The expression "too little, too late" occurs pretty regularly in politics and probably applies to every last ditch effort McCain and Palin are pulling out of their sleeves this weekend. Another example darkened my doorstep last night shortly after midnight. I was awake with the baby, as I often am during these days of fatherhood and heard someone on our front porch, but they didn't knock. We have pumpkins out there, so I thought for sure that one of the neighborhood kids that I'm always trying to maim with my car had limped onto my property for some revenge. Instead, I found no one, but a post-it note with the message: "Mike Johanns is crooked. Learn the truth. RedHandsJohanns.com"
Being an interweb junkie, I went to the website, which basically outlines all the questionable stuff Johanns did as Secretary of Agriculture under Bush. He took trips to exotic places and wasted tax payer dollars. After reading this, I was disappointed in Johanns's opponent for Chuck Hagel's Senate seat, Scott Kleeb. Why hadn't Kleeb mentioned any of this during the campaign?
Honestly, the information did little to change my vote. I was voting for Kleeb all along, mostly because Johanns is incredibly conservative, even by Nebraska standards. I'm not sure making this information public would have mattered either. By all estimates, Kleeb is down 20% against the former Nebraska governor. Johanns is probably one of the most popular political figures in the state behind legendary football coach and former member of the US House Tom Osborne. Johanns may even be more politically-respected than Osborne in the state, since a Johanns-backed Dave Heineman beat Osborne in the Republican primary during the 2006 Nebraska Governor's race.
Nonetheless, I am surprised that these issues of corruption and government waste weren't brought to the forefront by Kleeb prior to 5 days before the election. My conservative friends will say that the fact that this didn't come up makes the accuracy of the information highly suspect, but that hasn't stopped McCain or Obama or anyone else running for public office from bringing things forward during this election season.
I don't know if anyone could beat Mike Johanns in Nebraska outside of a "live boy, dead girl" scenario. You've heard this one right? Often attributed to Democrat and corrupt former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, a political race is no longer close enough to be considered a contest is often described as "live boy, dead girl", which refers to the fact that the only way the leading candidate can lose the election is if they are found in bed with either a live boy or a dead girl. It's a great description of the margin in the Johanns/Kleeb race, and the results will give us an idea about how accurate the infrequently conducted polls with small samples that occur in Nebraska actually are.