Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Moneyball Rejected?

Richard Just, Managing Editor of The New Republic, sees a silver lining in the results in New Jersey and New York City. Have people had enough of political office as a privilege of wealth?

I will admit that I was holding my nose and hoping that Corzine would win tonight, just as I have held my nose and hoped for him to win past general elections. But, as a New Jersey native, I never liked him. There was always something vaguely repulsive about the way he showed up on the political scene in 2000 to purchase a Senate seat...Corzine ended up buying two elections: the 2000 Senate race and the 2005 gubernatorial election. He tried to buy this year's race as well, spending $24 million--the vast majority of it his own money--to his opponent's $9 million. Arguably, one of the messages sent by New Jersey voters tonight was that a politician only gets to buy so many elections before he has to rise or fall on his actual performance.[snip]

As for Bloomberg: Yes, he won tonight, but when you consider his victory in context, it was shockingly narrow. His last win, in 2005, was by 20 points. This time, he spent at least $85 million of his own money against a candidate no one knew anything about. Yet he only won by five points. A five-point victory in a race that was supposed to be a walkover is nothing to brag about. In fact, I think it's fair to see the margin as a quasi-repudiation of the haughty way Bloomberg has behaved over the past year or so: as a rich man to whom the rules--in this case, term limits--didn't apply.

posted at 8:41:00 AM by Neil

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