Sneaking Suspicions
Archives-- October 22-November 4, 2006

This page includes posts from October22-November 4, 2006 in the usual reverse order. Each posting on the home page is perma-linked to these archive pages.

November 1, 2006
Just because

Sunset Rehoboth Bay October 2006

This time of year brings some nice sunsets, especially when Rehoboth Bay is in the foreground.

October 31, 2006
What's so hard about saying "I screwed up"?

Few things can be as disarming as a simple apology.

On one memorable work-related occasion several years ago, when challenged by a very irate person about how a particular situation could have possibly happened, I turned to him and said, "It's simple. I f***d up. I'm sorry."

He was stunned for a few seconds, and then calmed down completely. Apparently he was ready to keep fighting over the issue. However, the straightforward acknowledgment of fault and apology put an immediate end to the controversy.

You have to wonder sometimes why this approach to accepting responsibility is so hard for some (if not most) politicians.

Let's just say, for argument's sake, that Senator Kerry really did intend to express a snide comment about President Bush and our entry into Iraq.

And let's further assume that despite his own sterling education, the former presidential candidate screwed up his delivery of a not-so-funny "joke".

If it really was a joke, what kind of self-absorbed ninny couldn't recognize that his best option was to quickly apologize for his screw-up?

Instead, the Senator violated another basic principle of interpersonal dynamics--the one about when you find yourself in a hole, you need to stop digging.


October 30, 2006
A radio chat about the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival

Sue Early is the managing director for the Rehoboth Beach Film Society. She recently participated in a radio interview about the upcoming Independent Film Festival, to be held this year from November 8 through 12.

You can hear Sues interview by downloading an informative mp3 broadcast, first heard on October 22 on WGMDs Lets Talk Money show.

Click here to listen or download a copy of the interview. The segment involving Sue begins about 11 minutes after the shows start.

October 29, 2006
Mischief Night came a little early

We don't normally experience much in the way of a Mischief Night around here. At least, it's nothing like the kind of stuff we did during our misspent youth.

That said, I couldn't help noticing that Mischief Night came at least 24 hours earlier this year.

The sign near the entrance to our development, the one that warned people that this is a Neighborhood Watch community, is now officially missing.

The sign post remains in place.

Grins all around.

October 25, 2006
Not satisfied with losing in the primary

Political campaign signs are making their usual ubiquitous appearance along Delaware's roadways, but some of this year's crop show something pretty unusual for this state.

A few would-be politicos are trying their luck at being fusion candidates (on at least two tickets) or running as write-in candidates.

Take a look at these photographs taken yesterday in Kent County, near Frederica:

The first picture shows the usual large-scale Mike Castle sign (I dare you to show me where it shows his Republican party affiliation--that issue is discussed a few paragraphs below). 

Next to Castle is a smaller sign for Karen Hartley-Nagle, who recently lost in the Democratic Party primary for the right to lose to the heavily-favored Castle.

Apparently undaunted, Hartley-Nagle is staying in the race, and in fact is adding to her display of yard signs as election day approaches. She remains on the ballot as the nominee of the Independent Party, a perennial also-ran in Delaware vote totals compared to the Democrats and Republicans.

O'Donnell lost in the September Republican party primary, seeking the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate race against Tom Carper's near-certain re-election.

Apparently equally undaunted, she announced the continuation of her candidacy as a write-in.

The continuing campaigns of O'Donnell and Hartley-Nagle are rarities in Delaware politics. Far more often than not, the losers in the primaries tend to coalesce behind the winning candidate--perhaps grimacing all the way through election day, but at least nominally supporting the result of the intra-party democratic process.

These unusual post-primary efforts are also being noticed by others, such as Ron Williams in today's News-Journal. Here's what he said:

I can't recall an election, especially an off-year election, with as many third-party and off-the-wall candidacies. This is certainly the first time I can remember when the Independent Party of Delaware issued a press release endorsing non-Independent candidates.

And Christine O'Donnell, the unsuccessful Republican primary candidate for U.S. Senate, yesterday held an announcement press conference for her write-in candidacy, another Delaware first.

She's already erected dozens of large campaign signs statewide for her write-in effort.

She correctly points out that a write-in candidacy for U.S. Senate is not unprecedented. Strom Thurmond did it and won in South Carolina in 1954. I don't think incumbent Sen. Tom Carper or challenger Jan Ting have to be terribly worried about O'Donnell's vote draw.

I don't know if this situation simply reflects the personal choices of some very determined political people, but I doubt it. 

It may also have something to do with the way that Mike Castle doesn't bother to mention he's a Republican on his campaign signs. By now everybody knows him, knows he's a Republican (if in name only, according to some), and doesn't really care all that much about his party affiliation.

Delawareans are notorious ticket-splitters, and usually claim truthfully to base their voting decision on their personal knowledge of the candidates.

It's also common knowledge that most of the state's politics are decidedly moderate, especially compared to larger jurisdictions. This is also connected to the common joke that there are only two degrees of separation for anyone in the Diamond State.

If you're that well-known, there are tremendous social and political pressures to run to and from the center.

Candidates from the outer edges of public policy for either Republicans or Democrats have no real chance for success in any statewide campaigns.

So why run after the electorate in your own party has turned you down?

I think their real goal lies elsewhere than in winning this particular election. From what I've been able to learn about these and similar candidates, their aim is to push their party toward greater acceptance of the more radical elements of their potential party platforms--the ideas that are far easier to sell when folks don't know you from seeing you at the local hardware store last Saturday.

With all due respect to their efforts, however, these candidates have their work cut out for themselves.


Contact Information:

Fritz Schranck
P.O. Box 88
Nassau, DE  19969

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Official small print disclaimer: This is, after all, a personal web site. Any opinions or comments I express here are my own, and don't necessarily reflect the official position of my work as a government attorney or any of my clients.

That fact may become obvious later on, but it needs to be said here anyway.

Frederick H. Schranck 2002-2006