“Gathering of the Elders (and not so Elders)”

Three generations of political operatives gathered at The Hawthorn Group’s annual “Gathering of the Elders (and not so Elders)” dinner at Equinox in Washington, D.C. Thursday night.

Veteran prognosticator Charlie Cook (“The Cook Report” and “National Journal”) shared his current assessment on the outcome of November races, an in-depth analysis of the Democratic “wave” and the Republican “seawall.” As of NOW, Cook said he give the Democrats better than a 50-50 chance of WINNING the HOUSE, but has the Republicans at 65% of KEEPING the SENATE.

Former Mississippi Governor and RNC Chair Haley Barbour shared his “outside the Beltway” view of voters, including their struggles as localized recessions resist the “coastal” recovery. Talking about the political “revolt” of Middle America, Governor Barbour said, “In a lot of smaller cities and towns between the coasts, it’s hard to tell the difference between the last recession and the current recovery. Stores are closed. Good jobs are gone.