Rich Galen

I finished with one of my favorite maxims: If you want to make a difference, win an election. Tomorrow, the special election in NY 20 will be held to fill the seat left vacant by the appointment of Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate Seat.

NY 20 is a Republican-leaning district. According to an AP piece by Valerie Bauman, "The district has more than 196,000 registered Republicans, about 125,000 Democrats and 118,000 unaffiliated voters."

If the Republican candidate, Jim Tedisco wins, that will be a leading indicator for the 2010 mid-terms that without Obama on the ticket (or George W. Bush in the White House) Republican-leaning districts will go back to voting for the GOP candidate.

If, however, the Democrat Scott Murphy wins, it will be seen as proof that Republicans have done nothing to attract independent voters and, more worrisome still, done nothing to get its base vote out to the polls.

In politics you either win or you lose. It's not like Little League where you get credit for taking "good cuts." Coming close doesn't count.

At the Lincoln Club speech, I might have been dreadful; but the questions were great.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at