In this election, there were plenty of winners and losers — and not just the obvious ones. Here is the best (and worst) of this political season’s stand-outs:
The winner’s circle
While President Bush is the most obvious winner, other Republicans are also winners:
- Karl Rove, the president's top strategist, built a winning campaign around the religious Right.
- Tom Delay sliced-and-diced the state of Texas and redistricted four Democrats into oblivion.
- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist blew off protocol to campaign against Democratic leader Tom Daschle lost, giving Frist a bigger GOP majority.
- The Boston Red Sox won the World Series and pitcher Curt Schilling took the mound for the president.
- So did John McCain, who buried the hatchet from four years ago and set himself up for a run in 2008.
- Stephen Moore's "Club for Growth" was a winner. The club poured more money into independent ads than any other Republican organization.
- Jon Stewart's sense of humor, of course, was a winner.
- Michael Moore is a winner and a loser. He pocked 200 million dollars on Fahrenheit 9-11 but the harsh documentary wasn't enough to derail President Bush.
And the losers…
- George Soros effort was also not enough. The wealthy financier dumped 20 million dollars into groups opposed to the president. That effort was a loser.
- Another loser was P. Diddy. His young hip hop voters turned out in larger numbers, but it was still below average compared to other age groups.
- The network's Election Day exit polls were big losers — especially in Ohio and Florida
- CBS news continues to be a loser. Ratings are down and many viewers are still angry at Dan Rather for his sloppiness with the Bush National Guard documents.
- And mayor Gavin Newsom, while a winner in San Francisco, prompted a losing Democratic issue nationwide. It provoked states to put gay marriage on the ballot. The ban passed in all 11 states, including Ohio, where the religious Right turned out in record numbers giving the election to President Bush.
But for every winner and loser in this campaign, who is up and who is down will change. Because the next political power-struggle, especially in Washington, is always just ahead.