On Election Night in 2009, Haley Barbour, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, took the stage at the victory party for Virginia governor-elect Bob McDonnell seeming to know what most of America did not.
Barbour declared that the Republican wins in the off-year Virginia and New Jersey races for governor that night would act as the party’s “springboard” for 2010.
“Is this sweet or not?” he asked the crowd.
A year later, the feeling for Barbour and the rest of the party couldn’t be sweeter. Post-election attention has focused on the Republican takeover of the House, but the run of Republican wins in gubernatorial contests last Tuesday could pay greater dividends in 2012 and beyond.