Howard Dean has a press release out there saying that Democrat wins in New Jersey and Virginia are forecasts for the 2006 and 2008 national elections. Others claim that the elections reflect current public opinion of President Bush.Don’t buy into that line of thought. It is an obscure sense of reasoning and the theory is full of holes. Since when does a race for two governorships, a handful of judges, New York City and West Chester’s own mayor serve as a referendum on President George W. Bush?
There is no such thing as an election that doesn’t matter, and given Virginia’s right-leaning trends, there should have been a Republican victory there that night. Still, like most bad politicians, Kilgore (R) put his foot in his mouth by using a Hitler reference in describing his opponent’s opposition to the death penalty.
It only gets worse up north. The definition of political slime changes when you travel eastward to the New Jersey border. Republican Doug Forrester’s campaign ran an ad featuring Democrat (now Governor-elect) Jon Corzine’s ex-wife quoting, “…Jon did let his family down… and he’ll probably let New Jersey down, too…”
Anthony Johnson, a reporter for 7ABC/Eyewitness News in New York comments, “I know you’ve heard of gutter politics, but welcome to sewer politics, New Jersey style.”
What really happened is that Republicans ran lackluster campaigns, full of bad ads and unwanted negative politics. This is why Corzine and Kaine won, because they were no more than the lesser of the evils belonging to a set of very unfavorable GOP candidates.
No matter how much of a Republican spin it sounds like, there is more logic in this argument because, given the tone of the major 2005 campaigns, it doesn’t seem to me like “the issues” played a substantial role in these elections at all. It was a contest of mud and slime.
Secondly, people don’t vote for the governor of their state, or in our case, the mayor of West Chester, based on what they think of President Bush. If anything, they more likely voted on what they thought of those candidates’ campaign ethics.
Finally, it’s an off-year election, Dean. Don’t get cocky. A football team that wins all the preseason games doesn’t instantly win the Superbowl, especially if there are a few T.O.s involved.
Football and politics may have little-to-nothing to do with each other, but just for fun, we all know T.O., who the Philadelphia Eagles once considered their biggest asset. Eventually, T.O. and his agent went sour and became a liability. Looking on to the presidential election in 2008, the Democrats have their star, Hillary, touted by the media as their 2008 presidential frontrunner.
Is that an asset, or a liability in disguise?
Anthony Maalouf is a senior majoring in political science with a minor in Spanish.