Ramesh — good points. But the upper bound on Pelosi’s freedom is still 218. There are 52 Blue Dogs (53 if Owens joins up), and they’re all looking over their shoulders after last night. She can’t spare them all. And Owens is a vote for Pelosi for Speaker, no matter how he votes on everything else. That wasn’t enough to take him down this time, but it might work next time if the country continues to sour on the Pelosi’s agenda.
Is Hoffman the best candidate for conservatives to support in 2010? I’m insufficiently familiar with the alternatives. But he won 45 percent of the vote running as a third-party candidate in an off-year (zombie Scozzafava got 5.6). He was an inexperienced campaigner – he’ll be better next time. Does he meet our standard (conservative, electable)? If he runs with an R by his name, I think so.