Silver lining for Republicans? Michael Corcoran November 5, 2008 The News Barack Obama’s blowout victory over John McCain may come as a disappointment for Republicans, but it certainly comes as no surprise. Joe Trippi, who managed Howard Dean’s campaign in 2004 and John Edwards in 2008, made an astute observation on C-SPAN the other day when he suggested that GOP operatives knew damn well that John McCain would lose the general election, and crafted a strategy to cope with this inevitability. The theory, Trippi explained, is that Republicans went on the attack “" calling Obama a socialist, a terrorist sympathizer, an enemy of Israel and a baby killer “" not to appease independents in swing states, but rather, to energize the right-wing conservative base in the hopes that they would vote GOP down the ticket, and prevent possible Democratic takeovers in hotly-contested Senate races. The race was over and they were trying to cut legislative losses, so to speak. “They were not using swing-state language” Trippi said. And, it appears the strategy may have paid off. Republican Sen. Ted Stevens is up in Alaska , despite his fraud convictions last week; Sen. Norm Coleman is beating Democrat Al Franken in Minnesota (in a race that may be decided in a recount); Gordon Smith may hold on to Oregon and Saxby Chambliss may hold Georgia. These were closes races, but a week ago Coleman, Smith and Stevens were all behind in the polls. Make no mistake, this elections stands as a clear and unambiguous rejection of the GOP. But the sinister attacks that came from a desperate campaign, may have kept the Democrats from expanding the senate even further. Logging In... Profile cancel Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Facebook or CommentName EmailNot published Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.