Once upon a time, a long time ago, I would have thought that upon being caught up in such illegalities as New Yawk Governor Eliot Spitzer has, one would immediately resign any position of public trust–the higher, the faster. I remember saying, upon hearing ten years ago that the illustrious Mr. Clinton had been caught lying to a grand jury, “That’s it. He’s gone. That’s what Nixon did. Gore’s President.” How silly of me.
That Spitzer didn’t announce his resignation today is shameful but unsurprising. He’s going to circle his wagons for a day or two while trying to determine whether he can survive politically. With a little luck, he’ll wait just a little too long to announce his resignation and we’ll enjoy the spectacle of seeing him dragged off in handcuffs.
I take that back. I just want him to resign and go away as soon as humanly possible. Let him develop some real humility in the privacy of his own cell.
The most common complaint heading into this year’s primary season was that the primaries were too front-loaded; that they occurred too early in the year. Both parties hoped to have their nominations finalized as early as possible in order to minimize the intraparty fighting and maximize the time beating up on the other party.
Before the primaries started, I thought that, though it is difficult and risky to conduct political experiments, a political party might give itself a real advantage by turning that thought process on its head: What one of the parties decided to have its primaries during the summer, leading right up to the convention in August or September? Sure, the other party would have its nominee already, but for those months leading up to the convention, everyone would be talking about your party because that’s where the action’d be. Mister (or Madam) Eventual Nominee would have the momentum of having dominated the news for the last few months, plus the convention bump, while the opponent would have to remind everyone who he was!
Well, it seems that the Democrats may end up running that experiment, albeit unintentionally. The longer it takes for (A) Hillary to miraculously comeback against Obama, or (B) Obama to put Hillary out of our misery, the longer we’re talking about those two, and not… um… the other guy. The Popeye-lookin’–McCain! The longer we’re not talking about McCain.
Will the constant focus on the Democratic nominees outweigh any advantage McCain won by sewing up his nomination? We’ll see. If it does, look for both parties to push their primaries a little bit closer to the convention in 2012, rather than further from it.