On a slow news Friday, political reporter David Herszenhorn spread some hope around for Congressional Democrats for the upcoming elections in their quest for a veto-proof majority in the Senate ("Senate Democrats Hope For a Majority Not Seen In 30 Years: 60 Seats").
His grim outlook for the GOP included a chartfeaturinga crack about the Minnesota Senate race that may pit incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman against left-wing comedian Al Franken:
If voters start to take the comedian Al Franken seriously, the joke could be on Mr. Coleman in this potential swing state.
He also saw
...an open seat in Virginia virtually certain to flip in their favor and Republicans at risk of losing open seats in Colorado and New Mexico.
That could all turn out to be true. But did the Times ever confidentlyoutline a GOP takeover of Congress? Say in 1994, when the party won 52 seats in the House to take it over for the first time in 40 years? Not exactly.
By contrast, Times' reporters have always been hypersensitive to signs of Democratic optimism - perhaps because it's the kind of story Times reporters are more eager to write.
Hersezenhorn sided with the Democrats during the raucous October 2007 debate over the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP).