Bulletin. Bulletin. Ring the fire bell. This just in: Sen.-elect Angus King will caucus as a Democrat!
Wow. Was that the most widely anticipated announcement of the year or what?
King originally left open the possibility of walking a middle road without committing to a party. That wasn't realistic; no party, no committee assignments. No committee assignments, a lot of time spent twiddling thumbs.
Beyond that, King wasn't likely to "friend" the people who spent a small fortune — no, make that a significant fortune by Maine standards — trying to make him look like a conniving cartoon cutout.
The Republican and Democratic parties stopped wasting money on their Senate candidates here after correctly concluding they could not win, choosing instead to spend it on other, closer races.
But the Karl Rove PAC, American Crossroads GPS, had more money than it had Maine horse sense, and just kept the misleading and ineffective ads running right up to Election Day.
But there is one surprise no one is talking about: The PAC masterminds in Washington thought King had a weak spot: wind power.
King was part-owner of a company that planted 22 wind turbines along a 4-mile ridge in Roxbury.
So, the shallow thinkers in Washington lined up some unhappy Roxbury residents who complained in a TV ad that King had made "millions and millions" at the expense of local residents.
So, the evil King probably got stomped by Summers in Roxbury on Election Day. Right?
Not quite. King received 61 percent of the vote compared to 26 percent for Summers. That is significantly better than King did against Summers statewide, 53 percent compared to 31 percent for Summers.
Despite the ads — or maybe because of them — King was more popular in Roxbury than he was in the rest of the state.
This could have something to do with residents there now receiving their first 500 kilowatts of free electricity and after seeing their mill rate drop from more than 16 mills to about 7 mills.
Webster stirs pot. Again.
Here's another political non-surprise: Maine Republican Party chairman starts yapping before fact-checking.
In an interview with WCSH-6 TV, Webster claimed that groups of random black people were observed voting on Election Day.
"Nobody in (these) towns knows anyone who's black," Webster said. "How did that happen? I don't know. We're going to find out."
In an interview with the Portland Press Herald, Webster elaborated: "I'm not talking about 15 or 20. I'm talking hundreds."
What, did they arrive in black helicopters, too?
Webster didn't observe this himself. He wouldn't say who told him this or where the black people had been spotted.
This is starting to sound a lot like the noise he made last spring about college students voting illegally.
Webster did some spotty research and then turned his information over to fellow Republican, Secretary of State Charlie Summers, for investigation.
That investigation found no fraud among the 200 people Webster secretly accused of cheating. Summers did say, however, that the state is long overdue for a re-examination of its voting security laws.
We have no idea whether Webster's personal investigation of elusive black voters will come to anything.
But here's the point in such matters: Do some research before announcing your suspicions, not afterward.
Not Pelosi again
In another non-surprise, minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, D-California, has decided to stay in Congress and run again for her leadership position.
That's unfortunate. Pelosi has been uncompromising and rigid. While on political talk shows she sometimes seems clueless and always resorts to the same tired Democratic talking points.
The Democrats in the House need stronger, better, more flexible leadership to forge the compromises necessary to turn around this country's financial affairs.
The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and the editorial board.