| Florida Governor Jeb Bush (right) embraces his father, former President George Bush, after defeating his Democratic opponent in the gubernatorial race in Miami. (AFP)
Washington, Nov. 6: Nearly two years after entering the White House in an election which was widely seen as flawed, President George W Bush last night convincingly redrew America’s political map in a mid-term poll which saw his Republican party control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives for the first time in 50 years.
The victory will enable Bush to push through his agenda of deeper tax cuts, homeland security, aggressive defence and conservative or controversial judicial and diplomatic appointments, held up by the Senate, hitherto controlled by Democrats.
Trent Lott, the Mississippi Senator, who is likely to be the majority leader when the new Congress meets in January, said of the Bush factor in the elections while appearing on NBC: “I think it was a referendum on his leadership and he really showed that he was committed — that he was willing to put his prestige on the line”.
All the five Indian Americans who made a bid to enter the Congress were unsuccessful. In Texas, where an Indian American was a candidate for governorship, Republican Rick Perry took the job.
Nagpur-born Swati Dandekar, who was embroiled in a flap — not of her making — over her upper caste origin in India easily won her seat in the Iowa state House of Representatives. She becomes the first Indian American woman to be elected to any legislative body in America.Among the other Indian Americans in the fray, Kumar Barve was re-elected to the Maryland House of Delegates.
Satveer Chaudhary was also re-elected to Minnesota’s state Senate, but none of the other 37 candidates of Indian descent for various elected offices got past the winning line.
In the mid-term poll’s most high profile contest, the President’s brother Jeb Bush retained governorship of Florida, which would be key to re-electing the President in 2004 because of its electoral votes in the choice of the head of state.
The President made 13 trips to Florida since his election to shore up his brother’s campaign.
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the senior-most of the new generation of Kennedy’s in politics, siezed defeat from the jaws of victory in her bid to be the first woman governor of Maryland.
Maryland has twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans and the state has not elected a Republican governor since 1966. Townsend has been the state’s Democartic lieutenant-governor for eight years.
She is the only Kennedy ever to lose an election. She lost a bid for Congress earlier. She is the daughter of the late Robert Kennedy.
For the family, there was some solace that Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy’s son, Patrick, won his fifth term to the House of Representatives from Rhode Island.
Another Kennedy relative Mark Shriver, now a member of Maryland’s House of Delegates, lost a bid for the House of Representatives in the party primaries in Maryland.
He is the son of late President John F Kennedy’s sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
In another closely-watched race, former Vice-President Walter Mondale, who entered the race just five days before the election to the Senate from Minnesota lost narrowly to a Republican handpicked by the White House.
Mondale replaced Senator Paul Wellstone who died last week in an air crash and fought what is probably the shortest election campaign anywhere in the world.
In the most curious of the contests, Jean Carnahan, a Democrat lost her Senate seat from Missouri.
She became a Senator in 2000 after her husband died in an air crash, but was still elected under Missouri law.
The state governor then appointed Carnahan to the Senate for two years of the Senate’s six-year term.