When Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger leaves office, he'll be replaced by one of two colorful candidates: either former eBay CEO Meg Whitman (a Republican) or former California governor Jerry Brown (a Democrat). But an even stranger election took place Friday, when a Sacramento baseball stadium gave away 1,250 bobblehead dolls of both candidates. Fans waited in line for two hours, from the right-field gate to the left, in a race to see whose dolls would run out first. When the wacky give-away was concluded, the stadium announced its even wackier results.
And reading the comments at a Sacramento newspaper site, you'd have to conclude that the election was rigged.
"My friend requested a Jerry Brown, but was given a Meg," one apparently-Democratic user complained in the comments section of the article by the Sacramento Bee (joking that "even in a fictional election, she can only win through less than honest means.") But it wasn't an isolated incident, according to another comment left three hours earlier. "[M]y wife and I discovered we were both given Whitman bobbleheads despite having stood in the Brown line. I wonder how many people didn't check until they'd gotten home last night, only to discover they'd been duped."
The couple noticed other irregularities in this crucial Bobblehead primary. "Fans wanting Brown bobbleheads were directed to a single line that was backed up, while Whitman backers had multiple entry lines that were flowing smoothly..." Their observations are confirmed by the Sacramento newspaper, which reports that the Main Gate had run out of Jerry Brown's dolls early - 15 minutes after the giveaway started at 6:00. (And well before the Meg Whitman dolls.) Jerry Brown's campaign manager also suggested on Twitter that in fact, Meg Whitman may have purchased all the remaining tickets for the sell-out game in order to give her bobblehead a more friendly electorate. "Her bobblehead WILL triumph. It's only $$$."
Even before the giveaway started, Meg Whitman may have sneaked a head start. According to the newspaper, Whitman's campaign actually requested that some dolls be set aside for them - before the giveaway even started. Ironically, now some dolls of the former eBay CEO are being sold on eBay, where they're currently fetching up to $42.00. (Though Jerry Brown seems to be winning the eBay election, since the auction of his bobblehead doll has reached as high as $56.) The last time California elected a new governor was in 2004, after a very wild recall election. (Movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger defeated 150 other candidates, including Gary Coleman and porn star Mary Carey.)
Let's hope this November's election goes more smoothly than the battle of the bobbleheads.