The Merry Widow
There's a piece in today's Washington Post about Senator Jean Carnahan, the Merry Widow of Missouri
There's a lot there that bothers me. First, just so I can get it out of the way, is the obligatory bit of Democratic bias. About midway through, the author describes the financial situations of the Carnahan and her Republican opponent, Jim Talent:
The two candidates are well matched financially. Talent has raised about $5 million, and Carnahan -- who has been at it for two years -- has raised $7.5 million.
evenly matched! That's not remotely close to being evenly matched. It's a 50% difference! I'd bet that if the amounts were reversed, and the Repuiblican had the $7.5 million, that paragraph would read very differently.
That aside, there are a couple of other issues to raise.
First, entirely glossed over is the massive voting fraud in Missouri (particularly in St. Louis), which helped put Carnahan into the Senate.
Second, also glossed over is the fact that John Ashcroft stopped campaigning entirely; the article simply says:
Ashcroft never could figure out how to tackle the sensitive issue in 2000
True enough, as far as it goes. But no mention that he stopped campaigning
. Carnahan, of course, did not.
Third is the perception that Jean Carnahan is somehow deserving of being a Senator simply because she was tragically widowed.
"We need to keep the seat," she pleads. "It was a seat we reclaimed at such a great cost."
That is utterly offensive. What cost? Her husband's death was not a political act! It was not politically motivated! He did not give his life to reclaim a Democratic Senate seat! It was a stupid, random accident, the kind that happens to countless other, less famous people every single day.
If he'd been assassinated because of his views or voting record; or somehow died "in the line of duty", it might be OK to link his death to reclaiming the seat. But he didn't, and it's not, and it simply marks the Merry Widow as a crass, lying opportunist. A typical Democrat politican, in other words.
It doesn't help that some voters have a similar view:
(Talent campaign manager Lloyd) Smith said that in focus groups, older women in particular were concerned whether Carnahan will be "all right" if she loses. "Recent news reports show that she's financially okay. That's a factor," said Smith, referring to reports of Carnahan's $89,000 in annual survivors' benefits and the $1.2 million family settlement from the manufacturer of the plane that crashed.
Yes, that's a good reason to elect someone to the Senate; they might need the money.
Fine. Since being widowed is apparently all by itself qualification to be appointed to the Senate, I'm starting a campaign right now for my mom. She's widowed too. She's about the same age as Jean Carnahan. And she never got a $1.2 million settlement or $89,000 a year in survivor benefits, so she damn well needs a Senate seat more than Carnahan does.
My mom has exactly as much political experience as Jean Carnahan, plus she's much nicer and she's not a liar who's exploiting her husband's death, like Jean Carnahan is.
And I'm sure my mom would be willing to relocate to any state that's prepared to appoint her to the Senate, since we also learned in 2000 that you don't actually have to ever have lived in a state or have any connection to it whatsoever in order to be it's Senator.
So all you governonrs out there, my mom, Vilma DiBenedetto, stands ready to be your next Senator. She's waiting for your call, so she can join the Widow Carnahan and take her rightful place on Capitol Hill.