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No red wave … but a few silver linings for GOP

No red wave … but a few silver linings for GOP

There was not a lot of good news for the Grand Old Party this election day, but even in the face of unexpected losses, there are a few silver innings … maybe.


Perhaps the most important silver lining for the GOP is the probability (at this time) of winning control of the House.  I say that based on the likely outcomes of the remaining races.  For sure it was not the big – or even typical – off-year election for a first-term President.  And way below what one might expect when the popularity of the President and the paucity of popular issues were working against the guy in the White House.

Regardless … taking control of the House (with the Senate still a possibility) is a huge victory.  This means President Biden must now compromise with Republicans to get anything done.   Republicans now have the powers over the purse, the ability to initiate or stop legislation, AND the ability to investigate.  And they can prevent the passage of any more of the radical left agenda.  That is a HUGE silver lining.

Why it was not a larger victory in the House for soon-to-maybe-be Speaker Kevin McCarthy is academic.   The politicos can study and analyze and adjust future plans – but control is control.  Speaker Pelosi will not hold the gavel in the next Congress.

At this writing, there is still a remote chance that the GOP may take control of the Senate WITHOUT Herschel Walker in Georgia.  Republican Adam Laxalt is likely to win the Arizona seat and the Nevada seat is a toss-up   If the GOP wins that one, they have control of the Senate regardless of the Walker race – although that may not be the case by the time you are reading this..

The sun also rises – in Florida

Republicans in the Sunshine State of Florida basked in political sunlight on Election Day.  Unfortunately, the red wave that rolled through Florida collapsed as soon as it hit the Georgia border.  It seemed as if Florida was not even part of the election cycle that was playing out in the rest of America.

Governor Ron DeSantis not only defeated his Democrat opponent, but Charlie Crist also – he crushed him with a landslide victory. DeSantis won with an almost 20-point lead over the former Republican … independent … and now Democrat Crist.   And this is a Governor who won his first race four years ago by barely one percent.

DeSantis was developing a national reputation as a presidential contender even before his recent election victory.  This now places DeSantis in the lead for the 2024 Republican nomination.  Yes … even ahead of Trump – whose investment value has dropped significantly

In Val Demings, Democrats had a more appealing candidate than Crist.  Regardless, incumbent GOP Senator Marco Rubio crushed her by more than a 15-point margin.  The Florida red wave flowed through the state with Republicans winning most of the major races.

President Trump

I have always contended that President Trump’s hardcore base is less than the 30 or 40 percent some pundits claim.  I have put it closer to 15 percent of Republican voters in previous commentaries.  I think that bottom is further eroding after the election results.  He created a cadre of Trump candidates.  They followed his lead in constantly questioning the outcome of the 2020 election.  Democrats and the media tagged them as a band of “election deniers” who would steal future elections.  Not only did they not dissuade voters of those claims, they often seemed to embrace them.  

While they were election deniers for sure, I do not think they were threats to future elections — but that is an academic argument of little import today.  Democrats labeled them and they did not effectively refute the accusations.

(Folks who follow my commentaries would know that I repeatedly advised GOP candidates against saying anything about the past election.  It is over and done.  But Trump wanted HIS candidates to reaffirm his own obsession with 2020.  They did … and they lost.

Once again, Trump has proven to be unpopular with most Americans – and even most Republicans.  He had a spectacular win in 2016 but frittered away all of his and the GOP’s advantages with his crappy pugnacious personality … his mendacious nature … erratic behavior. .  He lost the House in 2018 – and the Senate and presidency in 2020.

(I know some will jump on me for saying Trump lost in 2020.  As I see it, if your opponent is sitting in the Oval Office after all the court challenges and other actions to legally change that outcome, you lost … period.  Even if one believes that the election was stolen … Biden, not Trump, was sworn in as President.)

It is time for Trump to retire from the pursuit of elective office and attend to his business and the myriad of legal problems.  If he does not do that voluntarily, I feel certain that other candidates (does DeSantis come to mind?) will replace him – and the majority of GOP voters will go with the alternative.

Trump has promised an important announcement in a few days.  If he announces another run for President, he has not learned a lesson.  The man will not even carry his home state of Florida.  His choice seems to be to abandon any effort to return to the White House (with some level of dignity) or be humiliatingly defeated  … rejected … for the last time.

If you wonder why I see the political demise of Trump as one of the silver linings, you have not been paying attention to my writings.  I have never been a fan of Trump. I publicly stated that I would not vote for him in a GOP primary —  as I did not in 2016.   In a previous commentary, I opined that DeSantis should definitely enter the race for President – even if Trump is a candidate.  And that was before DeSantis’ impressive showing in this election.  I did not believe Trump could beat DeSantis in the past – and I certainly do not think so now.


The results of the Midterm Election were disappointing for Republicans – but far from a disaster.  Some of that disappointment is deserved but some is based on excessive expectations.  A Democrat winning for governor of New York … or an incumbent Senator in New Hampshire … should not have come as any surprise.  Perhaps it would have been different to some extent with a red wave, but there was no red wave – only a few important silver linings.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Rat Wrangler

    Some Republicans love Trump, others hate him. Pretty much all the Democrats hate him. That being said, the main reason the Republican Red Wave did not happen, in spite of the myriad lies, gaffes, and mismanagement of government going on in our Capitol now, was that they had no cohesive plan. The Republican Congresspeople refused to band together and come up with any solid plan to get America back on its feet. Making America Great Again should be the goal of every elected official, but since that goal was created by a businessman, rather than one of their own, the majority of career politicians in office, regardless of their Party affiliation, refused to back him up.

  2. Andy

    It’s amazing how clueless you are.

    “Republican Adam Laxalt is likely to win the Arizona seat and the Nevada seat is a toss-up ”

    Adam Laxalt is the candidate in Nevada, NOT Arizona. He has a 9000 vote lead, there are still 100,000 votes to be counted.

    Democrat Mark Kelly id likely to with in Arizona, and as you say, the “Nevada seat is a toss-up”.

    Your earlier predictions of a massive red wave were all wrong, just like your prediction a few weeks into the war in Ukraine were all wrong.

    You might ponder this article about he Fourth Turning and Zoomers:

  3. larry Horist

    Andy … thanks for you correction … even if you found it necessary to deliver it with personal insults. When you do 35 to 50 commentaries each month, mistakes will happen. We all cannot be as perfect as you. Regarding my prognostications, you are again correct. This time I missed the mark … as did virtually every Republican, Democrat, media analyst … and pollsters. Does that make us all “clueless?” Yes, I have been dining on crow these past two days. I happens.

    Regarding the Ukraine War, I am … clueless …. as to what you are talking about. I have been constantly critical of NATO and the US for not doing enough to defeat Putin. Not sure where you saw any specific predictions that were wrong.

  4. Tom

    A couple points I would like to share Larry.

    1) Yes the GOP has the gavel and the power to impeach and investigate. Warning to them, we Independents are tired of these investigative retributions. If GOP is smart, they will not attempt to impeach Biden. But getting rid of Mayorkas would not bother us a bit, and, getting a Dreamers Act passed that takes care of GOP chain migration concerns would be a big feather in their cap even though Biden will attempt to claim it as his victory. GOP can say that they finally got something done and took care of a situation the Dems could not complete over three of their administrations (Obama 2, Biden 1).

    2) There is a dark horse Dem who will seek to align with GOP as payback. His name is Joe Manchin. Joe will not go GOP and will stay Dem but will not give Biden an inch anymore.

    3) Again, the red wave rolled through in FL due much in part to Hispanic vote, hence why my #1. Anchored and working Hispanics are ripe for plucking from the Dem Tree. Also DeSantis had a clear message and is a quality candidate. I like Hershel but I do not think he is clear or quality in the political arena. Football victories may not be a reusable skill in the political arena for him.

