I know that this seems to be a long time, but in fairness Republican candidate Martha McSally’s final lead of 161 votes over incumbent Democrat Ron Barber in AZ-02 was well within the parameters to justify both a machine recount and a spot check hand-recount of selected precincts in the District. Reading between the lines… it’s widely if quietly expected that McSally won. To the point where she’s already been assigned a position on the Armed Services and Homeland Security committees in the House. Possibly this was slightly premature: but there truly does not seem to have been any shenanigans going on in this particular district. And a razor-thin win is still a win.
And with that, I believe that we will be done with the 2014 election cycle. But don’t worry! The Cook Political Report has already started up with the listings for 2016! …Because this never ends, of course. And I’m not even upset about that: politics is what we do to keep people from setting disputes with fire and the sword.
PS: It will, of course, be an absolute firestorm at this point if Ron Barber was declared to be the winner. I will be genuinely surprised, though, if that happens: there hasn’t been any sign up to this point that the recount was going to meaningfully alter the results, and there not really any specific way that shenanigans can occur at this point. But the recount does have to happen, which is why fundraising for this election is still going on: and I suppose that, given the closeness of the race, somebody else might feel bad about suggesting that Barber should just concede now and get it over with. But I’m not somebody else, so: Barber should just concede now and get it over with.
This is an interesting race: the Democrats are faintly desperate to hold onto Gabby Giffords’ old seat in Arizona, to the point where they tried to suggest that a combat pilot and squadron commander was some sort of in-the-kitchen cardboard cutout for the GOP. We had a bit of a chat about that with Col. McSally, and a few other things:
…and it actually went over my usual self-imposed time limit for these things. Completely my fault; there was one extra question that I simply had to ask.
Martha McSally’s site is here. This is a pretty balanced seat, partisan-wise; it can be got.
Pro-tip: never launch an attack ad against a candidate that allows her to make this response:
“The fact that they use this theme of Martha McSally in a kitchen cooking up recipes is … overtly sexist and insulting to any woman, but it certainly doesn’t fit specifically with me,” she said in a phone interview. “For crying out loud, I served 26 years in the military. I was too busy shooting 30 mm out of my A-10 at the Taliban and al Qaeda to spend any time in a kitchen.”
The A-10 is, of course, this:
…the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, otherwise known as the ‘Warthog’ for its looks. This plane is also known as the ‘flying tank’ (because it, well, is); and as I understand it its operators are notably exempt from the casual prejudice shown by the Army and/or Marines towards USAF personnel. Possibly this is because the Warthog is used effectively and routinely in supporting ground troops. You can shoot the living heck out of a Hog and it will still ruin your day via the application of 30mm DU shells, and then fly home.
So that’s what Col. McSally was flying. Before she became a squadron commander, and while she was successfully suing the Defense Department over having to wear the abaya while in Saudi Arabia. Which is to say, [the ad that the Democrats cut] is not an accurate image – and, using the rules that Democrats themselves claim to follow, a remarkably sexist one as well. But then, I guess Pelosi is probably personally offended that McSally doesn’t have to jump through the same male-created hoops that Pelosi did in order to get ahead in politics…