The New York Times analysis of the Republicans' sweeping victory Tuesday stars, drum roll, Chris McDaniel.
The Times Jeremy W. Peters and Carl Hulse reckon McDaniel's antics started the great GOP awakening to the dangers of the Tea Party influence.
McDaniel had been in the race no time when bloggers in Mississippi began posting snippets from his Right Side radio program in Hattiesburg.
Soon, the Wall Street Journal, Politico, Talking Points Memo (and Crawdaddy) were treating audiences to McDaniel's riffs on "mamacitas" and the "boobies." He had the GOP establishment's attention, as well as the attention of Mississippi Conservatives PAC, which knew gold when it saw it and was backing Sen. Thad Cochran against McDaniel's challenge.
Soon, McDaniel was plastered on a greeting card, along with Todd Akin, who's thoughts on rape helped scuttle the GOP's chances of a Senate takeover in the previous election. Open the card and you're treated to McDaniel's quirky radio wisecracks.
Soon, the Times reports, the National Republican Senatorial Committee regaled important GOP donors with the McDaniel tapes. The challenger, while not toast, was singed.
Read Republicans’ First Step Was to Handle Extremists in Party here