Well, that was anticlimactic. After a solid year of sly winks and peek-a-boo promises from both candidates, Virginia’s prospect of having a native son co-piloting the presidential ticket went from “Yes we can” to “No you Kain’t” faster than a UVA undergrad streaking the Lawn. No Tim Kaine for Obama, no Eric Cantor for McCain, and no fun for anybody—especially us, who now have to wrestle with the sad truth that our beloved Commonwealth apparently ranks below Delaware on the political power scale. (Oh, the humanity!)
In one parallel universe, Michael Bloomberg throws the Commonwealth into chaos that even the Supreme Court can’t fix.
But all is not lost, my friends. After all, The Old Dominion’s still got its lucky 13 electoral votes, and—now that we’ve been spurned equally by both presidential suitors—the two commander-in-chief wannabes are going to have to work extry hard to win us over. And so, with that in mind, we fired up the ol’ Odd Dominion prognostication machine to take a peek into the political future. Now, we wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise for y’all, so—in the interest of fair play—we’ve decided to present three possible election-day outcomes, and let our gentle readers try to figure out which seems most likely to occur. To the prognostication controls, Sherman!
Scenario No. 1: The Democrat’s Dream
In this delectable, donkey-delighting outcome, Barack Obama’s failure to choose Kaine as his veep doesn’t hurt him one bit. In fact, many Democrats are secretly pleased that Kaine isn’t on the ticket—the left-leaning bloggers because he’s too conservative and calculating for their taste, and the centrists because the possible upheaval following a Kaine resignation is just too awful to contemplate (see below). And thus, with the three-pronged pitchfork of strong Democratic turnout, a record-shattering increase in the African-American vote, and a lackluster showing by disaffected conservatives, the Obama campaign pokes McCain in the electoral college keister, winning Virginia—and the national election—in a walk.
Oh yeah, we almost forgot—some guy named Mark Warner picks up a few votes, as well.
Scenario No. 2: The Republican Romp
In this far-more-McCain-friendly future, Obama’s hope-powered swing-state express is dashed upon the hard Appalachian mountains of reality, and he fails to win even one of his campaign’s targeted southern states. In fact, not only does Obama lose Virginia by a substantial margin, but his last-minute gambit of promising to appoint Tim Kaine secretary of transportation—and Kaine’s subsequent decision to demonstrate his confidence in Obama’s impending victory by resigning the governorship—backfires catastrophically, installing Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling in the Governor’s Mansion, and paving the way for nine years of Republican rule. (According to Larry Sabato, Bolling and Attorney General Bob McDonnell, the presumptive 2009 Republican gubernatorial nominee, have a “gentleman’s agreement” in which, should Bolling ascend to the governorship before June 2009, McDonnell will allow him to run for a full term, and then run to succeed him in 2013.)
Oh yeah—Mark Warner wins in this scenario, as well, because you can only take make-believe so far.
Scenerio No. 3: The Odd Electoral Orgasm
In this, our most favoritest scenario of all, the Independent Green Party of Virginia succeeds in its quixotic attempt to get the gay libertarian pot smoker’s dream ticket of Michael Bloomberg and Ron Paul on the Virginia presidential ballot, and thus ends up siphoning enough votes from both parties to create a statistical McCain/Obama electoral tie. Meanwhile, Obama has won all of the states that John Kerry carried in 2004, along with Iowa, Nevada and New Mexico, giving him 269 electoral college votes—exactly half of the 538 available—thereby setting off a thermonuclear political dogfight in Virginia that would make the 2000 Florida recount look like the group hug at the end of a Wiggles concert. (Hold us—we’re getting faint just thinking about it.)
Oh yeah—and Mark Warner still wins. Just in case you were wondering.