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December 06, 2010

Geraghty On O'Donnell: "Was It A Heist?"

No, I don't think so, and I don't think Geraghty does either, his provocative headline aside. True, O'Donnell cashes out of the campaign with close to a million dollars (which can in fact be used to pay herself a salary in preparation for another run at office), but then, there was really no reason to spend that last million.

It was, as predicted, a lost cause:

Then again, perhaps O’Donnell’s campaign spending was moot, and there was no point in spending this $924,000 or so. O’Donnell ultimately spent $6.1 million, a record for Delaware and almost twice what Coons spent, $3.2 million. During the brief general election campaign, she never closed the margin to less than 10 points and lost, 56.6 percent to 40 percent.

I had suspicions along these lines myself. I said, a couple of times, more in personal discussion than public discussion, I sure would like to see how much money she winds up socking away for future salary.

Honestly, I still do have these suspicions. But I can't really call this evidence for my suspicions as the case is overdetermined.

That's a very useful word I got from Kaus, meaning their are several factors at work here, any of which would be enough to predict/explain the behavior, therefore it is erroneous to claim that someone behaved as she did according to any one factor. In other words, either A (wants money) and B (lost cause) on their own would explain behavior X (keeping $1 million unspent), and since A and B were both demonstrably present, I can't claim that X happened because of A. It also could have happened because of B. Either factor would dictate behavior X, and there's no way to prove it was due to the impermissible motive.

I can't say she saved that $1 million just because she's a cynical operator and wanted to set aside a little somethin'-somethin' to pay herself a nice salary for two years, because the other factor -- what's the point of sinking another million into a hole? -- would also be plenty reason to not spend it.

Further, since I do believe she wanted that Senate seat (even just for the salary, if one is very cynical about her motives), I do believe she would have spent that last near-million had the race been close and the additional money likely to have an impact.

I think this is the final chapter in this saga. Well, there'll be more, of course (book deal, tv appearances), but this was the last big thing that would pick open scabs about the choice of O'Donnell. Given that the race was never even close, and money did not seem to be helping, it's a permissible motivation that a candidate, especially a three-time eternally quixotic candidate, would put aside some money for some other more winnable run down the road.

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posted by Ace at 02:53 PM

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