When all is said and done, strippers made absolutely no difference in the Seventh District Congressional race and that was the situation right from the start.
Was it an interesting story? Absolutely. It added some spark to a race that lacked any. The real vote took place in August when Billy Long defeated Jack Goodman and Gary Nodler.
Scott Eckersley brought his record of fighting for open government into an arena where most of the people favored the man he fought, former Gov. Matt Blunt.
The Republican GOP primary had the larger-than-life Long, the young, earnest Goodman, and the crafty political veteran Nodler, a matchup for the ages.
After the primary, Long, for the most part, stayed quiet, while Eckersley reached for anything to give him a chance in the race.
That led to the unveiling of former Metropolitan Grill waitress Jennifer Case's accusations that Long cavorted with strippers and made racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks. It caught everyone's attention, but in the end it did not make a bit of difference. Eckersley did no better against Billy Long than John Truman did against Roy Blunt and Truman wasn't even from the Seventh District.
The only chance Scott Eckersley ever had was if Billy Long had been the stripper, and thankfully, that was not the case.
Part of Long's success, obviously, is due to the heavily Republican electorate in the Seventh District, but Long's timing was also impeccable.
His "Fed Up" campaign came at a time when people were genuinely fed up with government, both Republicans and Democrats. It was enough to get him through the primary and, despite the seeming abandonment of his disdain for career politicians and special interests (which was barely touched upon by the local media); it was enough to give him a comfortable win in the general election.
In addition, Long benefited from the same Democratic Party philanthropists, Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama, who gave the Republicans one sound bite after another to use in television advertising and gave Billy Long and hundreds of Republican candidates across the nation a piñata filled with a never-ending supply of campaign sweets.
So congratulations to Congressman-Elect Billy Long for providing us with the most entertaining Seventh District election since Richard Franks lost a hard fought battle against Gene Taylor in the early '70s.
I will never be able to bring myself to utter his catchphrase "Diggity Dog," but I do wish Billy Long luck as he represents us in our nation's capital.