I broke a rule yesterday by talking about the next CNMI Governor in the bar.
Well, it's not a rule actually-- just a good idea when there are a lot of candidates and only one job. The odds aren't good that you're talking to somebody who'd agree with you, which can be bad for business.
I usually won't talk politics in USSP unless someone else brings it up, but I'd just noticed a 'Yes 2 Kumoi' bumper sticker (Y2K Get it?). Perfect. I could make a joke and get a read on his opinion of Ray Guerrero, who's a pretty polarizing man.
I'm sneaky that way. It didn't work. I slipped in a line about every Governor being captive of outside forces like the tourism industry. Guessing (rightly) that he'd voted for Ben Fitial last time, I allowed as how it was a thankless job and it was hard to blame the Governor for events outside of his control.
I'd forgotten he was a retiree*. No mention of Kumoi, and he'd only say 'not this time' about Fitial. He didn't want to talk about other guys like Diego Benavente. All in all, it was another lesson for me about avoiding the subject.
The primary reason for losing an election
So I'll avoid it again. Well, soon anyway: first I want to chuckle about the Republican's and Democrat's (if there are any left locally) primaries. I've been amazed for years that candidates pick their running mate going into the primary.
It's short-sighted logic; you have a better chance of winning the primary but limit your options for the general election. That may have worked in the past when there was more party loyalty. Even then, the losing candidates and their families/supporters often threatened to sit out the election or jump to your opponent.
Picking a running mate after the primary would probably result in a stronger, more 'balanced' (wink) ticket. Then again, anyone who tried it would likely lose, so it will never happen.
Also, everyone's an independent these days, so a runoff election between the top two candidates is almost guaranteed.
* If you're outside the Commonwealth and just happened across this post, the CNMI Retirement Fund is expected to be broke in three, four or five years, depending on who you believe. The government has turned it into a Ponzi scheme by not paying its share in recent years.