This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 17, 2006 9:38 AM. The previous post in this blog was Election Eve. The next post in this blog is Big winner. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Here's to the losers

Election nights are for the winners. Their supporters strut and dance around long after the losers and their friends go home. It's always sad to see the empty rooms on the late news, where the unsuccessful candidates made a brief talk and got out of the public eye as quickly as possible. It probably makes sense not to show up on the tube if possible -- don't let the voters see you in defeat, just in case you want to run for something again.

It's doubly depressing to watch when the horses I've backed don't come in. Even where my favored candidates don't have a realistic shot, somehow by Election Day I always talk myself into thinking that they could pull it out. When they don't, it's deflating. When Ohio came in for Bush over Kerry, for example -- an awful moment for me, the country, the world.

What hurts the most, of course, is to be the losing candidate. I've run for election by my peers several times in my life. I've come close to winning, but I've never won. Student council in high school. Editor-in-chief of the law review. Management positions in my chosen field. I just can't win an election, and coming in second is sometimes worse than not being in the running at all. I remember being defeated by a hair for my state's Rhodes Scholarship. They grilled me all day, then gave it to the preppie wrestler from Yale.

That's not to say I haven't had my share of prizes and honors, including some wonderful awards bestowed on me by my customers. It's an amazing feeling being up there in the bright lights with the applause washing over you. But the agony of defeat is as powerful as the thrill of victory, if not more so. The call (or worse, the e-mail message) telling you that the job went to someone else. The long-awaited announcement where you find out you're only Miss Congeniality.

And so I sympathize and emphathize with those whose hearts sink as those returns come in. As Frank Sinatra once sang, bless them all.

Comments (29)

As someone who twice ran for office, I can completely relate. I batted .500 tho - I won a nail-biter race for Precinct Committeeperson, 69 to 67. My second campaign (for another office) was much less successful.

Yeah, but I still think you should run for something.

"...bless them all."

Even Ms. Boyles?

A couple of interesting numbers that popped out at me this morning was the number of votes a couple of the also-rans received. Over 5,000 voters opted for Emilie Boyles and in Saltzman's race Watchman actually got over 1,200 votes.

Hey look. I see Lister endorsed Sten if there's a runoff.

Jack, I was elected president of my 9th grade class, and let me tell you, leadership has its own burdens. I thought about the Linn family last night. Not so much Diane as her brother Dan who I've played music with, years ago, and the three siblings who were in the Linn group and lived across the street from me on 23rd. It's a great family. Once Dan turned up at the door as some kind of cable TV salesman. We ended up talking about music and this cassette I had of John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix jamming. I lent it to him, knowing he'd return it and sure enough, it was in my mail box a week or two later. These are nice people. Let the healing begin.

Since the dawning of this new millenium, I've have had my heart handed to me three times... each time I wasn't 'right' for a few weeks after.

-Seeing Gore concede on the Senate floor in 2000 after a crooked race...

-Realizing America wasn't paying attention when it 're-elected' said crook...

-Watching my Blazers blow that Game 7 4th quarter lead to the Lakers in the 2000 western conference finals

Don't laugh at that last one...

Grrrr... Just because a mainstream media that is consolidated and manipulated at the top does not report that the 2004 election results were rigged for Bush doesn't mean that a Congressional Investigation and independent General Accounting Office investigation didn't conclude that it was! Instead of moaning about Kerry's loss to Bush in 2004, people should wake up and show the courage that America's Founding Fathers did during the Revolution and demand the right to fair elections. Oregon may have Vote By Mail, but the the Help America Vote Act requires Oregon to adopt private, centralized vote tabulation in 2006. Show me one state legislator making an issue of opting out of HAVA dollars to protect the independence and accuracy of Oregon voting. American democracy is starting to go the direction of the Portland Trailblazers after the 2001 season's all-star break.


Why the "Grrr", Robert? I completely agree with you.

Leadership isn't all it's cracked up to be. I was somehow elected senior class president during my high school years. My own cabinet tried to have me impeached a few months later.

Your out of touch. Instead of bitching an moaning all the time, move to a place that shares your bizarre values. I hear Houston is lovely this time of year.

I was defeated for my elementary school's student council when my opponent promised he would make Coca Cola come out of the drinking fountains.