    4) You said this very well, and Independents and Unaffiliated were turned off by this eluding to past elections. I agree with you when you say, “(Folks who follow my commentaries would know that I repeatedly advised GOP candidates against saying anything about the past election. It is over and done. But Trump wanted HIS candidates to reaffirm his own obsession with 2020. They did … and they lost.” Trump is a narcissist and he seemed to always make every appearance for the candidate about Trump rather than the candidate, and we picked up on it!

    5) I will not jump on you for your Trump loss admission, your reasoning is sensible. I will tip my mug to you tonight for two things, 1) Your Trump admission, 2) Your admission in a previous article about the size and power of the Independent/Unaffiliated voter block. Well done Larry!

    6) I agree with you, Trump should retire from seeking elected office but I personally think he will not win the battle with his narcissism and will return to the political arena where he can once again find a base willing to feed his ego.

    7) My hope is that in the future that the parties will realize the size of the Independent/Unaffiliated voting block and that they cannot win without us, and, speak more to the Independent / unaffiliated views which tend to be more moderate than either party’s extremes.

    8) I do think that this election shows the country is getting back its soul again. It feels that GOP handles economy better and it also feels that Democrats handle social and compassion issues better and wish these issues to be on our minds. And lets be real clear with the Independent/Unaffiliated vote: We are an amalgamation of both party’s more moderate views. We will look for GOP to handle the next two years well, and this means minimize impeachments and hearings, (we loathe the infighting between parties), get the border issue solved including ousting Mayorkas as well as pass a Dreamer Act, reign in spending and work with Democrats on important social issues, keep funding Ukraine’s struggle against the Russian Aggressor, work with Democrats to control and lower crime, create a 20 year energy policy that balances GReen and Oil, and has goals to sensibly reduce green house gases while pursuing a “Manchin All In” energy plan that also has time phased goals for carbon reduction and of repurposing energy states like WV and their great people, and make a new Contract with America that details how we ALL will do better (and not the old trickle down approach which Bush proved does not work well) with the GOP plan.

    • Joe Gilbertson

      Tom, Some very good points.

      1. The GOP has tried to impeach anyone since Clinton, we will probably see it as a bad idea with Biden. I don’t want to see every President go through impeachment proceedings. But I would like to turn the current investigations around.

      2. Yes, Manchin got screwed, the Democrats promised him something and didn’t deliver.

      3. Agreed, the Hispanic culture, it seems to me, is naturally conservative, and they are finally coming around. We have yet to see they will stay.

      6. I’m a huge Trump fan, but I’m on the fence as to whether he should run again. And if someone like me can be discouraged…

      8. You are more optimistic than I am.

    • Joseph S. Bruder

      Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Republicans have insisted that all early and mail-in votes get counted last, which means that the bulk of Democratic votes come at the end. Apparently, they think that judges will go along with them if they try to cut off voting before it’s completed, although that strategy hasn’t worked (except, apparently, in DeSantis’ election in Florida, according to crimes Trump is publicly admitting to). It also gives Pubs cover to shout “voter fraud” because Democrats come up from behind as the last votes are counted, but (as evidenced by Trump’s 60-something failed election lawsuits) judges don’t go for that one either.

      As I write this, Republicans are ahead on called House races by about 10. But Democrats are ahead in about 10 uncalled races, bringing it up to about even. And then there are about 10 races where Republicans are ahead, but only 40-60% of votes are counted. If Democrats surge at the end, it will come down to whether the late-counted votes are more likely mail-ins from Democrats. Dems only have to pick up 55% or so of the remaining ballots, entirely possible given the large Dem lead on mail-in voting.

      I predict that the final split will only be a few seats, but Democrats will take the House by 2-3 seats. It looks likeDems have the Senate and might even end up 51-49. The “Red wave” is turning into a pink flop…

      Regarding Manchin, he is beholden to coal and oil interests, and has no choice but to vote that way. He got his cover from Democrats, and negotiated the best deal he could get. He still votes about 98% of the time with Dems.

      Historically, if you look at just about any economic indicator since WW2, the US has done better under Democrats. If Gore had been elected and continued Clinton’s economic policies, the debt would have been eliminated during his term. During Dem Presidencies, economic growth rates go up, the unmployment rate goes down, and the debt and deficits grow slower, and the opposite occurs during Republican Presidencies. For some reason, the Republicans have been able to paint Dems as big spenders (and then spend even more when they’re in the majority), but it’s more dependent on how the money is spent, not how much.

