2013-03-08 / Columns

Politics & other Mistakes

Rogues gallery
By Al Diamon

Time to get your crazy on.

I don’t mean crazy in the sense of let’s dig up Libby Mitchell, hook her corpse to lightning rods, let the bolts of electricity revive her, and run her for governor again. That would be wrong in so many ways, mostly involving the running-her-for-governor part.

No, there are adequate outlets for crazy that don’t involve a zombified version of the Democrats’ 2010 gubernatorial nominee. Even folks who are flat out nuts can recognize the inadvisability of resurrecting a candidate who wants to eat your brain and couldn’t muster even 20 percent of the vote.

And that was against Paul LePage. Who had his crazy at full throttle.

Come to think of it, he still does.

Likewise, there’s no need to disturb the cryogenic chamber where Cynthia Dill has been frozen since garnering a mere 13 percent of the vote last year as the Democrats’ best hope of capturing a U.S. Senate seat. Dill should be allowed to sleep in peace until a future time that’s more suited to her personality. Probably something that resembles a J.J. Abrams-directed version of “Hello Kitty Meets The Hangover, Part 3,” starring Melissa McCarthy, Mel Gibson and a computer-generated tiger who turns out to be not really there. (It was the booze talking.)

The kind of crazy I’m looking for is the think-outside-the-box sort that might produce some fresh ideas for 2014 candidates for governor. Somebody who’s a bit out of the ordinary. Somebody the Dems can rally around. Somebody whose percentage of the vote will look less like an Olympic gymnastics score.

Somebody like:

Mark Strong Sr. The private eye accused of masterminding the Kennebunk prostitution scandal may seem like an odd choice. But consider his advantages. Some of which ended up displayed in an online video. Strong has excellent hair. Way better than LePage’s. He has the endurance needed for an arduous campaign. Again, it’s clearly demonstrated in that video. He knows how to hire competent people – such as his lawyer, Dan Lilley – even if he can’t afford to pay them. And he has … um … intimate experience in helping a small business prosper. As for the possibility he might be serving a prison sentence in the near future, he’d likely do so in Windham or Warren, which means that, unlike LePage, he wouldn’t be taking off for vacations in Florida or the Caribbean every time things in Augusta got heated.

Robert Smith. That name may not be familiar to you, but you’ve probably heard of The Whistler, the man who wanders Portland’s streets for hours at a time whistling in a manner that resembles the back-up warning beeper on a garbage truck. He’s been cited for disorderly conduct and warned to keep moving whenever he decides to pucker up. He seems like the perfect poster boy for free spiritedness and free speech, both core Democratic values (unless your free spirit wants to smoke, ride a motorcycle without a helmet or eat fatty, sugar-laden foods wrapped in petroleum-based packaging). On the negative side, Smith wears a Yankees hat and thinks his whistling comes from God, two characteristics sure to offend Red Sox fans, atheists and those who believe their deity has better musical taste.

Any candidate named Mills. Maine’s Constitution requires that all elections include at least one person with that surname. Peter, the head of the Maine Turnpike Authority, is a Republican, so he’s of no use this time around. But Karen (no relation), who recently announced her resignation as head of the federal Small Business Administration, is available. She says stuff like “next-generation technologies” and “cutting edge technologies” a lot, so you know she’s not some stuffy old bureaucrat. Also, Janet, Peter’s sister and the current attorney general, wants to run. Her language is somewhat earthier than Karen’s, and in a steel-cage death match (a far better way to choose nominees than boring primaries), my money’s on her. There’s also somebody claiming to be “Cynthia Mill,” but that’s just Dill on defrost.

Tom Saviello. The GOP state senator from Wilton used to be a Democrat, so there’s no good reason why he couldn’t be one again. Saviello, known for his maverick ways, is high on LePage’s list of politicians he can’t stand. That could be because he’s one of the shrinking minority of men who can carry off wearing a bowtie, something LePage does about as well as crafting a budget the Legislature would approve without radical changes. Even though Saviello isn’t particularly influential, he gets his face in the news more than most other legislators, including members of leadership. And he possesses the uncanny ability to make you think he agrees with you – even when he doesn’t. Sort of a Libby Mitchell in reverse.

Karmo Sanders. You know her a Birdie Googins, the Marden’s Lady. How cool would it be to watch LePage, the former CEO of the discount chain, debating his ex-company’s spokeswoman?

Well, not very, actually.

Got your own ideas? Go nuts by emailing them to me at aldiamon@herniahill.net.

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