Hmmm... coca cola coming out of fountains. That's a good one for future candidates. It's like promising we'll be greeted as liberators, with flowers and parades and puppies, and rainbows, and...

R/T Hinds: are you joking?

Please provide a link to the GAO report that found "...the 2004 election were rigged for Bush."

Or (in the absence of said link) at least admit you're pompous and misinformed.

What happened to me after I was elected president of my 9th grade class - the school only went to 9th - was that there was a tie for Vice President and I had to pick. One was my best friend and the other was a girl named Becky who said I would pick her opponent simply because he was my best friend. I proceeded to pick her and she did nothing to help all year. Zero. It was a tough lesson in politics: Always be loyal to your friends and don't fall for the spin.

Here's the list of Board Members from Robert Ted Hind's link to the International Endowment for Democracy...

I wish I was making this stuff up. I'm not.

Mumia Abu-Jamal - Journalist, activist and political prisoner; honorary citizen of Paris; author of Live From Death Row, Death Blossoms: Reflections From A Prisoner Of Conscience, We Want Freedom: A Life In The Black Panther Party, and other works.

Ramsey Clark - World's leading human rights lawyer; former U.S. Attorney General under Lyndon Johnson; winner of the Gandhi Peace Award; founder of the International Action Center; co-author of War Crimes: A Report Of The U.S. War Crimes Against Iraq.

Harry Magdoff - until his sad death on Jan. lst - Co-editor of Monthly Review; author of The Age of Imperialism, Imperialism Without Colonies, Imperialism From The Colonial Age To The Present, as well as a half dozen books on the capitalist economy with Paul Sweezy, and other works.

Annette Rubinstein - Lecturer at the New York Marxist School; member of the Board of Editors of Science & Society; author of The Great Tradition of English Literature from Shakespeare to Shaw, American Literature: Root and Flower, and other works.

Gore Vidal - Author of numerous essays, novels and plays, among the best known of which are Imperial America: Reflections On The U.S. Of Amnesia (essays), Perpetual War For Perpetual Peace, Or How We Can Be So Hated (essays), and Julian The Apostate, Washington D.C., Burr, and Lincoln (novels).

Ellen Meiksins Wood - Former Prof. in Dept. of Political Science, York Univ., Canada; former co-editor of Monthly Review and member of the editorial board of New Left Review; winner of the Isaac Deutscher Prize for Retreat From Class; other books include Democracy Against Capitalism and Origins of Capitalism.

Howard Zinn - writer, lecturer, former Prof., Dept. of Political Science, Boston Univ.; author of A People's History of the U.S., Soldiers in Revolt: G.I. Resistance During the Vietnam War, Declaration Of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology, Marx In Soho (a play), and other works.

In fact, the GAO report is a general discussion of proposed enhancements of electronic voting, and makes no claims about the 2004 Presidential Election being "rigged for Bush". To suggest otherwise is lefty propagandizing.

Being behind a losing canidate does hurt. I was behind Atkinson although he had an uphill battle, was very bummed last night we he lost. But after sleeping it off you just have to be proud of the canidates for running.
I was proud of Jason for going into it not being from the willamette valley, and being out spent 20:1 and still getting 22% of the vote.

Although I wasnt in Multnomah County I was proud that Lister stood up to the giant monster called multnomah county city hall

From Pete Sorenson to Jason Atkinson and everyone in between good job fighting!

Well Alice, your first place to start would be the comments made by Diebold's CEO, to the effect of "We're going to deliver a victory for Bush this year in Ohio". Red flag... I'm sorry, but this guy is in the business of making a supposedly unbiased product for the purposes of democracy. Wheter the comments were benign or not, it's worrysome. Did I mention the source code is proprietary? That means one corporation holds the key to this country's fate. See www.openvotingconsortium.org for more on why this is a bad idea.

Also, Blackboxvoting.org attempts to document cases of fraud, hardcoding, software and tracking problems.

Quoth the GAO:
"Numerous recent studies and reports have highlighted problems with the security and reliability of electronic voting systems. While these reports often focused on problems with specific systems or jurisdictions, the concerns they raise have the potential to affect election outcomes. The numerous examples of systems with poor security controls point to a situation in which vendors may not be uniformly building security and reliability into their voting systems, and election officials may not always rigorously ensure the security and reliability of their systems when they acquire, test, operate, and manage them."

