All politics is local, former House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill famously said.
National GOP strategists whose job it is to recapture the House of Representatives may be about to learn that lesson again -- the hard way.
That's because Monday's New York state Senate coup may lead to a new Democrat being sworn into Congress just in time for Labor Day.
The reason: the interests of New York Republicans don't necessarily coincide with national GOP concerns.
When we first learned last week that Republican Congressman John M. McHugh would be vacating his House seat to accept Barack Obama's nomination to serve as Secretary of the Army, the informed thinking on potential candidates for the special election to fill the NY 23 seat included no Democratic state Senators.
That's because last November, Democrats took control of the upper chamber of the state legislature for the first time in four decades, and they only had a slim 32-30 majority over the Republicans.
Allowing a Democratic state Senator to move to Washington would mean a domino effect -- an empty legislative seat and then another special election that would give Republicans an opportunity to grab one of the two seats they need to recapture the state Senate before the next round of redistricting takes place in 2011.