The Defeated, But "Talented"

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Defeated, But "Talented"

In this post last month, I took a swipe at the gutless Charlie Cook for waiting until only one day before the election to change his rating of the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race from a "toss up" to "lean Democratic." (Bob Casey, the Democrat, won by a comfortable 18 points and had held double-digit leads in most polls for weeks before the election.)

Today, I am armed with yet another reason to despise that Washington breed of animal called the "political analyst." And the latest reason comes courtesy of Daily Kos. In this post, DK takes a shot at another political analyst: Stu Rothenberg. And I agree with at least one of the points DK makes about Rothenberg.

DK notes that in this post-election summary, Rothenberg provides a list of six people who ran for either the House or Senate. The list includes outgoing Senator Jim Talent of Missouri and Rep. Rob Simmons of Connecticut. Rothenberg writes:

They are talented and didn’t deserve to lose.
This is DK's reply:
Except that the people in their districts had a different idea of who should represent them. It's called "democracy." So the winners deserved to win.
Rothenberg never defines what he means by "talented," but I'm willing to bet that what he really means is a politician's ability to:

1. rely on a "canned" message that says nothing and, therefore, offends no one; and

2. steer pork projects to his/her state or congressional district by playing the "earmarks" game.

Some voters may appreciate those "talents," but most voters also pay attention to a politician's political beliefs and voting record.

Finally, on what ethically-devoid basis has Rothenberg decided that Maryland's lieutenant governor, Michael Steele, earned another chance to "run for something"? Steele still hasn't explained what role he played in a GOP flier that targeted black precincts just before Election Day. The flier, which the Washington Post called a part of "a calculated strategy," misled voters about the endorsements that Steele and Gov. Bob Ehrlich had received from black leaders.

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