District 23 in New York encompasses 11 counties is the most northern part of the state. Most of the district is further north than Toronto, Canada. It’s geographically large, about the size of Connecticut and Massachusetts combined. Much of it overlaps the beautiful and enormous Adirondack Park, the largest State or Federal park in the lower 48 states.
District 23’s land mass is approximately 1/3rd of New York State’s. Its population is only 1/29th. In a state where Barack Obama outperformed John McCain by 28 points, District 23 elected Republican Congressman John McHugh, now Obama’s Secretary of the Army. A Republican has represented the district since there was a Republican party. The last non-Republican elected to Congress was a member of the Whig Party. Of course, Obama’s choice of McHugh was not a cynical political choice made by Rahm Emmanuel, but one based on bipartisan merit alone. But cynical politics is not new. Losing this district was.
The Democratic victory was a disaster for the Republican Party. A small disaster — after all, it is only one district among 435 in the US– but a disaster never the less. It is also one where “lessons will be learned.” If those lessons are the wrong ones, then a small disaster will become a larger one. I already gave my pre-election opinion in Palin, the “Amiable Duncess”. I favored Hoffman. And while I still wish he won, I did not know what a bad candidate he was. That is not an excuse, just a statement of fact. The late Democratic Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill, famously quipped that “all politics was local”. In fact, that was told to him by his father when he lost his very first election. He lost it because he spent all his campaigning in precincts other than his own. Had he won his own precinct he would have won the election. He learned then, that first and foremost, a politician must be attuned to the issues most close to his constituency. From there, a foundation can be built.
.........continued at David Horowitz' Newsreal blog