The Republicans get a gut check, plus a Ky. Democrat has a fast fundraising start

January 11, 2011
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“We fought the good fight; we just didn’t win.”

— House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), in an interview with radio host Bill Cunningham

BY THE NUMBERS

87 The number of House Republicans who voted for the Senate compromise to reopen the federal government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling last week. By comparison, 144 House Republicans voted against the measure, which passed. The vote was a defeat for Speaker John Boehner, but it also illustrated the power he has. A coalition of moderate Republicans and united Democrats can pass a great many things in the House, but Boehner gets to decide what comes to a vote and what doesn’t.

$2.5 millionThe amount Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) raised for her Senate campaign between July and September. It was one of the most impressive sums of the third quarter and more than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) brought in during the same period. McConnell has about $10 million in his war chest, so the Democrat has her financial work cut out for her. She’s off to a very fast start.

2When Sen.-elect Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is sworn in, the number of African Americans in the Senate will double. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is currently the only black member of the upper chamber.

BEST THING THATHAPPENED TO REPUBLICANS

They avoided a revolt. Boehner’s decision to allow a vote on a package to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling — a package Republicans acknowledged gave Democrats a win — could have gone much more poorly. Instead, conservatives seemed to give him credit for holding out as long as he did and giving them a chance to make their case.

BEST THING THATHAPPENED TO DEMOCRATS

They won — the shutdown/debt-ceiling debate, that is. The package that wound up passing was very similar to what Democrats had been pushing for all along, and the shutdown reflected significantly worse on Republicans than it did on President Obama and his party. You can pretty much assume that next time the more conservative wing of the GOP wants to use a shutdown or the debt ceiling to seek concessions, Republican leaders will be much less apt to go along.

— Aaron A. Blake

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