On my drives this weekend down to Kenai, Homer and back, I saw a lot of political campaign signs along the highway. Here's the count:
Ted Stevens --- 23 - 4' x 8' signs, 3 - yard signs
Sean Parnell --- 12 - 4' x 8' signs, 6 - yard signs, 1 - homemade sign
Diane Benson --- 2 - 2' x 3' signs, 3 - yard signs
Dave Cuddy --- 3 - yard signs
Gabrielle LeDoux --- 1 - big homemade sign, 1 - yard sign
Ethan Berkowitz --- 1 - yard sign
Ray Metcalfe --- zero signs
Mark Begich --- zero signs
These observations were between Indian Valley and the south end of Homer Spit, including the Kenai Spur Road, and a few side roads around Kenai, Soldotna and Homer.
There was even a big Ted Stevens sign right in front of the Sterling Head Start facility!
I didn't talk politics much with people I met, except to explain Alaska politics to a couple of couples I encountered, who were from out-of-state, and saw me sporting Obama and Benson buttons on my down vest.
I did get into one great discussion Saturday evening, at the Champagne Palace, in Homer. Two local women and I had a lot of laughs, as we went through the disruption the upcoming Ted Stevens trial is going to provide for the Alaska and national GOP organizations.
I explained that most Alaska news reporters fervently hope that St. Ted gets his venue changed from Washington, DC, to Anchorage. Initially, I had thought that such a move would be a bad thing for justice. I still do. But I'm beginning to realize, seeing how deeply misplaced veneration for the old codger resides in so many levels of Alaska life, that - politically speaking, at least - the best place for the Stevens trial might well be Anchorage.
If the venue is changed, I foresee a hung jury on all counts, possibly exoneration on some. That will highlight the depth of corruption and its shadow throughout the political tapestry of Alaska, hopefully leading to more independents and Democrats showing up at the November polling places, and possibly leading to more embarrassment among Alaska Republicans, leading them to stay home.
We laughed some more, sharing experiences this past week, watching friends go through PTSD - Post Ted Stress Disorder.
The AK-AL U.S. House race came up in our talk. One lady is undecided between Diane Benson and Ethan Berkowitz. The other is supporting Ethan, citing his years of leadership and accomplishment.
I asked her to name his three biggest accomplishments. She went deep into thought. I said, "OK - two biggest accomplishments." More thought. "How about single greatest accomplishment?"
She soon walked off, deep in thought.