The Chinese often say that “富不过三代” – wealth is not passed down for more than three generations. My parents had a Chinese proverb for everything, and the fortunes of the fourth generation of the Mack family are no exception.
2012 was not a good year for the descendants of Cornelius McGillicuddy, Senior (1862-1952), better known as Connie Mack. The ghost of the longest-serving manager in Major League Baseball saw his beloved Athletics, in their adopted city of Oakland, lose the ALDS to Detroit in Game 5. What a tragedy!
Of course, that’s not why you’re reading this, there was also an election. Connie Mack’s grandson (the third generation), Republican politician Connie Mack III, was elected Florida’s Class I Senator in 1988 in a 50-50 squeaker, but did not seek a third term in 2000. That year, the seat was taken over by Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, who this year in 2012 gave wayward scion Connie Mack IV a 55%-42% beatdown. Oh, and Connie Mack IV’s wife, Mary Bono Mack, lost her Congressional seat in California.
In the 24 years since Connie Mack III was first elected Senator, and Connie Mack IV lost his bid to win the seat back, the regional party landscape in Florida has changed dramatically. Here, I present to you the Mack-Mack Line that divides North and South Florida. North of the line, Connie Mack IV in 2012 outperformed Connie Mack III in 1988. South of the line, the opposite occurred.
Notice how in 1988, both regions performed nearly identically, giving Connie Mack III an small lead. Fast forward to 2012, and the two regions have diverged wildly. Connie Mack IV improved on his father’s standing in North Florida, but got walloped south of the line where 4 out of 5 Floridians live. Even more amusing is that Nelson, a North Florida native, mopped the floor with former Fort Lauderdale Congressman Mack IV in South Florida.