I know that the nation is waiting with bated breath for the results in Vermont’s elections. In order to satiate this hunger for news from the Green Mountain State, I have a brief round-up of the major races.
Jim Douglas: This seemed like a win/win for the most part. Scudder Parker, his opponent with an unfortunate name, was a good guy who would make just as good a governor. The one big plus with Douglas in office is a crucial balance between the Republican governor and a Democratic house. And besides, we can’t blame the Iraq war on Vermont’s governor. Our revenge must have limits.
While I can’t quite imagine what Bernie has up his sleeve for the Senate, it must be better than Tarrant, known to some libs around here as “Tarrogant.” The U.S. Senate is an elite body of politicians. It’s not the place for your first shot at government. Sorry Tarrant, but Bernie has the experience and the status as local legend. That’s a tough act to beat.
Peter Welch: Vermont’s lone seat in Congress was up for grabs and Peter Welch pulled it off quite handily. His opponent, Martha Rainville had the dubious title of “Republican” next to her name on the ballot, and that, more than anything else, is what most people had against her.
I think this race was a win/win for the most part. They both seemed to be competent and qualified. They both ran clean races. They both had good web sites. Rainville was stuck since she couldn’t quite disown the Republicans, much to the glee of Welch, and therefore found herself taking the flack that has been directed at the Bush administration. Given a moderate, moral, and competent Republican gang in the White House, Rainville may have had a shot. Given a swindling and corrupt Deomocrat in the Oval Office and she’s running stride for stride.
Arlington’s Seat in the State House (I know you don’t care, but tough)
Cynthia Browning: She came to our house. It was during dinner. We didn’t talk to her. But she came to our house. Her campaign sign on 7A is in a drainage ditch right by our road. No one else can see it except for the 8 people on our street. That made us feel pretty special. She also sent out several mailings that dealt with more than one issue, a strategy that made her seem more well-rounded than her opponent. There were other reasons to vote for Cynthia, but all of the little things add up you know.
All in all, I have to say that Vermont politics are surprisingly civil, at least relative to the rest of the country and now that Howard Dean has moved away. I think people here are somehow able to cut through all of the moral issues that Republicans have elsewhere used to cloud elections (a la Rove and Bush). They care about jobs, taxes, healthcare, the environment, and local concerns. Isn’t that refreshing?
For once in my life I had a surpluss of good choices on the ballot and not a competition between the lesser of two evils (Bush vs. Kerry). If you can find a job and afford a home, then Vermont is a swell place to live.