Elections are about more than You

Elections are about more than you.

Last night a Republican, Bob Turner, won a special election in a New York City Congressional race to replace the disgraced Democrat Anthony Weiner.

The district has a 3-1 democratic registration edge and has not been represented by a Republican since the 1920’s, according to some historians. The Wall Street Journal thinks it has been a hundred years since voters from this area sent a Republican to Congress.

It was not because the Republican outspent the Democrat. The Democratic money machine in Washington threw the kitchen sink into the race trying to stop what is a humiliating defeat for Obama’s party.

It was not because the Republican is charismatically gifted. He isn’t, although he is a very sincere and authentic person.

To be sure, there were some unique and unusual circumstances. This is a heavily Jewish district, and there is deep dissatisfaction in the Jewish community about Obama’s treatment of Israel. So much so that former NYC Mayor Ed Koch endorsed the Republican. But Ed Koch has done this before and it does not always result in a Republican win.

As a member of the New York Assembly, the Democrat, David Weprin, voted in favor of gay marriage, upsetting some elements of the conservative Hasidic community. But other public officials in these parts have supported gay marriage and been reelected.

The aforementioned might have gotten Turner a closer than expected margin, but they don’t fully explain his unexpected victory. The elephant in the room was the President—and his handling of the economy, and his economic stewardship. Last week the President gave a speech before the nation about his new “Jobs Act.” The race became a referendum on his prescription. Liberal Democratic voters in New York said no thanks. By turning the election into a referendum on the President, Turner won an election that 30 days ago no one thought he could. By offering himself as a means to send a message to the White House, he carried the day.

Lesson: Elections are about more than you. Never hesitate to offer yourself as a messenger to a higher power that has a tin ear.

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