Aides to House Republican leaders this morning were crowing about their 10-plus pickups in the House and sneering at Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's projections of victory for Democrats. "Pelosi has said repeatedly that never again would the House Dems go into an election without a message. Their message was 'destroy Tom Delay.' They had a perfect storm on ethics, they had groups attack TD in his own district, they tried to use TD in multiple house races including in Texas and it didn't work. In fact it failed miserably," said a key House GOP aide.
Others heralded the expansion of House Republicans, the first time for back-to-back pickups by Republicans. "This is six elections in a row of a Republican Congress. A record," said a Hill official. The aides explained in emails that the GOP won on Bush's coattails for several reasons. Such as: "ValuesBush connects with Americans at a basic values level while Kerry tried a paint by-the-numbers strategy on issue by issue. They both reflect their parties and set the stage for what the candidates are talking about." Next, "Hatehate is just not a political strategy. It riles up your base but it also gets the other side fired up. The Democrats have gone from 'The man from Hope' to the men from hate." Finally, the Texas vote and DeLay's success in redistricting in more Republicans. "Now that Texans have a congressional delegation that reflects the way they actually vote, we picked up six seats in Texas. Without Texas we would have broken even or lost a couple." Paul Bedard, U.S. News