Davis is out, Schwarzenegger wins -- Tom Brokaw cut into the local news just after 11:00 Eastern time to make the call. If it's this obvious this early, presumably neither vote is even close. Not that I'm the least bit surprised.
Wasn't there anyone in the national Democratic Party with a pulse and a brain who could have prevented this train wreck? This wasn't just a California race. This became the biggest news in the country. Why was Gray Davis allowed to embody the Democratic Party in this moment of intense national focus on politics? Why did Clinton and so many presidential candidates dutifully flock to Davis's side, sending a message that being a Democrat means supporting a status quo hated by the citizenry? Yes, I know that hatred was largely misplaced. But, as I've said before, a campaign isn't a damn poli sci seminar, and certainly not a campaign this short -- the time to educate the voters was long past.
Why didn't anyone tell Davis to stop signing bills that looked like interest-group pandering? Why didn't anyone see that the party's only hope was to deemphasize the "no on recall" mantra and unite behind a replacement candidate, Bustamante or someone else, with a message that it was OK if you wanted change? And why, if Gray Davis or his allies really did have a hand in it, was the eleventh-hour mudslinging -- however much fun it was for a couple of days -- allowed to happen? Didn't we learn anything about modern attitudes about politicians' sexual behavior from the Clinton years? Did supporters of Davis really think that this wouldn't be, rightly or wrongly, ascribed to Davis and, rightly or wrongly, seen as last-minute desperation?
I don't really care if I'm pissing off people who usually agree with me. This was a debacle, and it was preventable.
I'm sure a lot of people deserve blame, but I blame Terry McAuliffe. If Karl Rove can micromanage races across the country for the GOP, then McAuliffe could have developed a clue somewhere along the line and done something, anything, to prevent this embarassment.
Lord, it's worse than I thought -- maybe this isn't accurate, but Fox is projecting that Schwarzenegger got a majority of the vote on the recall ballot. A majority, in what was, or should have been, a three-man race. For Republicans everywhere, that would have to feel even better than that damn Supreme Court decision in 2000
How the hell did we allow this to happen?