Oh, what a lucky man he was...
When Steve Beshear says grace at his Thanksgiving dinner table, he'd better offer up a few extra special prayers. He ought to be on his knees hourly, giving thanks to the Lord above that he was able to resurrect his political career and is now only days away from becoming governor of Kentucky. For he is indeed the luckiest man in the Commonwealth.
From the moment he began his campaign, he's been blessed with an incredible run of good fortune.
Let's start with the Democratic primary. Thanks to ex-chairman Jerry Lundergan's "play nice" deal he brokered among all the candidates, there were no harsh criticisms of Beshear's record or ideas voiced in the spring. Because of the agreement, none of his rivals exposed or exploited his abysmal record as attorney general, particularly where it concerned violations of merit system laws by Gov. John Y. Brown Jr.'s administration and by then-Secretary of State Frances Jones Mills. No one mentioned Kentucky Central, either. Had one of his intraparty rivals brought up that ethical lapse, perhaps it would have gotten more play than just a few days' worth of stories in one of Kentucky's major newspapers.
The end result of the "play nice" agreement was that Beshear did not have to spend a lot of money in the primary defending himself or attacking his key rivals, leaving himself with a nice war chest for the fall. Contrast that with the fierce primary campaign Gov. Ernie Fletcher had to wage to defeat two GOP rivals who sought to defeat him before the general election. Beshear left the primary with his reputation unsullied and his bank account fat.
Then, he was the beneficiary of Jonathan Miller's endorsement. Beshear was the second most liberal candidate in the field; Miller being the most liberal. When Miller dropped out and threw his support to Beshear, that all but guaranteed that the moonbats who were for Miller would follow their leader to Beshear.
Miller's support probably also helped push Beshear over the magical 40 percent mark that resulted in his avoiding a runoff election against Bruce Lunsford. In a two-way runoff, the gloves would have come off and Beshear would have had to spend a lot of money. The two candidates would probably have gone negative against one another, meaning Beshear's inaction on merit system infractions while serving as AG (which is an issue the Fletcher campaign inexplicably failed to use to its advantage) and his role in the Kentucky Central collapse would have gotten a thorough airing.
Pretty lucky, huh? Beshear truly hit the jackpot when he won the nomination. He should have emerged from the primary as a bloody mess, battered not only by Lunsford but by Jody Richards and Steve Henry as well. Instead, he came out without a scratch against an incumbent governor who hadn't enjoyed the same luxuries of a gentle primary.
Yes, Beshear should be thankful he's in the position he's in. And maybe he should play the lottery, given the run of good luck he's enjoying. If he does win big, he ought to share his windfall with Jerry Lundergan (who brokered the "play nice" deal) and Greg Stumbo (whose politically-motivated machinations softened up the incumbent). They were the ones who brought Beshear his good fortune.