ONE TO WATCH
Political junkies like to ask themselves, "What if Ann Richards had knocked out Bush back in 1994?" For one thing, it is highly likely we'd have a pretty darn good baseball commissioner right now instead of a pretty darn bad POTUS.
That was then. Now political junkies are wondering, who can be offed now (say, in 2006) to prevent their later ascension to the Presidency (in 2008 or beyond)? Enter W. Mitt Romney: two time Senatorial loser and, alongside His Jebness, a leading GOP contender for 2008. In the last couple of years, Romney has been ingratiating himself to the conservative base: gay bashing, fighting stem cell research, and travelling around to South Carolina, Iowa, and elsewhere to reap the dividends for his PAC. He's got money. He's got charm. He's got conservatives. He's got national recognition. And he's got a blue state electoral victory (at long last) under his belt. Yikes.
So today's announcement that Deval Patrick, will seek the Massachusetts Governorship in 2006 should be welcome news to us all. I'm psyched because, if Romney goes, I might finally be able to get a raise and some decent health insurance. But also, if Romney goes, that's one less viable GOP contender we have to worry about next time around.
Romney already ain't doing too hot. State Attorney General Tom Reilly is polling way ahead of Romney in January, February, and March already. Not good news for an incumbent Governor with the bully pulpit and name recognition at his disposal.
Tom Reilly would be a good Governor. So would Deval Patrick. The point is that a primary and a general election with real star candidates will energize the race--the main reason that Democrats haven't held the Governor's House since we lost the Duke (no offense to Robert Reich and Shannon O'Brien, but let's be honest with ourselves). It's good to have choices. Real options get people excited. It's good to be excited. Romney's goose is cooking.
Now, who are we going to run in Florida???