The top leaders of the state's social conservative movement -- a Republican congressman and the state's attorney general -- are now history, and it's time to dig into exactly what felled Jim Ryun and Phill Kline.
Rep. Ryun jumped into the discussion today by noting that the REAL reason for his loss was that his campaign volunteers were overconfident. Ryun also noted that everyone from his victorious, Democratic oponent Nancy Boyda to the news media were out to get him. My only comment is, ah, OK.
Oh, and Ryun finally noted for the first time that as far as the war in Iraq goes, "things are not going well."
Meanwhile, Washburn University political scientist Bob Beatty summed up Kline's defeat at the hands of Democrat Paul Morrison.
"What I think we're seeing is that voters were wanting an alternative to Kline, and as soon as Morrison gave it to them, the election was over."AP writer John Hanna went through a lot of words before he got to Beatty's quote, which I think is the heart of the matter. Even the GOP agrees.
"We anticipated by time election day rolled around that (Kline) was going to lose by double digits," Republican State Chairman Tim Shallenburger said in an interview. "He was plagued by missteps and misstatements and people who disliked him picking at him for four years."And so it goes...
Meanwhile, it looks like Ryun's political career is probably over. However, rumors continue that Kline will rise again, perhaps in 2008 to challenge Boyda in the 2nd Congressional District.