The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

What a strange trip it’s been

Ed Board reflects on the 2006 campaign trail

Today is Election Day.

Hopefully that is not a surprise. There is plenty at stake in today’s electoral contests. Ed Board, of course, encourages you to head out to your polling place and cast a ballot.

It’s all up to us, the voters, now. All of the campaigning is over and the same four political ads you have seen over and over will soon be yanked off the air. So now seems like the appropriate time to look back on the long, strange and bizarre trip the 2006 midterm elections have been.

There have been some notable gaffs and outright bizarre twists since campaigning began earlier this year.

Some of our favorite quotes have come from Virginia Sen. George Allen, who has somehow managed to turn his safe Republican seat into a contested race with Democrat James Webb.

In an August campaign event, Allen called a college-aged Webb campaign volunteer “macaca.” The man was of Indian ancestry and was video-recording the speech for the Web campaign. The video, obviously, was all over the internet and cable shows within days – forcing Allen to apologize for using the word as a racial slur.

Allen was also tripped up when a moderator asked him during a debate about his mother’s Jewish heritage. Instead of merely confirming the fact, Allen said his Jewish heritage wasn’t relevant and tried to move the debate along. It was only days later that he “embraced” his Jewish ancestry.

Note to future politicos: embrace your past and don’t call people names. It only causes you problems and makes good fodder for “The Daily Show.”

The most bizarre twist, and probably the most detrimental to the Republicans, was the revelations about Florida Rep. Mark Foley and his propositioning of teenaged House pages that were made public in early October.

The irony of a man who led the House caucus on Missing and Exploited Children acting in a way that he was trying to legislate against is hard to miss.

Even worse than Foley propositioning young male pages, is the fact the Republican leadership did nothing about it for so long.

House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert will pay for the cover-up in January when House Republicans vote for new leadership.

Finally, John Kerry somehow managed to make himself part of the midterms despite the fact he was not running for any office.

Why Kerry thinks he is funny is still unknown, but his attempted joke about Bush and Iraq turned into a firestorm about the intelligence of American troops.

It was too late for Republicans to capitalize on the gaffe, but it did remind everyone about Kerry’s ineptitude on the campaign trail. We think David Letterman put it best:

“This guy can lose elections he’s not even in!”

Despite all of the gaffes, miscues and mistakes made along the way, today’s elections are crucial to the future of our country – especially in Iraq.

More to Discover