A BLUE-TINTED TREND IN A RED CRIMSON STATE
Last week USA Today’s Paul Myerberg examined the outcome of the 2012 presidential election through the prism of the LSU-Alabama football rivalry. In short, an Alabama win during a presidential election year is good for Democrats while an LSU victory is good for Republicans. Here’s how he scored it:
1984: LSU 16, Alabama 14. Ronald Reagan (R) demolishes Walter Mondale (D).
1988: LSU 19, Alabama 18. George H.W. Bush (R) defeats Michael Dukakis (D).
1992: Alabama 31, LSU 11. Bill Clinton (D) defeats George H.W. Bush (R).
1996: Alabama 26, LSU 0. Clinton (D) defeats Bob Dole (R).
2000: LSU 30, Alabama 28. George W. Bush (R) defeats Al Gore (D).
2004: LSU 26, Alabama 10. George W. Bush (R) defeats John Kerry (D).
2008: Alabama 27, LSU 21. Barack Obama (D) defeats John McCain (R).
Thus, Saturday’s Alabama win should bring a smile to the face of Barack Obama. By Wednesday morning we’ll know if Myerberg’s trend-spotting was on the money.
NOW JUST HOLD ON THERE
The Redskins Rule points to a Mitt Romney win. Politico explains:
"Since the NFL's Redskins moved to Washington in 1937, the rule has held true: When the team won their pre-election home game, the candidate from the party that won the previous election's popular vote won the White House. When the Redskins lost, the candidate from that party lost."
In short, A Redskins loss – Sunday they fell 21-13 to Carolina – means an Obama loss.
As students of the Electoral College know Tuesday’s vote may be a national election, but it will be worked out in 50 different ways in 50 states.
As the Verified Voting Foundation notes:
“On Election Day, Nov. 6, the stakes will be high. A number of critical races will be very close, and some might be decided by very few votes. At the same time, it is highly likely that voting systems will fail in multiple places across the country. In fact, in every national election in the past decade, computerized voting systems have failed – machines haven’t started, machines have failed in the middle of voting, memory cards couldn’t be read be read, votes were mistallied or lost.
“Our elections are so complex, with so many different jurisdictions and varying technologies, that problems are inevitable. And, as the technology used for elections has become more complicated, the opportunity for error has substantially increased.”
By the way, Alabama received a second-highest level “generally good” overall ranking.
A LONG WAY FROM TUSCALOOSA
A recent New Yorker profile of Jeff Connaughton [SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED], described by the magazine as a “political insider in Washington,” begins in a most unusual place. Connaughton was a student at the University of Alabama in the late 1970s when a young U.S. senator from Delaware spoke to students on the Tuscaloosa campus.
Connaughton was so impressed with Joe Biden that he invited him back to UA two more times. As the article illustrates, that infatuation faded over time. Connaughton has written a book – The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins – which, as Politico reports, labels Biden as an “egomaniacal autocrat.”
One last item from the Bama-LSU game.
The main rule in football press boxes is no cheering. It’s just not tolerated, and if an offender persists he or she will be escorted out. Case in point:
“At a key juncture in the fourth quarter of the LSU-Alabama game Saturday night, former New Orleans Saints quarterback and current radio talk-show host Bobby Hebert was escorted out of the Tiger Stadium press box for excessive cheering.
“Hebert and Alabama make for a combustible mix. He famously berated LSU coach Les Miles in the postgame press conference after LSU's 21-0 loss to the Crimson Tide last January in the BCS Championship Game.
“On Saturday night, Hebert was warned repeatedly about violating working press box decorum and cheering for the Tigers. Finally, LSU associate athletic director Herb Vincent informed Hebert that he had to leave the press box, and a uniformed police officer escorted him out.”
Those who read Greg Bishop’s New York Times story in the middle of last week on Hebert were probably less surprised by this turn of events. The writer describes the ex-football player this way:
“This is what you find out on the road with Bobby Hebert, the Cajun Cannon, Bobby from the bayou. He is not a journalist. He says that all the time. But he is on the radio, and his rants, at once informed and unhinged, dead center in the Venn diagram of crazy and passionate, are delivered daily, at restaurants filled with sports memorabilia and casinos clouded in smoke.”
IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE, IT’S AN OUT-OF-WORK JOURNALIST
Have you heard Superman’s mild-mannered alter-ego Clark Kent has left the Daily Planet. Last weekend’s edition of the NPR program On the Media featured an interview with Larry Tye, author of Superman: The High Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero. By the way, Tye is a former Anniston Star reporter. Here’s our illustrated review of his new book.
Ever stood on a city street and wondered what was below? Six “urban explorers” set out to do just that in Paris. As one of their number writes in the recent issue of Intelligent Life:
“Our aim is to examine the city's connection to its underground in a way no one has before: we will attempt to walk from the southern edge to the northern, using only catacombs, telecom tunnels, sewers and other hidden infrastructure. It is a 14-mile trek, every step illegal. The six of us—five Americans and an Australian—are prepared for a two- or three-day journey, with nights sleeping in the bowels of Paris. We have packed food, sleeping bags, an arsenal of flashlights and headlamps, and gas meters to alert us to any poisonous fumes in the sewers. It will be urban troglodytism, a walkabout in the wilderness under the city.”
What they found is fascinating.
WHAT CAN PARCA DO FOR YOU?
As the new and drastically improved Anniston City Council – look no fussin’, fightin’ and litigain’ – took a few days to prepare for the start of its four-year term which begins this week, it had a visitor from the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama. The Star’s Cameron Steele reported:
“Friday they gleaned more general information from the research director of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, a group that works to help municipalities across the state improve their government practices.
“Joe Adams, PARCA’s research director, talked at length about how to create a strategic plan that works and the best budgeting procedures, armed with a quarterly progress report for 20 cities within Alabama.
“ ‘Think about how all of your departments can connect to the city’s — the council’s — priorities,’ Adams said.”
Good for the council to lend an ear to PARCA. Its reliable analysis is worth heeding.
SPEAKING OF CITY GOVERNMENT
In the infamous words of one-time presidential candidate Rick Perry, "Oops." The new council in Piedmont is off to a bad start.
THE JERSEY WAY
Saturday Night Live’s opening over the weekend is worth a look: