Tuesday, April 03, 2007

American Idol- Top 9

Last week on American Idol, Chris Sligh's quest to bring chubby back, came to an end, as the former Bob Jones University student was eliminated. While he had been someone I pegged from the audition rounds as someone who might go very far in the competition, he simply had a poor week vocally and paid the price for it.

This week, none of the contestants were awful. Not even Sanjaya, who at least came across as somewhat credible as a singer. The music was really not the favorites of people remotely in my age bracket, although I was grateful, it was not all Tony Bennett music, and while many viewers may not have been too familiar with many of the songs, the contestants all performed nicely.

Still though, there were three contenders this week, who were far and above the person I ranked number four and everyone else. It was the difference between excellence and goodness. Differentiating between one and three was certainly not an easy task.

Here is how I ranked them:

1. LaKisha Jones
2. Jordin Sparks
3. Melinda Doolittle
4. Haley Scarnato
5. Blake Lewis
6. Gina Glockson
7. Phil Stacey
8. Chris Richardson
9. Sanjaya Malakar

Wouldn't it be a great time for Sanjaya to finally be eliminated from the show, now that he did not completely embarass himself and could maybe leave on a high note? Don't count on it. The dude does not even make it to the bottom three at this point in the competition based on past weeks.

So, who will be leaving? While Gina Glockson may have reason for concern based on the sort of boring nature of the song she did and the possibility that her key demographic of rocker-chick fans may have decided to skip the Tony Bennett episode this week, I think that Phil Stacey is probably going to be the one to get eliminated.

We will find out tomorrow night. Is next week the one with Bon Jovi? Let's hope so, despite the fact that JBJ and Tony Bennett are both supporters of the Democrat Party.

2007 Races: April Edition

The months are flying by fast and it is now time to once again take a look at the three Gubernatorial contests that are up in 2007, which have managed to capture the imagination of political junkies throughout the land.

In past months, I have gone into greater detail about these contests than I plan to do today, since in many cases, the races are in a holding pattern until primaries or matters of ballot eligibility are determined.

Kentucky Governor-

From my perspective, not much has changed in the Bluegrass State since March. Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher is still unpopular and there seems to still be the probability that he will be denied re-nomination by former Congresswoman Ann Northup, who continues to build up endorsements from many in the State GOP establishment for her ticket.

The Democrat field is still crowded, and multiple tickets have a chance of advancing to a runoff to a runoff, after next month’s primary. Once again, Democrats will be at least somewhat behind the eight ball by the likelihood of that runoff, since the GOP appears very likely to have a nominee after May 22nd and the opportunity to more quickly unite the party than their opposition will have.

Once again, Democrats probably feel confident about their prospects of defeating Fletcher in a GOP primary, but would be considerably less giddy about the possibility of going up against Northup. If she defeats the Governor in the GOP primary, it will be pretty hard to tie her to Fletcher and his administration.

April rating- Tossup (R)

Louisiana Governor-

The big news came a couple weeks back, when embattled Democrat Governor Kathleen Blanco announced she would not seek a second term, after previously seeming likely to run again. Democrats hope that this clears the field for former veteran U.S. Senator John Breaux, whom many claim would be unbeatable in such a race. Breaux, who is in many ways Blanco’s political mentor, has announced intentions to run for the Governorship if he is legally able to do so, considering his current voter registration in Maryland and the state’s eligibility rules. Breaux and many Democrats think he will be cleared to run, while Republicans are confident that they can legally knock him out of the race. It is all still in flux, until the Attorney General of the state issues a ruling, and then there will likely be a court challenge.

If Breaux is ruled ineligible, some other Democrat names are being mentioned as potential candidates, including Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu, former Attorney General Richard Ieyoub, and former Congressman Chris John. While all three men would probably have a better chance of victory than Blanco would have, all three also lost their most recent race and would be a big step down politically from Breaux.

In the meantime, the state GOP has formally endorsed Congressman Bobby Jindal, who may still face other Republican candidates on the jungle primary ballot, but will clearly be the choice of most of the party’s voters. Jindal quickly shot down speculation that he might withdraw from the race for Governor if left with the prospect of having to run against the proven statewide winner Breaux, by saying he was committed to running for the office, no matter what.

Many pundits have claimed that Breaux would be a heavy favorite in any Louisiana statewide contest, but within days of Blanco’s retirement announcement, an independent pollster produced numbers that showed Jindal nearly 30 points ahead of Breaux, and with a percent of the overall vote that would easily surpass what would even be needed to have to go to a mid November runoff. If those numbers were to be proven out, the election would be over after the October 20th all-party primary.

If Breaux is able to get on the ballot, other polls would probably be useful to determine if the one showing Jindal with such large of a lead is trustworthy or not, but the voters of Louisiana may be in the mood for a change in party and generation, which would cause Breaux to be very far from an inevitable winner.

April rating- Tossup (R)

Mississippi Governor-

Finally, in the race, that may widely be an afterthought as compared to all the drama in Kentucky and Louisiana, Mississippi’s Republican Governor Haley Barbour continues to look like a very solid bet in Mississippi. Last month, I mentioned that he may wind up facing former State Senator Bill Renick as his Democrat opponent, but others believe that attorney John Arthur Eaves, Jr., who was defeated in a 1996 Congressional race, will have the money and support to take the nomination.

Regardless of whom Mississippi Democrats select, there does not seem to be any evidence at this point to suggest that Barbour is remotely vulnerable.

April rating- Safe Republican