Wednesday, November 04, 2009


NOV 3, 2009

Here's my take on the results:

Corzine lost because even though he spent a lot of money, it was on terrible ads. Spending more than your opponent only helps if your ads are any good. His attack ads were pretty convincing -- I'm worried about Christie's ethics -- but Christie's ads were very effective: they raised doubt about Corzine's accomplishments and his future plans. The trouble with Corzine's ads was that he did not address the question of what he accomplished during his term, and what he would do for NJ in another term. (He sort of did, though with little energy, at the end, but it was too little, too late.) He was almost invisible from the news. He seemed somehow tired and ready to leave office. He didn't seem to care about what he had done and what he would do. There was no energy in his campaign.

Bloomberg's narrow win was a surprise, considering how much he spent, on really excellent ads. Voters seem to be tired of incumbents, and perhaps were offended by his run for a third term. If there is one thing term limits should do, it is to prevent an incumbent from changing the rules. (If the person in office can change the rules on running again, then there are no rules against running again; term limits that can be removed in favor of an incumbent are a joke, an insult to previous office holders, and not, obviously, term limits at all.) Bloomberg supported term limits in the past. Voters do not like hypocrisy -- in this case Bloomberg now supporting the end of term limits when it applies to him.

The victory of the Democrat in the 23rd (NY) -- the first time, by the way, a Democrat has held that seat since the 1890s! -- indicates the problems moderate Republicans have in their own party. The Conservative was able to bump the moderate off the race in the secondary. (He did not win the primary, so if he was able to bump the other candidate after the primary, we should call it a victory in the secondary.) Democrats, moderate Republicans, and others should remember that the Conservative strategy has been for many years that it is more important to strengthen the Conservative base for a future win, than to allow moderate Republicans to win an election and strengthen their base.

The old aphorisms are: All politics is local. And, "It's the economy, stupid."

Here are some newer aphorisms.

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