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'09 Elections, the GOP, and Obama
Conservative Party congressional candidate Doug Hoffman waits to vote at the town hall in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009. (AP)

Conservative Party congressional candidate Doug Hoffman waits to vote at the town hall in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009. (AP)

It was a “shot across the bow” Election Day for both parties yesterday. Different versions of a wake-up call.

For Democrats, two big losses in governors’ races in Virginia and New Jersey. No Obama effect to save the day. Maybe a damper on the Obama agenda.

For the GOP, big victories in those states, but a high-profile defeat for hard-right conservatives in an upstate New York district that has gone Republican since 1872. The Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Tea Party candidate down in flames, and the GOP civil war still on.

This hour, On Point: The ’09 elections — and the shots across the bow.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Charles Mahtesian, national politics editor at Politico.  He’s been following the 2009 races closely and reported this week on conservatives gearing up to challenge GOP candidates. He joins us from Washington.

Ross Douthat, op-ed columnist for The New York Times and co-author of “Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.” He writes in his latest column that third-party candidates injected substance into this year’s races.  He joins us from Washington.

Thomas Edsall, political editor of The Huffington Post and a professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. A political reporter at The Washington Post from 1981 to 2006, he’s author of “Building Red America: The New Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power.”  He joins us from New York.

Mickey Edwards, former Republican Congressman from Oklahoma and member of the House Republican leadership. He’s now a lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and author of “Reclaiming Conservatism: How a Great American Political Movement Got Lost–And How It Can Find Its Way Back.”  He joins us from Newark, New Jersey.

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

RECENT
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Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

 
Dec 17, 2014
Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
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