-By Warner Todd Huston
Wouldn't you think it would be a big deal if a Republican president lost his senate seat to a Democrat only 2 short years after he was elected to the highest office in the land? I mean, don't you think the media would think that a Republican president losing his own former office to the opposing party would be a story they wouldn't be able to resist?
Yet with the election of Republican Mark Kirk, here we have a Republican taking the former senate seat of a Democrat president only two years in office (and only two years after a Democrat landslide at that) and the media has been practically nonchalant about the whole turnover of that seat to the opposition party.
Just think about this for a moment. Barack Obama resigned his senate seat in Illinois, the bluest of blue states, when he was elected president in a Democrat landslide that seemed to engulf the whole country. It was so tremendous a landslide that many pundits in the chattering classes at the time thought that it was the beginning of a permanent Democrat majority. A scant two years later, that bluest of blue senate seats went to the Republicans who themselves won a landslide of epic proportions wholly reversing Obama's great wave election.
I have been keeping an eye on this question since November 2 expecting some pundit or Old Media yakker to notice what a symbolic slap to Obama that losing his own senate seat to the opposition is. But so far, it's all been very low key. And when the Old Media does bother to note the fact it is mentioned in a purely perfunctory manner.
It is telling that the Old Media has not made a bigger deal about this. After all, the Old Media wants to mitigate the GOP wave that swept the country and ignoring this major symbolic rebuke to Obama on a personal level is something they don't want talked about.
Imagine how the media would be playing this news, though, if it were a Republican that lost his own senate seat to a Democrat. What if George W. Bush was a senator from Texas and his senate seat went to a Democrat in 2002, only two years after he was elected to the White House (or if a Democrat was elected to the Texas Governorship after Bush became President)?
All across the country tongues would be wagging in the Old Media and the drumbeat theme would be that Bush losing his seat to the opposition would mean a repudiation of him in the most personal of ways. Why what would the Old Media be saying if a president couldn't even assure his party that his own old elected position of only two years past could be held for his own party?
Yet, the fact that Obama could not insure that his own senate seat would stay with his own party and on top of that he couldn't insure that in the blue state of Illinois has gone practically ignored by the Old Media.
It is a puzzlement, isn't it?