The Cook Political Report, is one of two sites (the other being The Rothenberg Political Report) that the country looks to for election predictions and likely outcomes. He is also a frequent guest on MSNBC's Hardball. We were lucky enough to have him as a speaker last week, when he shared his thoughts on the 2010 Midterm elections.
So there's a long history of the majority party suffering losses in the first midterms after the presidential election year. Cook seems to think this year is going to be an especially tough loss for the Dems in congress. And what did he think could be to blame? Well healthcare, of course. Cook said that the Obama administration made a "miscalculation" spending their first year doing healthcare, with the idea that when people are unemployed, they aren't receptive to healthcare legislation. He said that every minute, every hour, every day that they spend on healthcare reform or climate change, is time not spent on getting people back to work. And while healthcare reform was and is of utmost importance to the country, Cook said that what's right for the country might not be right for the year. He believed Obama, as many Presidents often do, came into office and "over read his mandate", by going for the "whole enchilada" on healthcare reform in the first year. But the good news is, Cook seems to think that Obama's White House will come out of the midterms smarter and stronger, and that the upcoming Democratic struggle in the midterms shouldn't be projected onto Obama's reelection...one can only hope.
Hopefully tomorrow's election in Massachusetts won't be the start of what's to come in the fall's midterms. The last time a Republican won a US senate seat in that state was in 1972. Even just the possibility that Scott Brown could be the next, is an indicator of the repercussions of the healthcare debate for the Democrats, or what Cook described to be "the pendulum swinging back hard" after the Democratic takeover in the 06-08 election cycle.
In other news, I've nearly averted a complete computer disaster after spilling water on my keyboard. Turns out praying to Steve Jobs can be quite effective. Everything seems to be working fine besides a cute little purple vertical line on my screen, but it matches my case so no biggie. And after being sucked into 24 hour coverage of Haiti, it's hard to get overly upset over something so trivial.