By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
The biggest news from Tuesday's primary results was that Sen. Blanche Lincoln did not lose her reelection bid, much as the media tried to make sure she would. She was written off so far and wide by the media, I was shocked there was enough ink left to write the headline that she staved off a challenge from the left.
This CNN online report sums up how reporters salivated to predict her end:
On the day that could see her Senate career end, Blanche Lincoln conceded she might not have fully appreciated the depths of this year's wave against incumbents, but insists she does now.
It wouldn't surprise me if the widely predicted anti-incumbent mood supposedly sweeping the nation proves to be another media exaggeration. Are people angry about what's going on in Washington? You bet. But who are they supposed to blame--the Democrats or the Republicans? Both parties are equally guilty of overspending. And Tea Party candidates simply don't have the gravitas to prove to voters they can make a real difference.
Among the nasty things I learned about Lincoln during the campaign is that she takes money from big oil (no, that doesn't turn me on either, but I wonder how many senators turn away all campaign contributions from oil companies) and that she voted against the final healthcare reform package due to its budget-busting capacity:
Lincoln earned the ire of powerful unions for her votes on health care, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and a labor board nominee favored by union groups.
Lincoln smartly realized that she would have to go down the middle or veer right come November, facing conservative Republican Rep. John Boozman in a relatively conservative Southern state. That's exactly what she did and exactly why she was pilloried by the left wing of her party. But it was very smart politics given her home state demographics and despite the fact the media tried to make sure she lost her primary for doing so.