With the Democrats taking the House and threatening to take the Senate at this hour, you might expect the Orange County GOP election night party at the Hyatt Regency Irvine to be a mopey affair. After all, a huge banner in the room proclaims this is "America's Most Republican County." But, other than being about the tenth of the size of previous gloat-a-thons, the well-dressed crowd here is mostly laughing, chatting and paying little attention to the results streaming in on the giant screen CNN broadcast.
Our R. Scott Moxley roamed the hall and found Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) was the heaviest hitter in the room, Orange County treasurer John Moorlach was attracting a crowd of rapt, twentysomething Young Republican types, and the Rev. Lou Sheldon seemed to be hiding nervousness behind a slight grin and his hands buried deeply into his pockets.
Sheldon, chairman of the anti-gay, anti-outta-wedlock Traditional Values Coalition, said that after working with his fellow Republicans for 12 years, he's curious to find out how conservative the newly empowered Democrats will be and whether they will approach the next session with a spirit of bipartisanship.
Funny, the Rev. Lou never spouted a desire for bipartisanship at previous GOP election night sweeping victories.
He did have one sweet thought.
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"I'm going to miss Rick Santorum."
Well, that makes one of him.
Come come now, Lou, say it straight: what's your strategy going to be now that the Republicans are losing their grip on Washington?
"The new Democrats are going to keep me very busy," he said in between sips of a Coke. "The Republicans were in control for 12 years. Another season starts tomorrow."