Quoth the House Judiciary Committee:
"We have found numerous, serious election irregularities in the Ohio presidential election, which resulted in a significant disenfranchisement of voters. Cumulatively, these irregularities, which affected hundreds of thousand of votes and voters in Ohio, raise grave doubts regarding whether it can be said the Ohio electors selected on December 13, 2004, were chosen in a manner that conforms to Ohio law, let alone federal requirements and constitutional standards........With regards to our factual finding, in brief, we find that there were massive and unprecedented voter irregularities and anomalies in Ohio. In many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio."

Contrary to what Robert Ted Hinds stipulated, the GAO Report said nothing about the 2004 Presidential Election being "rigged for Bush".

I'm confident that individual Democratic Members of Congress alleged otherwise, but they certainly don't offer the same gravitas or objectivity as the GAO.

Well, stick your head in the sand all you want, the signs of fraud in the GOPs favor were rampant. Who's responsible? Who knows for sure, but nothing about the results pass the sniff test. Also, did you know that presidential exit polls are almost always dead on? In '04 the 'results' were way off. *ahem*

Help me out, T.K.

Is Shrub either:

A). The villainous and shrewd political operative that stole two elections and is waging a war for cheap oil.


B). The bumbling idiot who couldn't have graduated from Harvard or learned to fly an F-104 jet without his daddy's help?

These are mutually exclusive charicatures to me, and I'm not sure which one you believe to be true?

Cunning, politically astute, and capable of doing anything to win, or just bumbling and ineffective? Pick one.

thedude: I moved to Portland from Houston. Jack does not share Houston's values. Not even close. And that's a good thing.

If you think in simple either-or terms, you'll always be stuck trying to catch up or read between the lines.

YES, Bush is dumb as a fence post and has no business running a country like the USA. Barbados maybe.

BUT... (like all presidents) he is surrounded by people who actually understand public policy, who are capable of doing more than their figurehead can. The difference is we've never had a knowledge gulf like we have today between Shrub and his staffers. Have you actually heard him break down a plan beyond talking points? Does he occur to you as a 'details guy? The highlight of his presidency, by his account, was catching a fish... a fish he embellished to be of record weight! This isn't even the best example, but there are so many...

YES, I think it was clear then and clear now that the Iraq war was for oil futures and not everything they said it was for.

YES, dumb people are capable of great or horrible things when given a support staff. Throw in a guy like Cheney and all bets are off.

Man, I thought we were talking about local elections. As is too often the case in the blogosphere at large, La-La Land is never far away.

Alice, as to your question re: the true nature of Our Brave Leader, welcome to ParadoxLand!

For example, in the comments section of this blog, Erik Sten is sometimes the incompetent socialist nitwit who couldn't organize an organic picnic. Other times, he's the scheming orchestrator behind moneygrubbing development land grabs and fiendish social engineering schemes. There's no need to choose! Just deploy the Erik you need at the moment, keeping the other one in reserve.

In his lucid moments, Sten gives the city away to money grubbers like his hero Homer Williams. When he's off his meds, it's one goofball idea after another, none of which work, and all of which cost people with real jobs (which he's never had) money.

He thinks he's the next Goldschmidt, but he's nowhere near that shrewd.

But hey, he's what Portlanders want, so sit back, relax, and watch the municipal bankruptcy unfurl.



A Proud Loser

I may be asking the wrong blog but why did Jesse not win?

Given the circumstances of that race I sort of assumed he would win.

Stratical error, Steve. Low turnout killed us.

As someone who ran for local office twice and did well but didn't win, I have to disagree with you about election night being for the winners. Election night is for all participants. I was not hurt by the results, and my supporters strutted around and were as upbeat as those of the winners. Why? Because we fought a tough political machine and made tremendous inroads. My running mate and I never left the public eye, never experienced disgrace, and never felt rejection. Both elections were the best experiences of my life; I view them as tremendous accomplishments, and cannot wait to run again. Don't assume all runners up react the same way. Some of us are as proud and happy as if we had won.

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