O’DONNELL AFTERSHOCK: Having pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the primary season last week, Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell was not only the top story on every major television news report and on Page One of most major U.S. newspapers, but in such overseas outlets as the Financial Times, Le Figaro, and the BBC. Backed by Sarah Palin, Sen. Jim DeMint (R.-S.C.), and the Tea Party Express, conservative activist O’Donnell overcame spirited attacks on her checkered financial history from the state GOP organization and her moderate-to-liberal opponent, Rep. Mike Castle. Although Castle has refused so far to endorse her, Delaware State GOP Chairman Tom Ross (who had led the attack on O’Donnell before the primary) declared “the winds of change are blowing hard in Delaware” and “it is time to come together and unite over our shared principles.” In addition, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Tex.) announced his group would weigh in for O’Donnell, and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) told HUMAN EVENTS that the Delaware nominee had his full support. In their first post-primary survey, the Rasmussen Poll showed O’Donnell trailing the Democratic nominee, New Castle County Executive Chris Coons by 53% to 42% for the seat once held by Joe Biden.
OBAMA AND THE DEBT: Here’s a factoid you probably will have to look hard to find: Cyberspace News Service (CNS) reported last week that in the first 19 months of the Obama Administration, the national debt held by the public increased by $2.5260 trillion—more than the cumulative total held by the public that was amassed by all U.S. Presidents from George Washington through Ronald Reagan. Citing figures from the Congressional Budget Office, CNS reported that at the end of fiscal 1989, eight months after Reagan left office, the total debt held by the public was $2.1907 trillion. That is $335.3 billion less than the $2.5260 trillion that was added to the debt held by the public between Jan. 20, 2009, when Obama took office, and Aug. 20, 2010, his 19-month anniversary as President.
OBAMA’S ROADS TO NOWHERE: The recent advocacy by the President and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood of using “livability” factors in transportation and rolling high-speed rail in apportioning surface transportation program money has come under strong fire from the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “A lot of liberal stuff,” is how Sen. Jim Inhofe (R.-Okla.) dismissed the Obama-LaHood agenda, which would strip away Congress’s authority on sending highway trust fund money to the states. Inhofe, who was a key player in putting together the current law on distributing trust fund money, predicted that any attempt to change the law would fail in Congress and that if Obama wanted to push high-speed rail, he should create another trust fund for it.
MAKE CUTS, NOT MAKE WORK: That’s what voters nationwide are saying, and quite resoundingly. Days after President Obama proposed a long-term federal jobs program to the tune of $50 billion, a Rasmussen Reports poll shows that voters are very wary, with 61% saying that cutting government spending and deficits does more to create jobs than the Obama program. Rasmussen also found that a whopping 71% of voters believe that cutting taxes is a better way to create jobs than greater government spending.
GOP CONTESTING ALMOST ALL SEATS: If there is going to be a Republican tsunami in November, the national GOP is going to be ready to ride it, at least in the races for the U.S. House. Derek Willis reports in the New York Times that this year, Republican candidates are running in 428 out of 435 congressional districts. Even in seemingly hopeless districts, the GOP has a candidate. Former New York Jets football star Michael Faulkner, for example, is carrying the Republican banner against scandal-plagued Rep. Charles Rangel in New York’s Harlem district and Republican Isaac Hayes is actually running a spirited race against Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. in inner-city Chicago. This is a contrast to ’06, when Republicans failed to contest 45 districts, and ’08, when they forfeited 42 districts.
POST CREDITS PALIN: Two days after women she endorsed as her “Mama Grizzlies” won the Republican primaries for U.S. senator in Delaware and New Hampshire, Sarah Palin got credit for increasing the number of Republican women seeking office this year from an unlikely place: the Washington Post. Noting that more Republican women are running for the Senate, House and governorships than ever before, the Post’s Anne Kornblut wrote that “Palin has unquestionably played an outsize role in upping the Republican numbers, endorsing several women, including [South Carolina gubernatorial nominee] Nikki Haley and Delaware’s O’Donnell, who might never have gained sufficient attention otherwise. She has brought to the Republican Party what some members had once complained did not exist: a concerted effort to tap female candidates for promotion and lift them out of obscurity.”
DON’T GO TO LOG CABIN, PERKINS TELLS CORNYN: The head of one of the nation’s leading pro-family groups is pleading with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Tex.) to cancel a scheduled address to the Log Cabin Republicans next week. Calling an address to the nation’s leading pro-gay GOP group “deeply troubling to me,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins wrote Cornyn reminding him that it was the Log Cabin Republicans who launched the suit in U.S. District Court that culminated in the recent decision declaring the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy concerning gays in the military unconstitutional. Cornyn defended his decision to attend the Log Cabin fund-raiser, saying it was important to engage with “adults with whom we may disagree.”
SNEAKING WARREN IN: President Obama intends to avoid a Senate confirmation fight by appointing left-wing activist Elizabeth Warren as a special advisor to the President to oversee the creation a new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. The position “special advisor” allows Warren, the former Harvard Law School professor who chaired the congressional panel overseeing TARP, to oversee the bureau’s far-reaching powers, yet not have her nomination voted on by the Senate.