Friday, October 29, 2010

The Friday Before the Election

So Bill Clinton urged Kendrick Meek to quit the Florida senate race in order to possibly swing the race to nominally-independent moderate Republican Charlie Crist over Tea Party-backed conservative Republican candidate Marco Rubio. I first read about this story last night, and the thing that caught my attention was not so much the backroom dealmaking as the presumption that Marco Rubio is on "the cusp of national stardom." I think they may be right. All other Tea Party candidates with high profiles (Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, Ken Buck, and others) have made some extreme statements about certain things. I have not yet heard of Marco Rubio saying something dumb. An ascendant conservative known having a fiery personality and not known for saying stupid things could definitely gain a higher profile before 2012 or 2016, especially since he will be known in January as Senator Marco Rubio.

Oklahoma's gubernatorial candidates had a debate last night, only five days before the election. The headline I read in the Norman Transcript is "Governor Opponents Boast Right Leanings." Well, just great. It's a race to the right, apparently. Ironically it was the Democrat (Jari Askins) calling out the Republican (Mary Fallin) about her "yes" vote for the TARP bank bailout (signed into law by George W. Bush, but supported by Barack Obama). Jari Askins reinforced her self-imposed "conservative Democrat" label by pointing out how fiscally conservative she was in comparison. The candidates also got asked about Sarah Palin, for some reason. Jari Askins called Sarah Palin a "strong communicator". As soon as Palin is able to communicate her favorite newspapers and her geographic knowledge of the location of Russia, Jari Askins will apparently let us know, presumably while she's "hunting grizzly bears" with her in Alaska. Needless to say, this run for the right favors Mary Fallin, who is against abortion, gun restrictions and health care, and for Arizona's immigration law.

Jim Priest, Democratic candidate for Oklahoma Attorney General, pointed out that his opponent Scott Pruitt has taken $62,000 (7% of his total donations) from poultry companies, which is an issue because of current Oklahoma AG Drew Edmondson's lawsuit against poultry companies in Arkansas for their pollution of Oklahoma waterways. Sure, $62,000 is chicken feed (ha) when it comes to buying influence, but Priest was trying to use it as a way to say that Scott Pruitt is someone who is opposed to clean water regulations from the EPA, and therefore, if elected, Scott Pruitt would be bad for Oklahoma rivers. At least, that's what I think he's trying to say.

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