Commitment 2010 … An Election Night Insider’s View

Election day has come and gone … and most of what  I hear from viewers either on the street or on our WTAE Facebook page … is that they are glad the political ads are done running. Most found them insulting and not very  helpful when making a decision on a candidate. However, there is so much more to ponder in the results from Tuesday night both locally and nationally. Changes that will affect us in the days and years to come.

I had the unique opportunity on election night to spend time watching the proceedings with Jerry Shuster, WTAE political analyst. This is a man who follows politics and trends and pretty much predicted weeks ago what would happen in the races. I thought it would be a good idea to hear what he has to say about the future.

Governor-elect Tom Corbett celebrates his election night win. ( AP Photo )

Probably the insight that stayed with me with was how things would change in the state with a Republican sweep of the house, senate and governor’s mansion. This is the year in which congressional voting districts are re-drawn. What does that mean? Well, if you are in power, you can re-draw the districts so that they fall into your party’s favor in future elections. The practice has been known in the past by the unflattering term  “gerrymandering”. Today, it’s just the spoils which go to the victors.

Shuster also sees the Republican control in Harrisburg being an asset in Governor-elect Tom Corbett getting his agenda passed. Let’s face it, if you have both houses on your side, you should be able to pass whatever you want — quickly. Thus Shuster says Corbett will waste little time reigning in spending.

However, if you are looking for immediate reform in Harrisburg, that could take a little bit longer … if ever. After all, its the new legislature policing and penalizing themselves. That’s something that doesn’t happen quickly with either a Republican or Democratic administration.

As for what will happen on the national scene, Shuster says it all depends on President Obama. He’s now facing a house that clearly is opposed to his agenda and his programs, such as health care reform. If Obama is willing to work with this new congress, as he alluded to in Wednesday’s press conference, he may survive into a second term. If not, Shuster says Obama could face a challenge for re-election .. from his own party. 

It’s nice to get an “inside'” view on election night.

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