Explainer Wanted: Why would a politician ever concede a non-blowout race until every last ballot is counted? The momentary frisson of good will can't be worth the possibility that the concession will turn out to have been a mistake--as it was for Jimmy Carter in 1980, Al Gore in 2000, and now conservative Doug Hoffman in the NY-23 congressional race. ... Hoffman will probably still lose when all the ballots are in, but his concession has already had real world consequences-- it allowed Nancy Pelosi to swear in Hoffman's Democratic opponent in time to give health care reform its narrow House majority. I'm assuming the people who voted for Hoffman aren't happy with that. ... P.S.: Dick Morris claims, plausibly, that Pelosi had many Dem votes in reserve . Still, thanks to Hoffman's concession she didn't have to use them. ...
Update: Mystery Pollster answers .
I'm not convinced. You don't have to be nasty about it. Just say "Let's see how it turns out" and don't concede. ... 9:48 P.M.
Things you thought you were getting in the auto bailout. ... Chrysler's showy electric and hybrid cars? Forget them . Now that Chrysler has your money, they're dead. ... GM's 2010 IPO? The one that was going to raise money to repay taxpayers? It's receding rapidly into the future . "It depends on how quickly we become profitable. ... I can’t promise a date," says GM Chairman Ed Whitacre. Translation: Not going to happen. ... Suckers! ... 9:40 P.M.
Am I the only one who smells Kabuki in the reports that President Obama has dramatically rejected all the Afghan war options with which he was presented , demanding to know where the "off ramps" are ? If you were about to recommend a troop increase that was unpopular, especially with your Democratic base, wouldn't you precede it with some drama like this to demonstrate that you are a) in charge, b) not being conned, and c) insistent on a withdrawal as quickly as possible? Just asking. ... 10:54 P.M.
What's wrong with the upcoming Chevy Cruze? Production of the new compact has been delayed three months. The New York Times says the problem is "engine performance and the quietness of the Cruze's ride." AP , quoting the same GM executive, says the problem is the transmission ("No one was thrilled with where it shifted, how it shifted.") What if they're both right? ... P.S.: It's fine that GM postpones a launch for a car that's not yet up to snuff. But the NYT 's Bill Vlasic is a sucker for buying the line that this sort of delay represents a dramatic "culture" shift :
In the past, G.M. rarely held back a product to add the extra touches that would improve its chances in a fiercely competitive market.
Please. GM's been peddling this line for years. See, for example, this U.S. News report:
Concerns over quality have substantially altered the way Detroit launches new models. A case in point is the line of luxury midsized cars planned for this fall by Cadillac, Buick and Oldsmobile. Transaxle problems with these front-wheel-drive C-body models caused GM to delay their introduction until at least January, and possibly spring. ''The car will have to tell us when it's ready," says Robert Burger, Cadillac's general manager. Notes a longtime industry observer: ''In the old days, that would be unheard of. They'd move the cars in the fall, whether they were right or not.''
That paragraph was published in 1983. ... 10:56 P.M.
" CNN doesn't have a brand. It has a bland. It just got blander." -- Alert reader T. ... 11:36 P.M.