and the party had used them effectively.
The Democrats nominated arguably the most liberal candidate ever to run for President, and that candidate had a lack of experience and a long list of questionable acquaintances (from Ayers to Wright to Rezko) in his background.
The event most attribute Democrat success to -- the meltdown at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the sub-prime mortgage mess -- could have been tied to the Democrats considering the connections of Obama advisors like Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines, and with video evidence of high ranking congressional Democrats like Barney Frank thwarting efforts to reign in Fannie and Freddie. To top that off Republicans were handed a Mark Foley-like October Surprise when the man who defeated Foley two years ago, following the revelations of inappropriate instant message conversations with pages, was caught in a sex scandal of his own. The scandal surrounding Congressman Mahoney involved mistresses and hush money from campaign (and possibly even taxpayer) funds.
The media were more interested in making sure the public knew about the sex life of Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter and the cost of her campaign wardrobe than they were in Barack Obama’s ties to a domestic terrorist or how much money his advisors received from Fannie/Freddie. They were not interested in reporting how Obama talked one day about Iran being a tiny country that posed no threat to the United States and on the following day talked about how Iran was a grave and serious threat. There were much more pressing matters to report – like how Sarah Palin tried to ban Harry Potter (before it had even been written).