By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
There’s a standard practice in the news business around this time of year.
That’s right. We have families and holiday parties and dinners and gift-openings too. And we have to fit it in around still producing content that draws eyeballs to webpages.
So, we need a few stories and columns that are easy to churn out but that still hook readers.
The best in the biz at mailing are the guys who cover sports. And one of their most effective methods is rankings.
Doesn’t matter what. Best coaches. Best games. Worst coaches.
Just rank something, and folks can’t click on it fast enough.
So, with that in mind, this week’s column: Ranking the candidates to fill Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat.
Gov. Robert Bentley said last week that he’s interviewed several candidates, and he’s narrowing his selection and determining which course of action he wants to take.
There are rumors galore, so let’s rank which of the rumored frontrunners would be the best for us.
From worst to first.
10. Gov. Robert Bentley: Can you even imagine Bentley with less responsibility and less oversight up in DC? Think of the Celine Dion concerts, the helicopter rides with Rebekah, the new couches, the Viagra deliveries and how far away from the door Wanda’s desk could be moved in that large Senate office.
9. Sen. Arthur Orr: If you have ever been in charge of any of Alabama’s budgets, you should be disqualified from higher office and from handling the finances at your own home.
8. Mike Hubbard: Oh, don’t fret, he has no shot. With prison time quickly approaching, he has his own seat to worry about. But if he did have a shot, even now, you can be sure that he’d have the backing of every Republican in the Legislature.
7. Rep. Mo (Ron) Brooks: It’s a tremendous upset that Brooks has been unable to worm his way into Donald Trump’s cabinet, as Secretary of Bigoted Acts or something. It would be quite the pairing. But then, I guess we do need Brooks where he is. Without him, who would say the dumb things that people north of Birmingham need to hear?
6. Perry Hooper: My most vivid memory of Perry Hooper was watching him flee through the stands of Paterson Field in Montgomery as a large, black, semi-pro baseball player gave chase, because the semi-pro team on which he played hadn’t received payment from the league, in which Hooper was involved. The matter was eventually resolved without incident, but I hope that remains my most vivid memory of Hooper.
5. Roy Moore: I’ll be honest here and tell you – as much as this pains me to say – a part of me would like to see Moore get this appointment, just for the sake of the years’ worth of material I’d get from it. But my more responsible side wins out. There are enough egotistical, phony zealots running around D.C.
4. Sen. Del Marsh: Marsh has been in charge of the Senate as it’s passed bills to block abortion clinics from operating, force immigrants out of the State and allow for private school kids to get tax dollars. After six years of this GOP control led by Marsh, the State is worse in every way imaginable. And yet, he’s the fourth-best option.
3. Attorney General Luther Strange: For the life of me, I can’t understand why Strange is popular with any citizen who isn’t operating a tax-free casino. Little, if anything, the man has done in office has served to protect or serve the average citizen. The only time he’s done anything amicable is when he allowed his office to prosecute Hubbard – a move which ultimately, even if by coincidence, helped Strange.
2. Jim Byard: it would seem odd that the head of an office like the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs would even be considered for such a position, but then, Alabama is an odd state. There are many who will tell you that Byard was a terrible mayor in Prattville. But if so, he wasn’t terrible enough that it couldn’t be fixed in a couple of terms by the next mayor. It’s a low bar, but that sort of not-too-much-of-a-screwup is enough to get him to the top.
1. The recording of Alvin Holmes arguing against gourmet beer: If you haven’t heard it, just click the link here. For clarification sake, I’m not suggesting we give the seat to Holmes. Instead, we appoint the recording and each time the Senator from Alabama is required to speak, we just play it. It’s certainly no worse than the racist, homophobic, xenophobic, bigoted nonsense that has spewed forth from that Senate seat for the past 20 years. Plus, it’s funny.