Speak up, Ruben. Spit it out, Mamoulian. E? Eeee? … Are you trying to say "e-lection?" Oh, that's right! There was an election this week. Well, dammit, boy, give me the news. I see, like Tom Hagen, you had to take a drink first. I hear my wife crying in her bedroom. Well, now that you have had your drink, why don't you tell your don what everyone seems to know?
What? Koschnick has been defeated on the turnpike? By Abrahamson? Where was his protection? Where was the WMC? I don't want his mother to see him like that. And what about Fernandez? Gunned down by the Nob Hill Boys? Not until this moment did I realize it was WEAC all along. What about Mistele? … Surely, she … I see. Morte! (Sucks in air. A brief effusion of tears. Bites lip, then regains composure.)
I want no inquiries made. This war stops now. Call Bonaserra. We'll need him now.
Madame Brenda, of Konkel
Brenda Konkel. Say what you will 'bout the lady - and I have - she is a one-of-a kind, only-in-Madison, sui generis. I have drank from the bitter cup of defeat myself and, yes, you regroup. Although I sense that Brenda thought she would win this time. I knew better. A drive through the Second District Monday showed me all I needed to know. The powder blue Maniaci yard signs greatly outnumbered Brenda's purple. Yard signs DO vote!
I, on the other hand, fully expected to lose my last time out. I just had nothing left in the tank. Could not bear to knock on a single door. Been there and done that too many times.
Brenda's campaign that she would serve as a check and balance to Mayor Cheese Whiz was not persuasive. You want a reality check on the Common Council? Ald. Thuy Pham-Remmele has the microphone. Brenda just did not offer anything for the good home-owners of Sherman Avenue, East Johnson, Patterson, Baldwin, Dayton, and Gorham Streets. Pissing in the park is not a quality of life issue, except in the negative. Inclusionary Zoning was a spectacular, Challenger space shuttle-level crash and burn.
Nancy Mistele. What a great candidate! I was taking a late breakfast at the Copper Top on S. Whitney Way Monday morning when Nancy breezed in, got permission from Bob, one of the Kosovan Albanian cousins who owns the place, and walked a coffee pot around the restaurant and told her story. Coffee and politics. The mother's milk.
Yes, her 41 percent was disappointing. Still, I think Nancy Mistele energized county conservatives/moderates. Her problem: probably too soon after G.W. Bush to be anything but an Obamaniac.
- The State Journal's editorial endorsement of The Kathleen. Nancy needed the cred the WSJ might have provided.
- The aforesaid newspapers's non-coverage of the race. If it covered former Sheriff Gary Hamblin's scathing analysis of The Kathleen, I missed it.
- The machine. The local party is still feeding off the high-octane of Obama's campaign six months ago.
- Sheriff Mahoney's endorsement. Nancy had the Kathleen dead to rights on public safety issues. Those have always been a reluctant afterthought for Our Lady of the Marshes. But the sheriff's endorsement of the incumbent, while not checkmate, is at least check.
- The power of the incumbency. The Kathleen has the sharpest elbows since Patrick Lucey. There is a reason the likes of Joe Alexander and Terence Wall pumped major dollars into her campaign - they've got major projects in thrall of her zoning department.
Even so, The Kathleen ran behind the ticket - call it the status quo, anti-change ticket. Shirley Abrahamson took 73 percent in Dane County for State Supreme Court. Tony Evers took 66.7 percent for Super of Public Instruction (aka, WEAC Central). The Kathleen polled only 59 percent.
Saw John Nichols Thursday. Where else? The King Street Ancora coffee shop, where his laptop was churning out more columns - without his apparent guidance! Got to get me some of that software! No, seriously, we had a good talk and I tucked in the ideological sharp elbows for a few moments. We both agree that Madison is hungry for a source of sharp, original commentary from all directions.
My favorite quote: the great doyenne of the American theater, Lynn Fontanne (with Alfred Lunt of 10 Chimneys in Genesee Depot by way of Broadway) was once asked by a fawning acolyte why the great theater duo never made more than one Hollywood movie, 1930's The Guardsman. "Is it because you can't be bought?"
Miss Fontanne fluttered her fan. "My dear," she intoned. "Lunt and Fontanne CAN be bought. But we cannot be bored."
Being an unrepentant capitalist, Blaska will entertain offers. But I sense John and I share one fundamental trait: neither of us can be bored. Hellz, bellz, John Nichols is one of Madison's originals. Alright, Madame Brenda, too. Now that the Progressive Dane Kool Aid has run dry, you're both welcome to join us Republicans in the bunker.
Cocktails are served at 5.