Speaking on the opening day of the Pershing Insite conference in south Florida on Wednesday, June 9, journalist and television commentator David Gergen predicted that the Republican party would fail to take control of either the House or Senate in this November's election. "The GOP will make gains," admitted the senior political analyst at CNN, who also had posts in four different Administrations, about this year's elections, "but not enough to grab control" of either chamber.
He said that Republicans had been most hopeful of taking control in the Senate, but Blanche Lincoln's victory in the Arkansas primary and the win in Nevada by what the party considered to be its weakest general election candidate against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) both argued against that remote possibility.
Interestingly, Gergen said that Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York), who had long been a backer of Wall Street, had kept a low profile during the financial services reform fight, hoping that would make him a more viable candidate for the majority leader's post should Reid lose his seat in November, but that scenario wouldn't occur now.
As for energy legislation, Gergen said there seemed to be a window of opportunity for the Obama Administration to promote an energy bill in the wake of the public anger over the BP oil spill, but what he characterized as the "nearly universal negative reaction" to cap-and-trade had led the Administration to decide that this was not the time for that type of initiative.