In his victory speech Saturday night, Congressman-Elect Charles Djou warned that “pundits” would do their best to spin the meaning of the election. That they are.
Here’s a brief rundown of what’s being said on the blogosphere the Monday after Hawaii sent a Republican to Congress for the first time in 20 years:
• Politico: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen “downplayed the Democrats’ loss of a House seat in Hawaii’s special election … and insisted that the DCCC hadn’t backed either of the two Democrats, former Rep. Ed Case and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, who split the vote” against Djou. “We also worked to try and convince the local party and the Hawaii delegation to try and sort it out because the math was pretty clear from day one.”
• The Daily Kos: The GOP is “renting this district for a few months. The Dems will take it back in November, with the added bonus of counting as a pickup offsetting expected Democratic losses elsewhere.” Case is the “odious Lieberdem,” the “darling of the DCCC.” And “the DCCC was singularly obsessed with its polling, ignoring the district’s cultural trends, its ideological makeup (Case was a carpetbagger grossly out-of-step with this liberal district), and the knowledge of local power brokers.”
Also from the Daily Kos: “After trashing Hanabusa and supporting Case, turns out that Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka knew better than the DCCC what the voters of the district wanted … For his part, Djou is already showing the kind of teabagger thinking that is getting his whole party in electoral trouble … Hanabusa will make short work of Case in their mid-September primary, and she’ll be representing the district in January 2011.”
• The Hill: “Hawaii could be a bellwether of sorts for November … Djou knows how to work in a policymaking institution … He’s a solid, formidable legislator with an equally solid agenda — fix Washington and save it from the Party of Debt … As Hawaii goes, so goes the House? It’s not that farfetched a claim … If Republicans can continue to recruit personable, professional candidates with a solid message of fiscal austerity that rides the tidal wave of frustration voters are feeling, then President Obama may have to deal with a Speaker Boehner come 2011.”
• Politico: The the National Republican Congressional Committee “sought ways to exploit the hard feelings that still remained from Case’s 2006 primary challenge to Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka — a move that rankles many Hawaii Democrats to this day.” A GOP strategist said this: “The Republicans’ on-point messages combined with the bad blood between Case and Hanabusa … never allowed Case to find his niche in this race, and therefore, he was never able to develop a base or a strong following.”