Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Proving it’s really jobs, stupid, President Barack Obama lost control of the U.S. House of Representatives while narrowly holding onto the Senate in yesterday’s midterm election.
Obama, who virtually spent all of 2009 courting Republican lawmakers in an effort to pass national healthcare reform, while every opinion poll showed the number one issue Americans cared most about was jobs, saw his party’s majorities in the House fall to 189 Democrats, with 239 seats now held by Republicans.
In the Senate, 51 seats are now held by Democrats, with 46 seats held by Republicans.
Ohio GOP Representative John Boehner will become Speaker of the House, replacing Rep. Nancy Pelosi — the first female House Speaker in U.S. history.
Little was surprising about the outcome of the midterm. The exception was the hotly contested race in Nevada by the so-called Tea Party to replace Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid radical extremist Sharron Angle. Reid retained his seat to go onto serve another term.
There was much good news for Democrats in yesterday’s election.
In California, Democrat Jerry Brown decisively defeated Republican Meg Whitman to become the next governor. Three-term Sen. Barbara Boxer defeated her GOP challenger Carly Fiorina.
In New York, Democrat Andrew Cuomo defeated extremist and Tea Party darling Carl Paladino. Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer were reelected.
In Washington state, Democrat Sen. Patty Murray won reelection and in Massachusetts, Rep. Barney Frank, squeaked out a victory. Frank, who is openly gay, has held the seat since 1981.
Perhaps now, President Obama will devote his remaining twenty-four months in office focusing on the issue the vast majority of Americans care the most about: jobs. However, if the president gets bogged down by wars in Afghanistan, and possibly Pakistan, then the lesson of the 2010 midterm will have been lost on him.
Substantial turnover in the U.S. House is not uncommon during bad economic times. The lesson for Mr. Obama is, happy people don’t revolt.