In 1973 I ran on the Democratic ticket for Borough Council in Madison. I was comfortable in doing so because I was sure I couldn’t win in a solidly Republican town. But I had forgotten about the gubernatorial contest that year, which pitted Brendan Byrne against Charles Sandman, an obscure congressman from South Jersey.
Sandman’s sole claim to fame was his vigorous defense of Richard Nixon on the House Committee considering the impeachment of the President. The result was the election of Byrne in a washout, and one of the best examples of the power of electoral coattails of all time. We found ourselves with a Democratic state senator and assembyman from Morris County, and both Democratic candidates for Borough Council won, giving the town a Democratic controlled Council for the first tile since the 30’s. Those were some coatails!
I thought about this today after Trump’s success in Indiana and the capitulation of his last opponents. I’m enough of a pessimist to realize that all the experts predicting an easy win for Trump in the general election are the ones who could not predict his nomination, but stll, the possibility of a rout in November cannot be ignored.
Now I don’t care if Trump only loses by one electoral vote, what really matters is what happens in the House and Senate, and that depends on the turnout. Hillary doesn’t look so great from that point of view, but I hope I’m wrong about that.
So I’m going to hold my nose and support her campaign and especially the efforts to get a Democratic Congress. I like to think of it as a way to empower people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.