*Why they’re called lame ducks. The phrase “lame duck” was first used in the 18th century on the London Stock Exchange. It referred to a broker who defaulted on his debts. The first written mention occurred in 1761, when Horace Walpole wrote Sir Horace Mann and asked, “Do you know what a Bull and Bear and a Lame Duck are?” It was not until the 19th century that the term came to refer to a politician who had been defeated for re-election but had not yet been replaced in office.
*A rising star in Florida. I was a proud supporter of Marco Rubio long before his success forced Charlie Crist to drop out of the Republican primary. During the campaign Rubio said a lot I liked. But this election-night comment deserves to be cast in concrete: “We make a great mistake if we believe that these results tonight are somehow an embrace of the Republican Party. What they are is a second chance, a second chance for Republicans to be what they said they were going to be not so long ago.”
*Winning thanks to illiterate vote. Am I the only person who sees something ironic in the fact that Lisa Murkowski won a write-in contest for her Senate seat in Alaska thanks to the votes of thousands of people who couldn’t spell her name correctly? If the lady was insufferable before (and she was), she’s really going to be impossible now. Do we really want a Republican Senator who is more arrogant than Barack Obama?
*I’m not so sure about this one. I have friends in South Carolina who insist that their senior Senator “got the message” from this year’s elections. “Lindsay Graham will start voting Republican,” they promise. I’ll have to see it to believe it. Meantime, though, I’m absolutely delighted that Jim DeMint’s star is rising. He defied a lot of establishment Republicans to support numerous Tea Party candidates. Good for him.