Those were some of the questions Bayoubuzz, in a recent telephone interview, recently asked nationally-recognized Republican political consultant and columnist, Mark McKinnon. As vice chairman of Public Strategies and president of Maverick Media, Mark McKinnon has helped meet strategic challenges for candidates, corporations and causes, including George W. Bush, John McCain, Governor Ann Richards, Charlie Wilson, Lance Armstrong, and Bono. McKinnon will also be speaking at the Bipartisan Policy Center's November event in New Orleans called the Political Summit, Beyond the Ballot: Making Washington Work http://bipartisanpolicy.org/nola2010
Below are the major topics and summaries of the major points extracted from McKinnon’s responses to the questions posed to him. To listen to McKinnon’s responses, clicking on the links.
Regarding his recent Daily Beast column entitled: where he wrote, “Don't Blow It, GOP!”:
Despite what Democrats have been saying lately in the media regarding the upcoming elections “there will be a republican blow out, and “it will be a great night for republicans” and “there is not much the democrats can do to stop that, at this point”
Without looking at the races individually, best guess is given the trends and the analytical findings, the republicans will pick up the House, it is a stretch to pick up the senate” but “probably this House, but, unlikely the Senate”.
The more interesting fundamental that could have a greater impact on short and long term politics are what is happening to the state races. Republicans will be picking up state government positions--governorships and the majority of state legislatures across the country. Those elected in the governorships and legislatures will help shape the future districts which will help republicans with their future elections and to help them build farm teams of candidates to put into races for upcoming elections.
Regarding Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s campaigning for GOP governors and for other state’s Republican Parties:
Anytime a governor goes out of state to campaign there is rampant speculation what his motives are.
Maybe his reason for doing the fundraising has nothing to do with his own career but maybe he just considers the Republican cause is one that he believes in;
“He is without question is a ‘super star’ within the Republican Party”.
“I think it is great for Louisiana and great for the American people”
Louisiana US Senate Race
Responding to what Charlie Melancon can do to offset the margin, Melancon should pick another year to run, “he is just swimming upstream this year” just as 2008 was a tough year for Republicans, 2010 is a tough time for Democrats, “it’s Louisiana, it’s a Republican year, I would expect a Republican be ahead”.
Regarding the Tea Party:
“I think the Tea Party is very real, I think it includes a lot of very sincere people and good candidates and like all revolutions includes some whack jobs”.
I think the Republican party must realize the people are very upset at incumbent Republicans as they are at incumbent Democrats.
Polls have shown that the voters are upset with incumbent Republicans as Democrats. They’ve got to do things on spending and respond to issues such as transparency and other issues. The Tea Party is energizing the Republican party, but it is good for party, and a lot of energy is with Republicans as result of tea party. “Some candidates are problematic” and ”we’ll deal with that but the real challenge and opportunity is going to be after the elections to determine which direction the Republican Party is going to go and that is where the real impact gets figured out.”
If there is a big Republican sweep and if conservative Democrats start looking and are concerned about re-election in 2012, there is a strong likelihood that the economy will not be getting any better and if they are concerned about that and if do not like the way the Democratic party is going and they could look at their districts--switching could be a very real possibility for some Democratic elective officials.
Relationship to Louisiana
Has a deep and abiding love for Louisiana. “My daughter was a Tulane graduate, she was a Katrina kid, she was going to Tulane when Katrina hit”. Also, worked for the Buddy Roemer’s gubernatorial campaign in 1987 and “learned a lot”.
About Mark McKinnon
A week after the 2010 midterm elections, the Bipartisan Policy Center is heading to New Orleans for its annual Political Summit, Beyond the Ballot: Making Washington Work. The day-long policy conference will feature prominent Republican and Democratic political strategists discussing whether the new Congress and the President can effectively work together to tackle the problems facing the nation. http://bipartisanpolicy.org/nola2010
McKinnon writes a regular column for The Daily Beast
Interview by Stephen Sabludowsky, Publisher of Bayoubuzz.com