What would you feel if you had voted for tea party extremists? Would you feel pure and virtuous the next day? Or would you think, eww, why did I do that?
Ringo Starr: “What would you feel if you sang out of tune?”
Well, Wyoming voters, you don’t have to creep around in shame, embarrassment or guilt: You blew the pundits away !!!
Voters for Matt Mead and Rita Meyer, centrists but for a slip of the tongue or two, turned away the more extreme party candidates. This election did not go tea party.
(Since Matt, with little administrative experience, edged out Rita; maybe he should ask her to manage his office like she did for Jim Geringer. She might be needing work.)
In Gillette, a right-wing, out-of-state funded, gunsmith, SWAT-team maniac ran the most aggressive and expensive race ($62,000) for a local sheriff’s office in my memory. He won a paltry eight percent of the vote. I don’t know what the agenda was for his non-resident supporters, but I am glad that it went down the drain. I don’t want a Freemen-type as my sheriff.
This election was Ron Micheli’s swan song; it’s time to retire honorably to the ranch and hang out with all of those grandchildren. I tweaked him some for his campaign statements, but on a personal level, he has earned some respect as a sincere believer in his principles.
But OMG what do we do with Colin Simpson? He sacrificed his legislative position in exchange for an electoral result which can’t feel very good. He can’t take an interim job with the feds or get an ambassadorship….. wrong party. Wait, hold the phone, isn’t there a vacancy in one of those places whose names end in “stan?” Mike Sullivan was rewarded, deservedly so, with Ireland. Colin gets to be in the wilderness for a while. Maybe he and Newt Gingrich and Johnnie Burton could get up a game of gin rummy in political purgatory.
Colin is “on hold”; out of the legislature and not in the race anywhere. But at least he did not behave like his famous father this week; oh boy is The Sage Grouse going to have fun with Alan Simpson and his enthusiastic embrace of new feminism. Ouch! The Pacino flick “Scent of a Woman” comes to mind. Badgers, other Wyoming natives, are also notoriously cranky, but they live in holes, eat dirt and have bad vision as excuses for their temperaments.
We should say some kind words about Pete Gosar; he’s a smart, striking, thoughtful guy who, despite having zero political experience other than listening to people talk on the state airplane, ran a sharp campaign. If he does not say “phooey” on the whole process, he will be fun to watch in four years.
So we are down to Matt vs. Leslie, with Dr. Taylor Haynes lurking on the right, except that dang it, the August 27 morning paper reported that he is out; not enough signatures. This would have been more fun to watch. Dr. Haynes, an articulate libertarian, defines a more thoughtful right wing agenda than most of the hillbillies trying to occupy the field. Leslie, no shrinking violet, will define the landscape to the left (but not Obama left), leaving Matt to figure out how far left and how far right he can pick the stepping stones.
A footnote: The tea party searches for metaphors for racism in other states; none are publicly overtly racist, but they all hate Obama. Tea party racism would have been dimmed with Dr. Haynes as a candidate.
With Dr. Haynes apparently out, Matt may be able to take the right for granted and move more centrist. Both Leslie and Matt successfully avoided having to go extreme to win the primary, so both are well poised to reach out to the voters who did not go extreme in the primary, which is nearly all of them.