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FRIDAY, JUNE 9, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Roy Moore's future in state politics dims

Roy Moore supporters wish to paint the best face possible on his poor showing in the Republican primary for governor this week, but the outcome isn't in dispute.

Gov. Bob Riley trounced him thoroughly and without breaking a sweat.

Mr. Moore's supporters say his 35 percent showing at the polls represents a solid base of support from which he can launch a future campaign. They say that, if only he had the money to spend that went to Gov. Riley, he would have done better.

That reasoning, however, is contrary to the basic tenet of name-recognition politics. Candidates usually have to spend money to gain name recognition. Luther Strange was largely unknown in state politics until he began his "Big Luther Strange" television campaign. In doing so, he toppled George Wallace Jr. as the frontrunner in the GOP lieutenant governor's campaign.

But an Alabamian who does not know of Roy Moore and his Ten Commandments monument has been in a coma for the past three years. Money would not have bought him name recognition, but, supporters say, it would have helped him better define his candidacy.

Translated, that means Mr. Moore's defiance of a federal court order to remove his Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building appealed to a small but dedicated group of voters.

Democrats, indeed, failed to cross party lines in large numbers to vote for Mr. Moore, choosing to stay with tainted Don Siegelman and Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley's anemic campaign.

Voters in both parties rejected the former chief justice's strong-arm attempt to make his religious views central to state government.

A future in statewide politics doesn't look promising for Mr. Moore.

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