Friday, October 31, 2008

And the winner is: Paul McKinley

No, No, not the election --- the campaign sign contest. Although I assume Paul will win Tuesday. He is the incumbent state senator in the district that includes Lucas County, after all, and Iowans do not give up easily on an incumbent. Look at our two U.S. senators, Grassley and Harkin. We've had them forever out there in D.C. at opposite ends of the idealogical spectrum.

In fact the only member of the Iowa delegation that I'd guess a majority of us would like to be rid of, Democrat and Republican alike, is Steve King from up there in northwest Iowa. And that has less to do with idealogy (he's far to the right as is his district) and more to do with the fact he's got a faulty transmission --- the linkage between his brain and his mouth doesn't always work and more often than not when he opens his mouth to speak he shifts into "stupid" rather than "drive."

But I'd say Paul's seat is safe, as is that of Richard Arnold, also a Lucas County boy, our state representative. Sadly, both of these guys are Republicans --- but there are advantages no matter the party that accrue when your statehouse delegation practically lives next door. (In the interest of fair disclosure, I vote in Cerro Gordo County, not Lucas; and I never vote for Republicans, no matter how tempting the prospect).

Anyhow, I've been monitoring the campaign sign situation in southern Iowa as I drive around it every week --- and Paul, by far, is the big winner both in volume and tastefulness (Paul also is a candidate for the title best-dressed Iowa lawmaker so I guess it's not surprising that his signs are pretty classy, too). So congratulations!

Another thing I find interesting is that Russell Community School --- recently closed by the state because it was too small --- produced both of these guys.

An advantage to knowing people for ever to one degree or another is that you can always dredge up the past when you want to torture them a little (Paul's a little younger, but we rode the same school bus for years; Richard, a little older, but we're products of the same neighborhood). So here you have Paul as a high school sophomore (left) and Richard, as a Russell High School senior. I'll not tell you the years, other than to say we're all getting on.

Not that it's a vote-getting factor or anything, but both Paul and Richard come from Lucas County families that have been around forever. The first McKinley stepped off the ark onto the dry land of Washington Township back in the late 1840s; and Richard's credentials in Benton Township go back generations --- although his great-grandfather, Morris Arnold, moved down the road to Garden Grove in Decatur County. His great-great-grandparents, Edward and Sophia Arnold, as well as great-great-great-grandparents, David and Alpha Arnold, are buried at Salem.

I SUPPOSE the Obama-Biden ticket will take the top prize on Tuesday, although I certainly could be wrong about that. We'll just have to wait and see.

If McCain does crash and burn, I'll wonder how big a factor Sarah Palin was. Even a yeller-dog Democrat like myself has nothing against McCain and could live with him without too many problems. But Palin. She scares the dickins out of me. What if old John --- and he IS old --- inadvertently drops dead ...

I'll never figure out why the Republicans passed Mike Huckabee by. He has all the conservative credentials any Republican could want, a proven record as an administrator and the ability to get along quite well even with the folks he disagrees with. Maybe he was just too Midwestern, too much like other folks, to appeal to the big boys in Washington and elsewhere. But Sarah Palin? Give me a break ...

Whatever the case, go vote --- Democrat, Republican or something else. If you don't, I expect you to say absolutely nothing during the next four years about the course of the state or the nation. Voting's the way you earn the right to say offensive things about whoever wins.

1 comment:

Ed Abbey said...

I voted for Huckabee and never understood why he wasn't more well liked outside of Iowa.

I'm a middle of the road kind of guy politically but feel that any Republican for state office is probably a sitting duck. The Current Occupant has done such a terrible job and his political organization has stirred up such hate and anger in this campaign season that I think many people are going to vote straight Democratic ticket. I like to see a balance of power with both parties controlling the power. Since Iowa is already Democratically controlled, having a super majority of one party, here and in the U.S. capital scares me. But like you, the thought of Palin as president scares me even more.

I'm ready for this to all be over with.