Goodbye, worst governor in state history. We mean that. Sure, we’ll miss having you to kick around for fun and profit, but there’s more to our wistfulness than that. We’ll also miss the easy certainties you represented, the Jim Gibbons brand—at least when you were denuding state government and texting your lady friends, everyone knew what was what. Now we’ve entered a complicated new political reality: In this Tea Party year, a man who was essentially among the nation’s first Tea Party governors couldn’t get any love, mostly thanks to a few career embarrassments—a sexual harassment claim; a possibly suspicious relationship with a defense contractor; his grim aloofness, even from his staff; his personal best in both vetoes and overturned vetoes; a general impression of incompetence that even GOP stalwarts couldn’t overlook. Weird. Time was, simply saying “no new taxes” was enough to keep a fella in office. That’s how you can tell that Nevada’s in deep shit right now.
So now it’s over, your former backers are free with the epitaph quotes (state Sen. Bill Raggio to the Sun: “He’ll be remembered for sticking to what he believed in, but I don’t think that’s what the times called for”) and you can slip into post-political obscurity. Have fun there, and say “Hi” to the Chicken Lady for us.