Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday Clips

Getting back in the hang of this writing thing after my self-imposed exile, and I remember that you're supposed to plug the event BEFORE it happens. Oh well. Joe Bolkcom had a nice fundraiser last night and I'm sure he'd still take your $ for the Senate Democrats. The guest speaker was the newest Democratic senator, Linn County's Liz Mathis. Joe's colleage Bob Dvorsky was on hand, along with Chairwoman Dvorsky; they cut out early to celebrate Sue's birthday. Other politicos on hand: Mary Mascher, Janelle Rettig, and Travis Weipert.

Jon Ward has finally figured out what the Paulistinians will do with their delegates: mess with the vice presidential nomination. Old timers will remember how the `72 Democratic vice presidential vote was a disaster - even BEFORE the Eagleton nod itself blew up - as an interminable roll call pushed an excellent McGovern speech into, in the immortal phrase, "prime time in Guam." Does Romney suffer the same fate?

Getting toward the time of year when I start thinking about third parties.  The Libertarians have already picked Gary Johnson, the ex-GOP ex-governor of New Mexico, and with the Paulistinians still out in force, he could cause headaches for Mitt.

The Greens, for their part, are making a classic third party mistake: rejecting a marketable name for a loyal but unknown party activist. Their convention isn't till mid-July but two time gubernatorial asterisk Jill Stein has been beating Rosanne Barr - yes, the ex Mrs. Tom Arnold to us Iowans - in primaries.

(And the third parties may have a legit beef with the late major party national conventions; both Obama and Romney will be formally nominated AFTER the Iowa filing deadline...)

One state that won't see many if any third parties below the presidential level is California, which enacted a constitutionally dubious "top two" primary that was rolled out for the first time this year. The idea, one of AHnold's brainstorms, was to create "more competitive" races. (Their clean redistricting initiative will do more for that.) The end result is congressional and legislative ballots with zero third party candidates, And in one key district that was considered winnable for Democrats, voters will choose in the fall between... two Republicans. A crowded Democratic field splintered the vote, and the two Republicans came out on top.

And the must read, wish I'd written it story of the day is this Atlantic piece. Chris Christie loves Springsteen... but it ain't mutual.

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