You may have heard that Gov. John Lynch has now officially taken himself out of the running as a potential Democratic challenger to incumbent Senator Judd Gregg in 2010. In removing
himself from contention now, Lynch has very quickly neutralized speculation that could have become a major political distraction for him over the next year, as he grapples with the state’s significant budgetary shortfall. I am sure he will still be asked regularly about whether he will seek a record fourth term as governor, but that question hasn’t preoccupied local political elites in the same way the possible Gregg challenge has.
Given that voters see the recession as a largely national (or global) phenomenon, rather than as a uniquely New Hampshire problem, I don’t think the current fiscal crisis would have greatly damaged Lynch’s viability for a run at the seat. But it would have put him in the somewhat awkward position of needing to raise millions of dollars for a competitive race, while also trying to keep state government financially solvent. While it is true that Lynch has never shown much interest in making the jump to Congress, my guess is this fundamental contradiction was also not lost on the governor.
Posted On: 01-17-2009 09:11:42 by Jim Splaine
Dean, the only word of your thesis that I take exception to is the word "officially" in your first sentence. I think the news media often abuses the word too when they're talking about political matters, especially candidacies.
In running for office, the only "official" time a candidate does something is when he/she files for office. I take John Lynch at his word, but his word is not an "official" act. It's his word, and knowing what I know of him over the course of 35 years, his word is his bond. But he didn't sign anything on the dotted line.
I mention all that because although Judd Gregg has said he'll run for another term, nothing is "official" about that. And I'm not sure I'll take him at his word on this. He could just be trying to discourage the infighting that will develop in the Republican Party if/when he makes another statement of a different nature. I think he may not run when the time comes nearer to sign on that dotted line.
Another exception I take to the media is on Election Night when the votes are being counted. The media loves the horse race and "they" often say that a candidate "pulled ahead" at 9:35 PM, or "won" at 11:15 PM. That win isn't a win until it's certified, usually a couple of days later, and the "pulling ahead" was just in the count, a count usually done by the media themselves -- the election itself was over when the balloting locations were "officially" closed at the assigned hour.
Just a couple of my pickies.
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