Two quick predictions:
For all the horserace drama the Massachusetts special election is generating my bet is, when the fortune cookie crumbles, Coakley and the Democrats hold on to Ted Kennedy’s ancestral seat and Barack Obama keeps his thin filibuster-busting sixty votes in the Senate. As far as I can tell (and I may well be wrong on this, as I often am), the touted polls showing Scott Brown up a by a few percent over Martha “Makes Bland Seem Exciting” Coakley have been of “voters” and not “likely voters.” The turn out tomorrow is going to be bleak, comprised of party stalwarts who actually care enough to brave the thirty-something freezing rain to vote. While Brown is doing well with independents. Both Bush and Obama have shown that independents matter far less than getting the party base out. And Democrats have a three-one advantage in their Bay State base. Brown has gotten a lot of out of state support. But getting Rudy “I’m from New York and You Know How Much People In Massachusetts Love New York” Giuliani to campaign for you is a far throw from getting Bill “Show Me the Love One More Time Massachusetts” Clinton to stand by you. Throw in the Obama Express stop yesterday and the Mass Senate race begins to resemble the Owens/Hoffman row last fall in New York’s 23rd Congressional. If Coakley wins—even by a narrow two or three percent—Obama celebrates his one-year anniversary with a second major congressional victory (which he can claim as his own due to his quick visit) and National Republicans look like they’ve blown yet another one.
Of course, if Brown does pull it off and upsets Coakley Republicans go into the spring fundraising season invigorated and on the offensive, Healthcare gets filibustered to death by the Republicans, despite whatever Nancy Pelosi may Pollyanna-ishly hope, Republicans score big victories in November and Barack Obama faces the real possibility of becoming the Democrats first Jimmy Carter of the 21st Century. So relax, Democrats. Nothin’ on the line here.
Closer to home, I’ve got to disagree with long time Charger Voice Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton’s observation on “These Days” this morning that the Charger’s Disappointment Bowl loss yesterday won’t impact the franchise’s quest for new digs. Going all the way to the Big Dance in the Big Easy was the Charger’s best chance in years to rally Bolts fans—particularly the “We only pay attention to the Chargers when they win” fans, aka the “independent voters of the sports world — to support a new stadium at the ballot box. In disappointing defeat, Bolts fans are more likely to balk—and bolt—at any municipal effort to throw public money at a team who didn’t deliver on the publics hopes. Will this make the Bolts more likely to bolt themselves? Maybe. Though any reality of a bolting is years in the future. For know Dean Spanos had better suck it up fast and launch a determined “Just wait’ll Next Year, San Diego!” campaign, replete with a willingness to throw a few million more at team building over the next year. John Moores at least knew enough to buy a guaranteed championship team before he hit the voters up for big bucks. It’s time for Spanos to put up and shut up—or sell the team to someone willing to do what it takes to make San Diego winners. That is, if they want a big, new home for the Chargers. If not, just keep doing what they’ve been doing.