Yep, it’s another of those moments when the fate of the United States hangs in the balance… the night before a national election. Things are looking a little better for Democrats than they were two years ago, but I’m trying not to become too hopeful given how many times the Dems have had campaigns crash and burn at the last moment. Instead I’m focusing on Vermont politics because none of the possible results — apart from Rich Tarrant — look too bad.
On that front, I was amused at work this afternoon when a herd of Democrats unexpectedly arrived in our office to say “Hi.” The group included Scudder Parker, Matt Dunne, Deb Markowitz, Jason Lorber, Rachel Weston and… drumroll please… Howard Dean. He didn’t talk much, leaving the spotlight to Scudder (who has a long history with my employer), but his presence lent a certain frisson to the event. I didn’t try to shake his hand because he’s someone I really respect, and it would just be too depressing to see the familiar glazed look in his eye that indicates there’s not a chance he’ll remember my face or my name later. There was a certain dark humor to the fact that this very thing happened with Deb Markowitz this afternoon. She couldn’t even remember that we had met just two minutes earlier and shook my hand and introduced herself a second time. Ouch. If I had to glad hand people all day for weeks I’m sure I’d be like that, too. But it’s still off-putting.
Polls indicate that Scudder Parker is probably going to lose to Jim Douglas, but other contests are looking better. Bernie Sanders is beating the pants off Rich Tarrant in the Senate race, and I’m pleasantly surprised to see in this Pollster.com poll that Peter Welch seems to be pulling decisively ahead of Martha Rainville in the House campaign. Rainville’s campaign mailers have been puzzling me for weeks. I like many of the positions she espouses on them, but find it somewhat insulting that she keeps calling herself “an independent voice for Vermont”. I suspect that she and Rich Tarrant (who also started calling himself “independent” a couple weeks ago) are hoping uninformed voters won’t even realize what party they belong to until it’s too late. Clearly, being a Republican is no longer cool.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow, not only because of the probable electoral results, but also because it will mean an end to all these damn phone calls, emails and fliers in the post.