The Delaware primary result will be the topic of much handwringing, pontificating and consternation in coming days. Pundits will conclude that the Tea Party has hijacked the Republican Party. Reporters and political operatives in both parties will suggest that Republicans blew their chances of taking control of the Senate. The White House will plant a strategically leaked anecdote about the president and David Axelrod bumping fists or doing something equally gleeful and manly to celebrate the Delaware result. And a fast-thinking journalist will ink a book deal about the marvel of a Palin endorsement.
• Daily Beast contributors on the primary resultsBut if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that abrupt change and sudden shifts in power create more anxiety than satisfaction among the public. Maybe it’s not the end of the world that the expectation is now that Republicans will merely take control of the House. It is possible that the likely transition from a Speaker Pelosi to a Speaker Boehner is sufficient political progress for one party in a single election cycle.
In the coming days, many Republicans will shake their heads and offer their regrets about what a shame it is that Representative Castle, an honorable and decent public official, lost to an inexperienced and, by all press accounts, unqualified, candidate who doesn’t stand much of a chance of winning statewide. But Republicans should not despair. We’re poised to make gains that would have been unthinkable eighteen months ago. President Obama would love to campaign against a GOP-controlled congress when he stands for reelection in 2012. Thanks to the Delaware outcome, he may be deprived of that opportunity, which is enough of a silver lining for me.
Nicolle Wallace, author of the upcoming novel Eighteen Acres, served as a senior adviser to the McCain-Palin campaign from May to November 2008. She served President George W. Bush as an assistant to the president and director of communications for the White House, as well as communications director for President Bush's 2004 campaign.