The Democrats, in defeat, have one advantage the defeated always have — they get a more clear eyed assessment of defeat than winners get through the glassy eyes of celebration. We on the right are all still giddy from defeating Barack Obama and the Democrats last Tuesday. And yes, Democrats, it was a defeat for the President. But in the giddiness, we should not fail to grasp that there are still problems.
One of those problems continues to be the consultant rot. I know of more than one campaign that had national Republican campaign committees demand that consultants be replaced with friends of the campaign committee staffers. In more than one case, individuals who demanded the changes profited from the changes. The incestuous dealings of Washington consultants must change.
Washington interference and strategic blundering also needs to be dealt with. Down in Georgia, Congressman-Elect Rick Allen defeated Democratic Congressman Rep. John Barrow (D-GA)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. John BarrowHouse Democrat Average29%. But even two weeks ago the NRCC was useless to him.
“I had multiple members of Congress telling me that Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Greg WaldenHouse Republican Average49% was on a phone call with other members as late as two weeks ago going through the last-minute list of challengers that had the best opportunity to defeat Democrats and places to send money,” said Chip Lake, a longtime Georgia Republican operative. “Rick Allen was not on that list.”
Instead, Allen was forced to dip into his own deep pockets, dumping $900,000 of his own personal fortune into the race. It brought Republicans up to parity with the millions Barrow, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC dumped onto the airwaves.
This is important to pay attention to for a few reasons.
First, conservatives tend to focus on the NRSC. Conservatives have had better relations with the NRCC.
Second, earlier this year, the NRCC got another person into this race in Georgia because they were not excited by Rick Allen. That person lost the primary, but made Allen spend additional resources to secure his primary win. Then the NRCC, with their guy out of the race, put a ball and chain on Allen’s campaign. The NRCC nearly lost the race.
Third, it is further evidence that with the DC based campaign committees involve themselves in local races, they can miss local nuance and flavor. To then walk away from a race because their guy didn’t win is inexcusable in most circumstances. But that is what the NRCC did.
I am afraid that in victory, the GOP might ignore or gloss over some institutional problems. Considering this election was more about Barack Obama than the GOP itself, the party would be wise to assess the problems victory can often cover up.