Sunday, November 09, 2008

2 surprises

The two biggest election day surprises for me: Linda McCulloch over Brad Johnson for secretary of state and Monica Lindeen over Duane Grimes for state auditor.

I didn't much like the way Johnson ran his 2002 campaign for U.S. Senate, but I haven't heard any particularly compelling complaints about how he has run the mostly nonpartisan Secretary of State's office over the last four years. And I didn't see that McCulloch ran a noticeably better campaign. So what's the deal with Johnson? Too Republican? Too male?

I have similar feelings about the Lindeen-Grimes race. If anything, I thought Grimes ran the stronger campaign. At least I saw more of him than I did of her, and she lives around here. Name recognition? I figured he would have a slight edge. Political positions? I figured he would have a slight edge. What did I miss?

7 comments:

Jay Stevens said...

No complaints about Johnson? What about the election snafus during the 2006 election? And the legislative audit that found that Johnson had much to shoulder for the blame.

And did you forget about the problems his office had in retaining help? If I recall correctly, there was a mutiny in his office, with lots of complaints on how he ran the ship. A lot of conservatives were p*ssed off at him...

I have to say, one of the oddest developments in the 2008 election was the rehabilitation in the media of Johnson's reputation. In 2007, he was a pariah and an incompetent buffoon. By fall of '08, he was a principled and skilled administrator.

Not to say Johnson didn't improve how his office functioned -- and by all accounts 2008 went much smoother than 2006 -- and he was honorable during Eaton's suppression folly, but it seems like reporters have a remarkably short memory when it came to Johnson...

Chuck Rightmire said...

I don't think I can add anything to McCullough's win. She did run more ads on television than I saw for Johnson. In fact, as a voter I didn't see much of anything for him except a few signs. As for Lindeen, I think you're mistaken. She had signs, ads in print media and ads on television. in addition she had the name recognition from her race against Denny two years ago and for her years in the Legislature. Who is Grimes? I heard nothing about him and saw no advertising except for some signs.

Eric said...

It surprised me too. The only person I know who predicted it was your old employee, Brad Molnar.

Dave said...

May have been that folks who were fed up with how the election process works simply decided to go with "throw the bums out".

Anonymous said...

I was talking to someone who follows state politics closely who attributed a lot of these results to the Schweitzer machine. I believe the governor's brother ran Lindeen's campaign, and his sister in law works for McGrath. And this guy was saying that the governor had all this money and he was doing what he could to pull along others. Now everyone is beholden to the Schweitzer machine, this guy claims. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

What exactly IS the "Schweitzer machine"?

Anonymous said...

The governor, his brother, and their close allies. As this fellow explained it, the governor tried to steer contributors to other races such as McCulloch's, as he was loaded, obviously. His sister in law works for McGrath, and they seem to be close allies. You'll notice how quickly McGrath discarded the request to investigate the complaint about Schweitzer influencing the 2006 election. He seemed to do it within minutes of getting the request. Now of course McGrath has a big say over the courts and the next reapportionment process. I hope it is something the press will keep an eye on, but who knows...