The November event offered club members an opportunity to gain advance insight into the mid-term elections outcome with a luncheon panel discussion, The Mid-Term Election Results a Day Early. Panelists were Mark Halperin, Editor-at-Large and Senior Political Analyst for Time magazine; Claire Shipman, Senior National Correspondent for ABC News, and Jim VandeHei, Executive Editor and Co-founder of POLITICO. Club President Rubenstein served as moderator.
Highlights of the pundits’ predictions included projections that Republicans would win a net gain of at least 55 seats in the House of Representatives and perhaps as many as 85. Expectations were that if the wave carrying Republicans into office was large enough, they also could capture a net gain of as many as 11 seats in the U.S. Senate. Ms. Shipman predicted that as a result of the election, current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would retire from a leadership role in the Democratic Caucus in about six months.
Panel participants also agreed that one of the biggest challenges confronting the Obama Administration in the second two years of the President’s first term was repairing relationships with the business community. The group consensus was that there currently is an extraordinary lack of trust in the business community of the Obama Administration and that a top priority of the President after the election would have to be bringing in a staff member who could restore good relationships. Mr. VandeHei maintained that the rupture between the Obama Administration and the business community and the severe impact it had on the mid-term elections was the most under-reported story of the campaign.