CHICAGO – Nearly two years after taking control of Congress, the Democrats have claimed another prize by capturing former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s seat – a development that Republicans say is not a harbinger of things to come.
The longtime Republican district fell to the Democrats Saturday when wealthy scientist and businessman Bill Foster snatched the seat in a closely watched special election.
While Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen predicted Foster’s win would send out a “political shock wave,” Republicans were quick to downplay its significance.
“The one thing 2008 has shown is that one election in one state does not prove a trend,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Karen Hanretty said in a statement.
[What’s that scent you’re wearing, Karen? Ah yes. Desperation, by W. Smells like flop sweat and Jack Daniels.]
Republicans had been hoping to hold on to the district that President Bush easily carried in 2004 with 55 percent of the vote. The district runs from Chicago’s far western suburbs to almost the Mississippi River.
Foster defeated wealthy Republican businessman Jim Oberweis by capturing 53 percent of the nearly 100,000 votes cast in the election.
“Tonight our voices are echoing across the country and Washington will hear us loud and clear, it’s time for a change,” Foster told cheering supporters.
Well, I’m not so sure that Washington will hear anything. That bubble is mighty thick.
But this November, if we do the smart thing, that bubble is going to burst once and for all. Can you say “Permanent Republican Minority?”
I knew you could.