      One last point – if we want this planet to survive, there is no “balance” between green energy and oil. We’re dependent on oil now, but need to transistion completely to green energy, and it needs to happen soon. The technology is there, and with oil companies and suppliers like Russia and the Middle East holding us hostage with high oil prices, it makes economic sense to subsidize green energy until it becomes dominant. We should be converting completely to solar power and electric vehicles right now. As it stands, green energy promises to be cheaper than oil, and it’s only a matter of getting the infrastructure to switch over, something government could be subsidizing if it weren’t for Republicans pro-oil stance. As far as climate change is concerned, the evidence is strong and only maybe 1% of scientists are still disputing that it’s happening and that it’s human caused. But even if the split were 50/50, the funding we need to spend to convert to green energy is miniscule compared to the problems of major weather disasters, fires, population migration, loss in food production, and the destruction of habitable areas for animals and humans. With the added benefit that green energy will be cheaper, we aren’t dependent on foriegn oil producers (or price gouging by domestic producers), and we get cleaner air and water. The goverment is a big insurance company, and the risk-benefit analysis is by far in favor of going green. It’s really a no-brainer.

  5. Ac

    The last vote has yet to be counted as cast in this midterm election. Until it is and the closest race results are made final, political forecasting is hazardous. Media since Tuesday has come out with Democrats strong and holding both houses and GOP won majority in the house and possibly the Senate when Georgia votes in December. Which network carries what version shows its particular bias driven reporting.
    A wait and see patient approach does not seem to be an option when it comes down to airtime and audiences tuned in to a preferred source. Media personalities can’t help themselves telling the story slanted to one preferred outcome. When facts in the end do not fall their way are those who errored making certain conclusions subject to any consequences making certain erroneous conclusions? None whatsoever, especially in the case of election results prognosticators making assumptions before contests are called. Because the majority of American having lived through a number of election cycles know not to trust any prediction in races deemed close within a percent or two.
    Florida’s case was an outlier compared to other States’ contests. Mostly this came by way of its Governor’s high profile and his contest for re-election drew outsized attention. This hype extended to the down ballot GOP races riding on the Governor’s shirt tails. The so called Red Wave could safely be predicted. However, extrapolating Florida’s circumstance to the rest of the country had assumptions.made on shaky ground. Chief above all other assumptions factored was and may still be the former POTUS. He, as usual, holds the wildcard, in every case where he inserts himself as the primo factor. He is known to suck the oxygen out of the atmosphere where his presence enters. So, it happened in these midterms beginning with the various primaries and candidacies operating to fill offices from governorships to county trustees. His nominees with his backing muddled the election process’ normal efficiency (mo matter the skeptics’ fact less opinions). That the implants he bullied into GOP contests fared poorly is fortunate for the GOP growing forward and for the nation as a whole. Ironic as it maybe. Trump’s adventure in political disruption with him tinkering with this election backfired. His failure will benefit the greater GOP present and future elections.
    As you. Larry, opined in your post. Trump’s MAGA.Republican contingent will shrink as a percentage of the GOP as Trump’s dominance over the Party declines. This should and must be in the general order with political blips on American History’s greater radar screen. MacCarthy-ism in an earlier day wrecked its havoc on an uneducated susceptible population. That period ended for that generation’s education, but apparently not passed on to successive generations. Could we hope that our collective experience with Trump as he fads from every day news bites into back page anecdotes that America will have learned some beneficial knowledge. Who one trusts with leadership in the top office or in any office with authority does not always equate with the political party one identifies with. True Trump represented himself as a Republican and won over GOP membership’s allegiance. Of course hindsight is 20:20 vision, but should not more from the Republican conservative ranks see Trump as a wolf in a sheep’s skin? An opportunist in all dealings prior to nomination, Trump would not be magically transformed into a person worthy of American’s trust as their Leader and Chief. That he had “good people” surrounding him lasted only as long as it took for his firing all who did not swear loyalty to him first before all else or act loyal. Soon his closest circle became Trump appointed for their loyalty alone.
    These were none elected holders of power the President directed and influence. These positions are like your “fourth branch of government” but unlike the good and responsible people who carry out America’s business for all Americans with loyalty to country not a tyrannical autocrat boss. Say what you will against those serving us all in their departmental vocations. If there are objection directed at the system’s power look at each one in context of details with accomplishments contributed. Worth in dividends paid to maintenance of your security requires work by the many in assorted departments. Of course in total these departments have power, as intended, keeping our nations business running takes power. With out that power, they would be unable for their job’s function responsibly. We, the people would unhappily suffer

