As I sit here and use the free internet in an English McDonald's I am still blown away by the result of last night's Senate Race in Massachusetts. Interestingly enough Americans are not the only ones in awe by this. At work this morning (a little late I admit from staying up until the race was called for Brown) I received a phone call from my Boss send his congratulations in regards to the "right proper beating" that was administered last night.
While a historic night without a doubt the lesson is not that 2010 will be a cake walk for Republicans across the nation. Instead the message, and one the GOP should take heed of, is that no state is permanently dyed one color, Red or Blue. To win Republicans will have to work as hard, if not harder than Senator-elect Brown, but it can be done. Moving forward the GOP must also realize that you run to win, but that is not an end unto itself. You win to govern. Without a cohesive strategy for governing the United States then Republicans are no better than their Democratic counterparts. One year ago President Obama was inaugurated promising a new kind of politics. Since then two states that solidly supported Obama have become less than certain he is capable, or sincere about the advent of a new America. Voters in Virginia and New Jersey turned to Republicans who offered a message of change and hope to fulfill this promise. Last night the people of Massachusetts did the same. Republicans must not take these gains for granted, nor can they afford to pay passing lip service to the policy promises that got them there. The national GOP establishment would be wise to see what resonates with the American public. Specifically the promise of a better tomorrow, promotion of policies to help during these tough economic times, candidates who promise to be stewards of taxpayer funds, and the wholesale rejection of politics as usual. Don't forget this, regardless of how the chips fall in November.
In London the response has been surprise. It is clear the Republican Party was counted out, however many of the same conservative principles will be judged by the people here in just a few short months when Gordon Brown calls for a General Election campaign. Dubbed "The Year for Change" the Conservative Party is poised to make significant gains, but they too will be left with the challenge of not simply winning, but governing.