November 7, 2006 — On Election Day, the Shorenstein Center hosted a brown bag lunch with Washington, D.C.–based political reporter Tom Oliphant. Oliphant’s talk focused on the possible implications of a Democratic majority in the House and the Senate.
Oliphant said that, in this election, a Democratic vote is essentially synonymous with a vote against the Iraq War. “The war suffuses every conversation,” he said. He cautioned, however, that election results don’t always lead to the change voters hope for. Oliphant argued that the “watershed” midterm elections, which moved power from one political party to the other — in 1982, under Reagan, and in 1994, under Clinton — achieved results only because they occurred under adaptive presidents.
“It is not at all clear,” he said “that [a democratic victory in Congress] will affect policy with regards to the war.”