ABC7/NewsChannel 8 Town Hall examines impact of midterm election outcome

Panelists discuss the election during the Town Hall broadcast. (WJLA photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) – Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) couldn’t take his eyes off the unfolding beauty of the operatic masterpiece, his appreciative smile growing larger by the second.

Outgoing Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va.) looked like he wanted to plunge an ice pick into his left eyeball.

This was during the short set-up clip for Wednesday night’s post-midterm roundtable, broadcast by NewsChannel 8 at the ABC7 studios and hosted by Scott Thuman.

The clip trumpeted all the wonderful things Tuesday night that happened to Republicans and all the deflating things that happened to Democrats.

Not only did the GOP take over the Senate and increase its numbers in the House, it tacked on several more governorships and sent what clearly loomed as a defining message to President Obama regarding his final two years in the White House.

A lot smile about, eh, Gov. Gilmore?

“Absolutely,” said Gilmore, Va. governor from 1998-2002 and head of the Republican National Committee from 2001-2002. “But I think it’s because that we saw a true wave election.”

Reason for bragging rights?

“Sure,” he said. “Absolutely.”

How about you, Rep. Moran. Any reason at all for Democrats to be smiling?

“No!” he said, prompting laughter from the panel. “Unless you’ve been drinking or smoking something, you’re not going to be smiling.

“It was a referendum on the president and on the Democratic brand, and the referendum was decisive. . .I don’t mind Jim gloating – he earned it.”

President Obama has invited congressional leaders to a meeting this week, and Gilmore said he thought topics should be working together to get things done and finding common ground on heretofore contentious issues.

Moran would have none of that.

“Jim, no offense, but you’re talking in generalities,” he said. “That’s what this campaign was about. It was almost content-free (except that) you want to deregulate, you want to cut taxes.”

Moran, however, in no way attempted to pooh-pooh the bottom line and what it means for POTUS, veto pen notwithstanding.

“I don’t think that the president is going to have much of a legacy other than Obamacare,” said Moran, who has represented the 8th District since 1991. “You know, some of this could be racism, some of it could be the Fox News effect, scaring people, some of it could be all the money that was poured into these races.

“But it couldn’t have been all of it. The reality is that we who believe in government have not been able to make government work, and the president has to be a little introspective on this, too.”

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