One of the brightest political minds I’ve ever known among journalists belongs to Dwayne Yancey, the behind-the-scenes Senior Editor for The Roanoke Times.
Dwayne contributes to the Blue Ridge Caucus, and plays many other important roles at the paper, little of which have anything to do with politics, which he covered for many years both in Roanoke and elsewhere in Virginia.
He’s my all-time favorite journalist with whom to kick around story ideas (of any genre) because he’s so talented at perceiving different angles. On politics, he’s so smart it’s scary. (Outside the newspaper, he’s a diehard thespian — which is scandalous but it’s true.)
Anyway he wrote a post Tuesday on Blue Ridge Caucus which deserves more attention that it got, and that is finally happening. Here’s the guts of it:
I have an election prediction.
No, not that one. This one: No matter what happens Tuesday, somebody will blame the outcome on the storm.
Maybe they’ll be right. Maybe they’ll be wrong. Hardly matters, does it? Consider these two scenarios:
* Let’s say Obama wins. Surely someone on the losing side will grouse that the storm helped Obama, something along these lines:
Romney had momentum going into the past week. He was pulling even in some polls in Ohio, and close enough in some Democratic strongholds such as Pennsylvania and Minnesota that he was making a play that could have broken through Obama’s Electoral College firewall. . . .
* Now let’s say Romney wins. One can easily imagine an Obama partisan complaining:
Forget those national polls; we were leading in the key states we needed to win. OK, we weren’t at 50 percent, but we were leading. We were going to win, at least in the Electoral College, and that’s the only thing that counts. Then the storm hit. No way Obama could stay out on the campaign trail then. He had to go back to Washington and deal with the storm. . .
Top Republicans are already hinting that if Romney loses, his people will blame the storm for stalling his momentum. But D.C. GOPers acknowledge that having some of the nation’s top auto executives call you out, when you’re the business guy born in Michigan, ain’t helpful.
See what I mean? Two days after Yancey writes it, the national guys start slipping his ideas into their copy. Later today it’ll be in the Washingon Post, and Saturday it’ll be in the New York Times, and by Sunday it will have hit Chicago and Los Angeles.
But it all started right here in Roanoke, before the storm even ended. Dwayne’s not even a politics reporter anymore, but the other guys are still following his lead.
You read it first — or you could have — at Blue Ridge Caucus!