Why Many Democratic Stars Fell In 1994
And why GOP landslide left several liberal icons untouched in angry year
THE surprises and the cliffhangers did not all bounce Republican this week.
A high voter turnout in northern Virginia - much of which, don't forget, is inside the notorious Washington Beltway - spurned Oliver North's formidable challenge to Democrat Charles Robb's Senate seat.
Michael Huffington's deep pockets gave him no better than a near miss at upsetting California's Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
But amid the muck and wreck left Wednesday morning after decades of Democratic dominance, some mighty Democratic timber had fallen.
Names like Foley, Rostenkowski, and Cuomo were cultivated by presidents. Mario Cuomo, Democratic governor of New York, could help tilt a presidential primary in the second-largest state. Speaker Tom Foley (D) of Washington and Ways and Means mogul Dan Rostenkowski (D) of Illinois could bury legislation they opposed.
Ann Richards of Texas has been, in fact, a relatively popular governor. But George W. Bush, the son with his father's trademark smile, exacted a family comeuppance of sorts for the sulfuric put-downs of Bush in 1988 that made Richards famous. The GOP also gained in other ways. On Wednesday morning, Sen. Richard Shelby (D) of Alabama, who had long feuded with President Clinton, switched to the Republican Party. Others may follow in the House.
While the tide ran wide, deep, and Republican Tuesday, some of the more prominent races had dynamics of their own.