If all goes according to plan today, Democrats plan to announce whether they’ll contest the results of yet another razor-thin election.
Mike Feeley, the Democratic contestant for the newly created 7th Congressional District, is behind Republican Bob Beauprez by a mere 380 votes.
Feeley and Democrats say they might sue, arguing: “all voters in the district aren’t being treated equally.”
Well, this sure sounds familiar. In the 2000 presidential election, if you remember, Al Gore brought the contested recount results all the way to the Supreme Court and many were afraid the country was on the verge of a constitutional crisis.
Gore, despite a gracious and beautifully given concession speech, looked like a whiny poor loser and has since lost credibility in his party. Democrats blame him for losing the White House – perhaps rightfully so, because had he won his home state, his new home would have been 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
But we digress.
This also sounds a lot like the Janet Reno-Bill McBride primary fiasco this summer in everyone’s favorite southern state. Reno, the former attorney general and “Saturday Night Live” spoof fodder, narrowly lost the governor’s primary to a no-name Democrat who ended up losing the election to the president’s brother. Some pundits argue Reno did the right thing by conceding relatively early and avoiding a statewide nightmare.
Feeley faces a similar dilemma, albeit on a smaller scale. Beauprez does not have a clear mandate and he barely won the election. Feeley can concede, save some face and avoid Gore’s fatal mistake, in the process positioning himself for another run in 2004.
This may be tough for Feeley because running for office is incredibly draining; many candidates put everything, physically and mentally, into running for a seat.
But just like in football, sometimes it is better to take a knee and not risk any injuries by fighting a hopeless fight. After all, it’s not as though his winning would change the balance of power in Congress.