Tuesday, October 22, 2002
Last word on the electoral hobby horse for the night:
There are five Senate races that I'm watching closely: Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina and South Dakota. The GOP looks like it's coasting to victory in North Carolina and Tennessee, and bully for them; the candidates in those races are robots whom I could care less about. Iowa looks to be lost, and too bad, 'cause Ganske seemed like a decent fellow and Harkin is a blowhard and an ideologue. Minnesota has not been looking good lately, and it would really be too bad to lose it because Norm Coleman is practically a template for the kind of pragmatic candidate the GOP needs to run in the northeast and Wellstone practically the template for the kind of hopeless Democratic ideologue that needs to and can be beat. Missouri I'm interested in mostly because the Carnahan appointment was ridiculous, and it looks like Talent is more likely than not to pull it out. Good for him. He seems a little oily for my taste, but whatever. South Dakota everyone is following for all the obvious reasons; I'm following it for the same. South Carolina I'm following both the Senate and the gubernatorial races, in both cases because the candidates running seem like the real deal: honest, committed individuals who could make a real difference to how the country is run. (Also because anyone willing to run against the gambling interests in that state deserves victory.) And I'm following five other gubernatorial races: Arizona, California, Florida, Maryland and Massachusetts. Arizona looks to be lost, which is too bad; Salmon was one of the good guys. California looks to be lost, too, and that's a real tragedy because Riordan would have walked away with this race and the GOP wouldn't have him. The GOP in California is - and I mean this in the most insulting way possible - behaving like northeastern Democrats, and they deserve to lose because of it. (I'll grant you that Riordan ran against the GOP in that state. So what? In the last New Jersey Governor's race, Schundler ran against the GOP as well, only from the right. I thought he was doing New Jersey a service. I thought Riordan was doing the California GOP one, pointing out what was rotten and an election-loser and running against it.) Florida, frankly, I can't make myself care about. I know I should, but I've long though that Jeb was the stupid Bush and he has governed exceedingly poorly. I want the President to get what he wants in this race, but I can't make myself care for its own sake. Maryland and Massachusetts, meanwhile, seem like additional test-cases for my northeast GOP theory, so I am very eager to see GOP victories here - particularly in Maryland, where the Democratic nominee seems so profoundly odious, as Kennedys always do.
That's my list. We'll see if I get my wish.