Special elections are nothing but risk and pain for the incumbent party. The office holder usually resigned for some ugly reason that splatters onto the incumbent party’s candidate, the incumbent party is often a sclerotic and shortsighted enough to nominate a weak machine favorite who hasn’t ever participated in a contested election, tons of money is spent stupidly in a short period of time, and the national media makes the election into a referendum on some national issue that may have no bearing on the district’s politics. The campaign calendar is compressed, so a candidate who’s slow getting on his feet is doomed. In short, they’re a shitstorm that should be avoided whenever possible.
The media loves a resignation, and DC party leaders just want the noise to go away so they’ll short-sightedly push for resignation, but unless the guy’s been indicted, I don’t see the point. Are Democrats better off without Anthony Weiner in that seat? I doubt we’ll think so tomorrow morning.
The next time some fool sends a picture of his penis somewhere and you think that resignation is the best alternative, I hope you’ll remember the disaster in NY-9, the fact that Larry Craig didn’t resign, David Vitter’s easy re-election, and Charlie Rangel’s apparently successful quest to die in office.