Goode Concedes Defeat in VA-05
Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA), has
after the recount in VA-05 was finished.
The new congressman from the Charlottesville district will be Tom Perriello (D).
Goode seemed like a perfectly safe occupant of the seat until he denounced Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN),
the first Muslim member of Congress.
The resulting storm of protest ended his career.
All House races have now concluded. The Democrats won 257 seats to the Republicans' 178. After the 2004 elections,
the Democrats had 203 seats in the House, so they have picked up 54 seats in the past two cycles.
This puts the Democrats almost back to where they were before the 1994 Republican wave (258 seats).
Maybe the Republicans can repeat 1994 in 2010, but Charlie Cook
this is very unlikely unless the Democrats mess up big time, which is unlikely since many of them
remember the 1994 debacle very well.
Minnesota Recount Continues
The canvassing board is continuing to count the challenged ballots one by one in the Minnesota Senate race.
In the past two days, 420 of the ballots challenged by Al Franken have been examined. During this process,
Coleman gained about 100 votes. This is normal as Franken challenged many ballots that looked like they were
for Coleman but had an outside chance of being invalidated or even ruled as Franken votes. When the board
starts examining the Coleman challenges, Franken will gain votes. The Star Tribune puts Coleman's
lead at 358 votes as of the end of counting Wednesday.
A new wrinkle in the process is that Coleman is
that as many as 150 votes were double counted by local elections boards. Franken dismissed the claim as
"just a theory." Such claims could provide the basis for a later court challenge if Franken is certified the winner.
Shoe-icide Parodies Proliferate
The incident in which an Iraqi reporter threw his shoes at George Bush has generated many parodies.
for some of them.
Obama's Cabinet Almost Complete Now
President-elect Barack Obama has almost completed naming his cabinet.
It is quite a brainy bunch, with most members having graduate degrees as shown in the table below.
The noncabinet economic team all have graduate degrees: (Melody Barnes: J.D. Michigan, Ben Bernanke: Ph.D. M.I.T.,
Christina Romer: Ph.D. M.I.T., and Larry Summers: Ph.D. Harvard).
Not since the Kennedy administration have we seen so many appointees with multiple degrees from the nation's top
| Attorney General
|| Eric Holder
|| Columbia Univ.
|| J.D. Columbia Law School
| Secretary of Agriculture
|| former Gov. Tom Vilsack
|| Hamilton Coll.
|| J.D. Albany Law School
| Secretary of Commerce Gov.
|| Bill Richardson
|| Tufts Univ.
|| M.A. Tufts Univ.
| Secretary of Defense
|| Robert Gates
|| Coll. of William & Mary
|| Ph.D. Georgetown
| Secretary of Education
|| Arne Duncan
|| Harvard Univ.
| Secretary of Energy
|| Steven Chu
|| Univ. of Rochester
|| Ph.D. Univ. of California at Berkeley
| Secretary of Health and Human Services
|| former Sen. Tom Daschle
|| South Dakota State Univ.
| Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
|| Shaun Donovan
|| Harvard Univ.
|| M.A. Harvard Univ.
| Secretary of Homeland Security
|| Gov. Janet Napolitano
|| Santa Clara Univ.
|| J.D. Univ. of Virginia Law School
| Secretary of the Interior
|| Sen. Ken Salazar
|| Colorado Coll.
|| J.D. Univ. of Michigan Law School
| Secretary of Labor
| Secretary of State Sen.
|| Hillary Clinton
|| Wellesley College
|| J.D. Yale Univ. Law School
| Secretary of Transportation
|| Rep. Ray LaHood
|| Bradley Univ.
| Secretary of the Treasury
|| Timothy Geithner
|| Dartmouth Coll.
|| M.A. Johns Hopkins Univ.
| Secretary of Veterans Affairs
|| Gen. Eric Shinseki
|| USMA West Point
|| M.A. Duke Univ.
With the meltdown on Wall St. fresh in everyone's mind, a key appointment is the head of the
SEC. Yesterday, Obama
former SEC commissioner Mary Schapiro to the position.
Obama Chooses Rick Warren to Deliver Inaugural Invocation
Obama has chosen pastor
to deliver the invocation at his inaugural.
Liberal groups are already
up in arms
over this choice.
It was a brilliant move on Obama's part.
By reaching out to a relatively moderate evangelical who has focused on AIDS and world poverty
and getting liberals to react angrily (because Warren is antichoice and antigay) Obama has accomplished two things.
First, a lot of evangelicals will come to regard Obama as not so bad after all, which will surely help him
when he actually starts to govern.
Second, by getting liberals visibly furious with him before he is even inaugurated, he will be much better
able to defend himself against right-wing cries that he is a "liberal" (a pejorative in some circles).
The move costs him no political capital at all.
Warren gets a few minutes to speak on national TV. He's not going to use it to bash gays if he has any expectation
of becoming the new Billy Graham. But later when Obama does controversial things--like pushing for some kind of
national health insurance--he can claim to be balanced by saying: "I am a centrist, look, I let Warren speak and I
support national health insurance, something for everyone." That is hardly an even trade but it will get him a
lot of mileage in the media. Despite what some people may think, Obama is a very clever politician and fully
understands that making small gestures to the right, however meaningless, generate good will he will need later.
The incident brings to mind the comment of John Mitchell (Richard Nixon's attorney general):
"Watch what we do, not what we say."
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-- The Votemaster