Monday, November 27, 2017


It's fifteen days before Alabama voters choose a new senator, and the race finally has a write-in candidate -- a little-known, underfunded write-in candidate.
A retired Marine colonel who once served as a top aide to White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly plans to launch a long-shot write-in campaign Monday afternoon to become Alabama’s next senator, with just 15 days left in the campaign.

Lee Busby, 60, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., said he thinks that the allegations of sexual impropriety against Republican nominee Roy Moore have created an opportunity for a centrist candidate to win more than a third of the state’s votes in the Dec. 12 special election....

Busby, who was lacking any formal campaign structure or even a working website as of Monday morning, said he is counting on social media to spread the word about his campaign. He said he plans to run as an independent on his record as an investment banker, military leader and defense contractor and entrepreneur. He spent the weekend working on a logo and said he is just starting to explore the legal requirements for raising money for a campaign.
In other words, Busby is going to do about as well in this election as Evan McMullin did in the presidential election. He's going to win a tiny percentage of the vote.

But could he peel off enough Republicans to deny Moore a victory? I don't think that's how the election is going to play out.

By Alabama standards, Busby is middle of the road:
Busby said he voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the 2016 Republican presidential primary and Donald Trump in the general election. He said he supports Republican efforts to lower taxes, though he has not examined the House and Senate tax reform proposals. He said that he wants to repeal Obamacare and that life begins at conception, though there should be exceptions in antiabortion laws for cases of rape, incest or threats to the life of the mother.
It's likely that a certain number of voters who normally vote Republican have qualms about Moore, because they think his God-bothering goes too far or because they're disturbed by the sex allegations against him. Some might be thinking of voting for Democrat Doug Jones -- but if they find out about Busby's campaign, they can vote for him without voting for either Moore or (horrors!) a Democrat. So I think the candidate Busby could hurt is Jones.

Or, more likely, Moore's going to win by a comfortable margin. Polls are close, but I suspect that many GOP voters will come home at the last minute, or have already settled on Moore but aren't saying so out loud. If they need an excuse for their moral relativism, they can just say that John Conyers and Al Franken are still in office, so why not a perv who's their perv? However, I hope I'm wrong.

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