Just to be clear, not all Republicans are entirely incapable of losing graciously:
Republican nominee Tom Foley has just conceded the Connecticut gubernatorial race to Democrat Dan Malloy. And he went the extra mile at his press conference, too, telling all of his supporters that despite some irregularities and errors in the vote-counting process, Malloy positively did win the race by a narrow margin. And as such, he will not legally contest the election…
“Once all this information was available to me this morning, deciding what to do was easy,” Foley said. “I have told my team that I am not willing to pursue a legal challenge to exclude photocopied ballots. Despite their irregularity, I believe that they do represent the will of well-intentioned voters, and should be included in the results.”
Foley further explained that the election was a genuine victory for Malloy, “And this result should not be questioned. I hope my supporters will accept my word on this. As soon as I am done with this press conference, I will call Dan Malloy to congratulate him on winning the election, and wish him good luck.”
That’s what my people call being a mensch.
And had Dino Rossi been similarly gracious after his heartbreakingly close loss back in 2004, there’s a good chance he might be governor today, instead of just a three-time statewide loser. As I wrote back in 2005, just after his election contest had been dismissed, Rossi missed a golden opportunity to lead by example, and ultimately reap the rewards:
Had he bowed out gracefully in early January — at a time when the GOP’s most inflammatory allegations were at a fever pitch — he could have assumed the mantle of a martyr who sacrificed his own personal ambitions for the good of the state. Disenfranchised military voters, shady “enhanced” ballots, mishandled provisionals, and felon, dead, and double voters would have forever clouded the results of this election. But now with the charges “dismissed with prejudice” by a cherry-picked judge in conservative Chelan County, voters will be rightly suspicious of any attempt by Rossi to brand himself as a victim of corrupt Democrats. To the swing voters — mostly Democrats — who made this race closer than it ever should have been, the allegations are no longer merely unproved… they are disproved.
And it was Rossi’s inability to recapture the crucial support of so-called “Dinocrats” that ultimately doomed his two subsequent statewide races before they started.