Well it seems it's a victory for Doug Hoffman after all, but not in the way he intended. While he isn't going to Congress (this year), he has gotten the attention of the NRSC. ABC News reports that John Cornyn got the message loud and clear:
"There's no incentive for us to weigh in," said Cornyn, R-Texas. "We have to look at our resources. . . . We're not going to throw money into a [primary] race leading up to the election." Cornyn said his pledge extends to races for open Senate seats -- not incumbents who may face primaries next year.
The NRSC so far has endorsed candidates in four open Senate seats -- Florida, Missouri, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Cornyn's commitment is most immediately relevant in Florida, where the NRSC's candidate, Gov. Charlie Crist, is facing an aggressive challenge on his right from state House Speaker Marco Rubio.
Ed at Hot Air is willing to give credit where credit is due:
We understand that the role of the national party and the NRSC and NRCC is to elect Republicans. However, that role comes into play in the general election, not the primaries. A party that talks abut federalism and limited national government should have more trust in the people to choose their representatives in the primaries. Cornyn and the NRSC have taken a circuitous route to the right decision, but at least they got there.
That's fine - I'm all for optimism. Just color me a little cynical. I'll believe it when I see it. I'm not clear on how this statement is going to play with the Crist/Rubio duel. The NRSC has already endorsed Crist and I can't see them yanking support now. While Cornyn makes light of endorsements in general, he indicates that the only reason the NRSC endorsed Crist was because Crist asked them too:
Cornyn said the NRSC is only endorsing in races where -- like in Crist's case -- the candidate specifically requests its stamp of approval.
So if Rubio had asked first....?
I hope the Republican establishment has learned something, I really do. The fact remains that as a party Republicans still have to come together and decide how big this tent is going to be. You can't abandon your principles just to stack the deck in your favor. And to my mind, there is still no strong Reagan conservative to lead us out of this mess, although there is still time for one to emerge.
But, for now, I'll take Cornyn's words to heart and I'll send Doug Hoffman a thank-you check. He was brave, honest, and he woke up the NRSC. That's the kind of guy I can get behind!
(More at Memeorandum)
Cross posted at And So it Goes in Shreveport