GOP 4, Dems 0 (11/4/97)
Lessons From Tuesday's Voting?
Not surprisingly, it depends on who you ask
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Nov. 5) -- You know the lesson of the 1997 elections? Get in line. Party officials on both sides are applying their very best spin to Tuesday's results.
"Something big is happening. That's what yesterday said," House Speaker Newt Gingrich said.
This morning, President Bill Clinton said the overall economy kept voters happy with the status quo. "They won in places that they had before and we won in places we have before, in the urban areas where we had elections," Clinton said. "And I think the lesson of this year is that when the economy is up and crime is down, people believe the country and their states and their communities are moving in the right directions, and they tend to stay with incumbent candidates and parties."
Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson assured all who would listen that his party had been paying attention to this fall's contests. "The results in Virginia are going to be a model we are going to follow and study in the 1998 elections," he said.
South Carolina GOP Gov. David Beasley said his party had stopped the Democrats' 1998 dreams of victory in their tracks. "That hope was destroyed. Our ideas are working. The people of the United States recognize that we know how to govern best," he said.
Another GOP governor, Terry Branstad of Iowa, said, "These are great victories for Republicans. It again shows that Republicans are in tune with the American people, focusing on issues they care about."
Democratic national chairman Steve Grossman complained bitterly about the shackles he said had held his party back. "After spending millions in taxpayer dollars for partisan investigations of Democrats, Republicans killed our best chance in a generation for meaningful campaign-finance reform," he said. "Then they flooded the three major races with millions in last-minute special interest cash and last-minute ads to steal the elections."
Clinton made special note of the results out of New Jersey and Texas. "I was surprised and terribly impressed by the remarkable campaign of Mr. McGreevey in New Jersey," he said. "And I was profoundly grateful for a vote which may well have some national significance in Houston, when the people of Houston voted to retain their affirmative action program in city contracting.
"I say that because that's a second version of the debate that was held in California, and I expect that debate will be held in other communities throughout the country," the president added. "So that may or may not have national significance, but it might."
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Wednesday Nov. 5, 1997
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