December 13, 2006
Too bad Jimmy Carter is busy deflecting charges that he's anti-Israel and a plagiarizer--his prowess as an election observer was recently needed in Roseville, Minnesota. By most accounts, Jasmine White should be student council president of Central Park Elementary in said town. The eleven-year-old White beat her challenger, William Thomas, after handing out fortune cookies containing the message, "Vote for Jasmine for President." But Thomas's parents complained that such tactics were unfair, and after school administrators conferred with the other candidates, an Education Sector-style co-presidency was declared. (Of course, we know how these things turn out.) White's parents were rightly furious, and they pointed out that the fortune cookie campaigning had been cleared with school officials. And further, they argued, because of a technicality in the school's election laws, Thomas wasn't even eligible to run for president. All reasonable points, all to no avail. But young Jasmine didn't seem too bothered. She told reporters, resignedly, "I'm still kind of upset about it, but I think that they won't change it since it's been like two months." Probably she's right--it's time for the healing to begin.
"Hey, kids, welcome to democracy," by Doug Belden, St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 8, 2006