Midterm Takeaways; Young Voter Turnout; Drug Pricing; Emerging 'Maverick'

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Good morning, it’s Thursday, November 8. On this date in 1892 Grover Cleveland became the first -- and only -- president elected to non-consecutive terms. Exactly 40 years later, Franklin Roosevelt won in a landslide over Herbert Hoover. On November 8, 1960, John F. Kennedy prevailed in a squeaker over Richard Nixon. And just six years later to the day, a movie and television star named Ronald Reagan became governor-elect of California.

It’s also the date (in 1988) that George H.W. Bush was elected president, and it’s when the famous -- or, depending on your party affiliation, infamous -- Florida recount began in 2000, launching a process that would culminate in Bush’s son becoming the 43rd U.S. president.

Votes are still being counted this year, too, mainly in Arizona. In that case, a lone Senate seat depends on the outcome, not the presidency, as Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema each hope to succeed retiring Republican Jeff Flake.

As I think of it, it was a November 8 just two years ago that Flake’s Arizona compadre won his final term in the Senate. I’ll have a brief word about John McCain in a moment. First, I’d direct you to our front page, which aggregates an array of columns and stories spanning the political spectrum. We also offer an array original material from our own reporters and contributors this morning, including the following:

* * *

Six Takeaways From the Midterms. Sean Trende’s analysis is here.

Midterms Saw Historic Turnout by Young Voters. John Della Volpe breaks down the numbers.

Trump Hits Cooperative -- and Feisty -- Post-Midterm Notes. Sally Persons has the story.

Exit Polls Show Suburbs as Likely 2020 Battlefield. Adele Malpass examines findings that show Democratic strength now extends beyond urban centers to surrounding areas.

A Way Out of Pendulum Politics. Nick Troiano writes that Americans are tired of political oscillation and are in search of a productive equilibrium.

NATO and Trump’s Risky “Fair Share” Demand. In RealClearMarkets, Allan Golombek argues that the economic benefits of NATO to the U.S. easily trump the cost of spending disparities.

Putting Drug Prices on TV Will Cause Unnecessary Patient Panic. In RealClearHealth, Sally C. Pipes asserts that part of Trump's plan to reduce the cost of medicine will backfire.

Trump Might Just Be the One to Reduce Drug Prices. Also in RCHealth, Renee Amoore expresses optimism about the president's "Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices."

A Patient-Centered Approach to Medicare Drug Reform. In RealClearPolicy, A. Mark Fendrick proposes an alternative to Trump's plan.

1910 -- the Year Medicine Changed Forever. RealClearScience editor Ross Pomeroy revisits the publication of a damning report on the state of American medical schools.

 * * *

When John Sidney McCain III first ran for Congress in 1982, his reputation for independence – for being the political “maverick” that would come to define his persona -- was in the future. Perhaps a better way of saying this is that these traits were in remission.

A rebellious son, grandson, and namesake of four-star admirals, he’d been a hellion at the U.S. Naval Academy. And though he’d been befriended by Ronald Reagan after returning from Vietnam and would later describe himself in those years as a “foot-soldier in the Reagan Revolution,” this isn’t precisely right.

McCain first ran for the House two years after the Reagan Revolution of 1980. And in 1982, Republican candidates faced a headwind. The economy was in recession and the new president was not all that popular. The GOP would lose 26 net seats in the midterms, but McCain’s Arizona congressional district was not among them. One reason is that he made sure voters saw him as his own man. Referring to his fellow incoming Republican freshmen, McCain told one newspaper, “I don't think anyone will ever call us 'Reagan's Robots,' as was depicted of the previous class.”

After two terms in the House, McCain set his sights on the Senate seat being vacated by Barry Goldwater, a close Reagan ally and a conservative icon far beyond the borders of Arizona.

Eventually, McCain would follow the dream of both Goldwater and Reagan and make a bid for White House. Here he would emulate Goldie and not the Gipper, falling short in 2000 and again in 2008.

Failing in this quest did not embitter John McCain. Even if it had, he would have had too much class to let it show. “It’s very important to lose gracefully,” he told Esquire magazine after the first loss. “You know: no bitterness, no anger, no remorse -- can’t display that.”

In his last memoir, he amplified on this point. “I don’t have a complaint,” McCain said. “Not one. It’s been quite a ride. … I made a small place for myself in the story of America and the history of my times.” 

Carl M. Cannon 
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
@CarlCannon (Twitter)
ccannon@realclearpolitics.com

Carl M. Cannon is the Washington Bureau Chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.



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