Monday, August 16, 2004

Hurricanes and Homosexuality

Two things have led the headlines of the past few days, and I'm not quite sure of the political impact of either.

First, Charley. It appears as if Bush has learned the lessons of the father. Slow response hurt reelection efforts in '92, and no one was going to let that happen again. But declaring Florida a major disaster area before the hurricane has even made landfall? I think it's a bit much. It begins to look like overcalculation to me. Sure, opening the door to federal funds right away is important, but pre-emptive disaster relief? Time will tell how the undecideds in Florida will read this.

Second, McGreevey. At first I thought it incredibly brave for any politician to come out and declare his homosexuality. But if he's only doing it to defend himself against sexual harassment and corruption charges, that's pretty sad. While I'm not likely to believe the accusations of this "aide" (it still sounds like extortion to me), I think there's more coming on this. It was only a little while ago that McGreevey's largest fundraiser got in trouble. The real question here is about when he will step down. New Jersey is not likely to swing into the Republican column for the Presidential election no matter how hotly contested a special election might be, so why stall? Might it better to get him out of the headlines? Corzine's needed in the US Senate, and unless the NJ Democrats have a strong contender or the NJ Republican's an exceptionally weak one, it might be better to wait this out. We'll all have to see.

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