Man Without Qualities

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Davis Descending XX: Total Recall

The recall election is set for October 7, which is the best possible date for Governor Davis that Cruz Bustamante could have chosen. That choice should cast more cold water on speculation that Mr. Bustamante is trying to cause mischief for the Governor. In addition, contrary to much amazing and groundless speculation that Mr. Bustamante was trying to obtain the governorship for himself without need to run as an substitute/alternative to Mr. Davis, we have this:

Bustamante said the recall election will have two parts, with voters first deciding whether or not to oust Davis and then choosing from a list of candidates to replace him. People voting "no" to the recall would still have the opportunity to cast a vote in the second part.

While the late recall election date is what Mr. Davis wanted, it also allows potential candidates (including Mr. Bustamante) much more time to decide whether to place their names on the ballot - and it allows the Democrats much more time to panic if their polls keep deteriorating. If Mr. Davis is seen as doomed, the Democrats will be seriously reconsidering Terry McAuliffe's premature assertion that there will be no Democratic name on the substitute/alternative list.

But he is very far from doomed at this point, especially since a state budget now seems within reach. If that budget is brought home, Mr. Davis can turn to what he does well - demonizing his opponents.

UPDATE: Kausfiles has lots of good stuff, although I repeat that I do not agree that Cruz Bustamante ever said anything that warranted the alarmist "He's attempting a coup!" accusations. His comments were baroquely extended by media hungry for something to report. He was probably seeking nothing more than some way to hold the recall and substitute/alternative elections separately.

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