    • Joe Gilbertson

      AC, not sure I agree totally. Florida was definitely a red wave. Texas improved its redness. Georgia could turn out that way with governor and senator on our side. Arizona could turn out that way too. New York certainly slanted red, just not quite enough to take over.

      The high profile governors races in Texas and Georgia fortunately ended the careers of extremists Beto and Stacey. That by itself is notable.

      • Joseph S. Bruder

        Florida and Texas were already deep red, and that didn’t change much. Neither Beto or Stacey are extremists, and neither career is ended. DeSantis and Abbot ARE extremists, and will eventually get ousted. This is just a mid-term election, don’t read too much into it. The bigger message is that it was supposed to be major fireworks for Republicans, and all you got was a couple of sparklers.

  6. Darren

    Talk to the younger generation. they would agree on almost everything the Republicans want to endorse.
    The problem is for most of them they looked directly at PRO CHOICE or PRO LIFE.
    The republicans have given a very very mixed opinion of what each states candidate stood for.
    Some allow abortion under certain circumstances while others say not at all.
    The Republicans should be very clear on their stance as you people just looked for pro choice and that in itself with all the other disasters that come with the Democratic party voted for them.

    Not quite sure what this in itself has to do with the financial ruin of a country due to bad leadership.

    Republicans should have no made a point of it and just did the job at hand winning seats.
    Learn to not only pick your battles but learn when to go to war!

  7. frank stetson

    I like that you are looking for lessons learned. Good attitude.

    The fact remains that you blew it. You lost. That’s on you.

    We didn’t win, close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades. Both of our sides should take heed of the citizen messages sent and make the changes for 2024. That’s the good news, we have the messages.

    We gave you inflation, an uneven economy, covid still, fucked-up Afghanistan pullout, Ukrainian war, supply chain problems and more. Much, much more. You also had the natural pullback from the party-in-power especially strong with an economy with record inflation. A piece of cake. You still found a way to screw the pooch by following Trump and, worse yet, advocating Trumpism. The voters pushed back.

    Another takeaway in the Biden moment: turns out democracy really does matter……Joe was right again! Even his own party thought he went too far and shoulda stuck to the kitchen table issues. Joe made it matter. You should not count this guy out. Ever.

    Republicans should quickly grasp some obvious messages. Trump sucks, Trumpism sucks worse and people get energized against it now. You have met your Hillary and it is Trump! Having a Trump-DeSantis war will be a gift. And Larry can cry the emperor has no clothes, but he will run until the money runs out. Legal protection would be nice too, but he NEEDS the money. He will do anything to keep the donations coming.

    You need to dump the trash and recast your platform. Hell, you need a positive platform, not one built on a foundation of blame and hate. You need to cast off the deplorables and create ideas that continue to diversify you into other demographics beyond white supremacists, anti-sematic, haters. Today, not 2024.

    On the positive side, you turned Florida Red with a Trump avoider that Trump calls DeSantimonious. Hey, remember, you heard the term “DeSantimonious” here first :>) We couldn’t even beat the pussy Rubio. That’s on us, we screwed up. Big time on DeSantis. And good for you.

    You lost most, if not all, the big magarat races, but magarats still won. Every magarat win is our fault, we can beat these guys. You should listen: Oz had his head handed to him, this Trumplicant got beat bad by a mumbling man disabled by stroke.

