Sunday, July 19, 2009

D'You Know What That Fool Has Done??

by Rich Miles

This is my 100th post in 4 1/2 years of posting. Of course, that's nothing compared to the 817 posts in a mere 2 1/2 years of my friend Yellow Dog, but it feels like a milestone to me. Esp. considering that I posted virtually not at all for almost a year and a half due to illness.

Anyway, to the matter at hand:

Oh. My. God.

Gov. Steve Beshear (D-KY) is up for re-election a mere 17 months from now (my, how time flies), and guess what he's done?

I mean really, think up the most outrageous thing you can imagine, and then multiply by 100.

Give up? OK, I'll tell you.

He's switched running mates. But not just that, he's selected for his Lootenant Goobner a guy who is geographically challenged - a man who can't lose in Louisville, and who can't win anywhere else in Kentucky.

Yep, you guessed it - he's selected Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson as his running mate.

(Update: It's 29 months till the election in 2011, not 17 - which brings up a whole bunch more questions about this move - like why is Beshear dumping Mongiardo so soon. I have an answer, but I'd sure like to hear what Beshear's answer is.)

Now, never mind for a minute why Beshear chose Jerry. Let's ask ourselves why Jerry accepted.

Jerry Abramson has been Mayor in Louisville for about a hunnert years. He's run for the office I think 5 times, and is known in Louisville as Mayor-for-Life Abramson. He has not, to my knowledge, ever lost an election for any office, cuz he's pretty much only run for one office. He is as well thought of in Louisville as any politician in the country is in his home constituency.

But he is virtually UNKNOWN, in the parts of the state where he's not roundly hated, outside of Jefferson County. And that's why he's not really a good choice for statewide office.

So why would he accept a Lt.-gov. bid at this stage in his life? After 20 years in office, he probably will qualify for a full pension as mayor by the end of his term. In any case, due to his low profile outside of Louisville in the rest of the state, he's probably going to taste his first defeat for political office in this race.

And for that, I feel sorry for him. I know Jerry - interviewed him a couple times on my radio program back in the 90's. He's a smart guy, and until this debacle, I would have called him the consummate municipal politician.

But I just can't imagine, other than a need for a wider power base for some damn reason or another, why at this time of his life he would want to put himself in the path of this political truck. Beshear is poorly regarded throughout the state, in addition to being the textbook definition of a Blue Dog Democrat. And Jerry is not. Neither poorly regarded, nor a Blue Dog.

But in any case, it's very difficult not to view this as anything other than Beshear blowing himself up.

I mean, I don't like Dan Mongiardo - he's such a blue dog he's practically a Republican, and in general he's one of the most obvious liars it's ever been my misfortune to observe in public life. But he's already there - he's the Lite-gov, and Jerry is not, so why change him? It's a pretty much useless job, after all. Unless Beshear and everyone in Democratic party circles are trying to make this look like an optimistic move, on the assumption that Dan is going to win the Senator's race against Little Jimmy Bunning. I mean, he may win, but he may not, in fact probably won't since Jack Conway probably will, and to put the cart that far before the horse is a bit unseemly.

At any rate, it seems a rather hamfisted way to go about this entire campaign. But then, isn't that what we've come to expect from our Democrats in Kentucky?

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