The only thing that will be discussed starting today and going into the weekend and likely through next week will be Nebraska’s potential move to the Big Ten. Therefore, it is probably best to get any political discussions in now, because there is a good chance that everything else will be ignored.
(On that note, keep an eye out for potentially explosive and/or embarrasing announcements completely unrelated to Nebraska football tomorrow afternoon. If Mike Johanns wants to state that he is now a Rastafarian and is on a steady diet of puppies, no one will hear it and it will be business as usual on Monday.)
So we want to follow up on Joe Jordan’s great post on how the Mark Lakers scandal may affect Tom White candidacy for Congress.
Jordan asked “what do Democrats have to be excited about” without a Top of the Ticket race to bring them to the polls?
Think about the whole basis for the “excitement” (and that word is in quotes) for the Tom White candidacy. Two words:
National Dems looked at the 2nd District and said, “If Obama can win there, we can win the Congressional seat too!” They saw Jim Esch as a weak candidate, and figured with the right tough guy, they could pull it off.
Well, all of that first depends on the same or at least a similar scenario as in 2008. Pull out the same Dems who voted for Obama to come in and follow White.
Oh the flaws in that hypothesis.
There is no cult of personality candidate in 2010. Tom White sure as heck ain’t him. Even if he was “him”, the bloom has fallen from the Obama rose, dried up and is in the compost bin.
And, with Lakers “out”, that is one more reason why Dems may not even bother to go to the polls.
White’s campaign business plan is difficult. With Lakers screwing everything up, it is even that much more difficult.
So…what about the whole Anne Boyle thing?
Some have argued that Boyle got into this so that she could either shame Lakers out of the race, or at least get Dems to focus on White, since Lakers is done. Let’s look at that second point first.
Boyle, and Chuck Hassebrook, have gotten Nebraska Dems to look anew at the Lakers scandal. They no longer blame Jon Bruning or Dave Heineman. They blame Lakers himself. And Boyle has asked that Dems “disavow” Lakers. (If they disavow him three times in the public square are they divorced?)
OK, so if Lakers stays in the race, what do Dems do? Well, they may just stay home.
Face it, many 2nd District Democrats do not like Tom White. He rubs many people the wrong way and some just don’t like his politics, for various reason. Now if they were coming out to vote for Lakers, they would probably hold their nose (or whatever) and vote for White as well.
Now? Meh. Skip the polls. Anne Boyle told us to.
Nice move there, Anne. You may have single-handedly killed two Dems with one stone.
So what about Anne Boyle and Chuck Hassebrook’s other plan: Get Lakers to quit.
So what would happen. As we understand it (and we’re open to correction), the Democrats would then select a new candidate at their state convention. Hmm. OK, fine.
Chuck Hassebrook? Mike Boyle? Ooooh, the Dems are on fire now!
What, not so much?
Does that drive Dems away from the polls, like above? Maybe not.
What if there is a contentious nomination battle? What is east and west don’t get along? What if they select someone nuttier or worse in whatever way than Lakers?
Here’s all we’re saying: If Boyle had been silent on Lakers, at least it wouldn’t have a had as much of a negative effect on Tom White. Now, even if Lakers get out, who knows?
And what about the circus that would occur at such a nominating convention? It would have been Tom White’s coronation in front of the Dems and the media that attended. Instead, White would be a side note to the hoopla of the new Gov candidate.
Of course there also would be the issue of that new candidate needing campaign money as well. Another bundle of dollars NOT going to the White campaign.
Mark Lakers certainly screwed up, but could it have been handled any worse than it was?
Consider this: When the ump made the horrible call to wreck the perfect game last week, what did he do?
Point his finger at the other umps? Note his years and years of experience in making good calls? Point out that the rules are specific on what is an out and that it all depends on his eyes and not some instant replay? Blame the politics of the other coach?
No. He said, “I screwed up, bad.” He felt awful about it. He went and made personal apologies. He wept.
Think if Mark Lakers did that?
“I screwed up bad. I took some half gestures and turned them into pledges when I shouldn’t have. This is my first time in politics, I’m not an expert on campaign law and I messed it up. I am going to personally contact all those listed, apologize to them, take their names off, and forge ahead. I believe Nebraskans are forgiving people, and will consider this when they will hopefully support me, continue to give financially, and ultimately vote for me.”
Oh sure, he still probably wouldn’t beat Heineman, but he would be in a much better position now.
And so would the party.
And so would Tom White.
Instead, you’ve got Anne Boyle, Chuck Hassebrook, bagging on scheduled radio interviews with the largest station in the state, and the potential of a circus to continue through the summer and fall.
Good luck on that, Democrats.
Just don’t ever admit you screwed up, right?