One of the great kookville conspiracies of 2004 – one that never got too far beyond chat boards – was that a struggling George W. Bush would declare martial law and cancel the election. I have seen nothing that intense this time, but I now see the kindling in this exchange between Jay Carney and the reporters hunting for something newsy in the press gaggle.
Q: Jay, some of the utilities are saying that the power is going to be out in some areas for up to 10 days, which would obviously include Election Day. Is there any contingency planning to alter the Election Day schedule because of this?
CARNEY: I think that is not something I’m able to address…
Q: Would the President have the power to adjust Election Day?
CARNEY: I don’t know the answer to that question. I think you’re getting way ahead of yourself here.
It’s a fun question, but the reporter could have saved some time by checking the U.S. Code. This was set in 1845 – the votes in each state for Electoral College electors have to occur on the first Tuesday of November. Add the Carney non-answer to the fears of U.N. poll monitors (officially denounced by the Attorney General of Texas!) and you have some potential paranoid hilarity in the making.
For now, we have to settle for the “BLS will delay job numbers to spare Obama” theory, endorsed by Sen. Chuck Grassley.
Labor Dept says may release latest Unemployment figures until after election. Par for course. Why release something might hurt Obama elect?