    Likewise, how could we miss Wisconsin’s 1/6 conspirator traitor Johnson of the small johnson. That’s on us for going liberal extreme. Voters tolds us that we need to throttle back on extreme progressives trying to take on Republicans, even Trumplicants. Liberal extremism, hard left progressivism, blm, antifa, all turn-offs.

    Violence is a turn-off independent of party. That would be a good thing for all of us to work on, perhaps even together.

    If you don’t move beyond Trump, and I mean at the grassroots level, 2024 may look exactly like 2022. Good luck on that one. You can’t just ignore him, the party needs to cut the line to this boat anchor. Don’t let it pull you down with it. Also, let’s see what happens to McCarthy. Never have I heard Congress people talk about their leader, in public, with the terms they are using for McCarthy. Portends how you will be working together, going forward. If you go GoT with internal conflicts, you will not be winning in 2024 too. Walker is a Trumplicant, a mentally challenged brain damaged concussed one at that, it will be interesting to see if he stays the course or pivots on Trumpism. I choose the later but fear the former although it will assure a Democratic victory at Thanksgiving. We will know shortly if Republicans are ready to cut the Trump cord.

    We may feel good we destroyed the Red Wave, but really, we won absolutely nothing and we better hear that message. We had many issues, not just abortion, and all we could do is break even. No one is going to vote our way because we came close. It’s the hollowest of victories because it was not a victory. Not a loss, but not a win either. We can cry, blame it on mid-term history, a bad economy that’s someone else’s fault, but if we don’t hear the message, it’s the economy stupid, it’s the kitchen table, and it’s on Biden’s freakin watch, we will lose 2024 too. Absence of a loss is not a win and there’s a message there.

    Like how could my side lose to DeSantis? Sure, he’s good, but come on — Immigration Kidnap Gate? Fake Felon Fraud Gate? Covid Catastrophe? Disney Dump Gate? Don’t Say Gay Gate? And now the Phantom Voter Harvesting Tapes….. That’s on us. Charlie whining about not answering the 2024 question was not the fight to pick and, IMO, there was plenty of fodder. We should have dumped every DNC dollar into that race so we could end it here, not in 2024. The DNS seemed to not recognize the importance of this race. Then our tough as nails, law and order candidate couldn’t’ take little Marco, the bend-over pussy who is on record sacrificing his manhood a number of times. How could we screw that up?

    I liked the DNC in the 2020, but 2022 was mismanagement. We will pay for letting DeSantis gain momentum and national exposure, in a good way, for him. Well done. DNC sucks. And if Biden runs, it will make TrumpDesantis look like a welterweight match. A Democratic cat fight where no one wins.

    IMO, we need bipartisan support in the two factions of the Democratic party; the schism between progressive and moderate is sizeable. And the trend is towards progressive with the younger party members. We need tremendous work on this since the extreme candidates did not fare well, even against the Trumplicant. The power is still moderate, yet the majority leans progressive. And our DNC needs to get some new blood for that and to fix the mess of the miss of the FL ramifications this time round. It’s a catastrophe not to realize what the DeSantis win portends.

    I have not a clue on our 2024 candidate. Most certainly, it should not be, nor probably will be Biden. And Biden is not mentoring anyone; he has failed the party in this regard. Come on Man, give it up. You got the Presidency, you’re in the books, you got to punish Kamala and Pete by putting them in their closets. How about giving the next Democratic President a helping hand? Power corrupts I guess….. I hope we start this right away and not in 2024, starting with Joe announcing an endorsement for his successor. After his action in this election year, I am not really hopeful about that. We have a rough road in 2024 and no firm hands on the rudder at the DNC or in the White House.

    And now we careen ahead, doing nothing but EO’s for the next two years. Sigh. Joe needs to make sure what he has passed, works. And he ain’t got college loan forgiveness anymore, that won’t help either.

    The most important questions: where’s the cheating, where’s Ben, is he coming back or did Joe ban him and did the midterms cause more global warming with all that hot air :>) speaking of which, sorry for the ramble.

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