Friday, June 06, 2008

"What if" counterfactuals for the day after Obama clinched

I.) Remembering (or Googling) way, way back to early 2000 ... when oil was $33 a barrel ... one may recall a lot of public speculation about what lame-duck First Lady Hillary Clinton was planning to do.

Would she rush in unseemly haste out of the White House even before her term husband's term was up to declare herself a lifelong Yankees fan and seek to win the opening-up Senate seat in New York, in an expected tough race against the seemingly healthy Rudy Guilianni? Or would she finish the year with her husband in Washington, then return to her real home state of Illinois, decide between being a lifelong Cubs or White Sox fan, and wait a bit to run for its Senate seat, then held by a politically crippled Republican (who in fact wouldn't even run again)?

I suppose waiting was never in her nature. But if she'd been true to her real home, who'd be holding that Senate seat from Illinois today?

II.) Brannon Braga, the TV producer popularly credited by countless Trekkies with destroying the Star Trek franchise, in the course of doing so had "a relationship" with actress Jeri Ryan. This, um, entroubled her marriage to Jack Ryan, then a fully credible and deep-pocketed Republican candidate for that same Illinois Senate seat. There ensued nasty divorce filings, leaked stories about "sex clubs", and Jack dropping out of the race. The Democratic candidate ended up running against Alan Keyes.

Can we say Braga (with his art and lust) ended the impressive runs not only of Star Trek but of Hillary? If Obama wins it all, then proves a diplomatic/political naif, mishandles a crisis and drops his elbow on "the button", will we be able to say Braga destroyed both Star Trek and the world?