President Barack Obama's decision in June to appoint a Republican congressman to a Pentagon post has paid dividends in November now that Democrats have gained the House seat by capitalizing on a split between moderates and conservatives in the GOP.
Lawyer and retired Air Force Capt. Bill Owens won the special election Tuesday in northern New York in which the Republican candidate withdrew over the weekend under pressure from the party's right wing and GOP heavyweights endorsed the Conservative Party nominee.
The teabaggers stepped up to the pump and promptly spilled gasoline all over the shoes.
With 92 percent of the precincts reporting early Wednesday, Owens defeated businessman Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate, 49 percent to 45 percent, after a boost from unified labor efforts in the last days of the campaign.
The GOP had represented the region for more than a century. Republican John McHugh vacated the seat to become Army secretary.
Owens thanked one-time opponent Dierdre Scozzafava, a moderate Republican who exited the race Saturday after Republicans criticized her support of abortion rights and same-sex marriage and Hoffman surged past her in the polls. Scozzafava, an assemblywoman in the state legislature, picked up 6 percent of the vote herself.
The race received national attention, with some calling it a referendum on Obama and others saying it could help Republicans focus their message to attract more people to the party.
Owens defeated Hoffman despite a voter registration edge of 45,000 for Republicans and big-name endorsements for Hoffman from former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former Republican Sen. Fred Thompson and others.
Creigh Deeds and Jon Corzine were damaged goods. Deeds was woefully incompetent, losing to McDonnell a second time (the VA attorney general race in 2005 was the first) and Corzine, who was also in the US Senate before the governor's office, had worn out his welcome with New Jerseyites. He had job approval ratings in the 30s. Both men should have lost.
But NY-23 was where the
Damned liberal media.