writes an excellent post today over at Infinite Monkeys to explain the phenomenon that is California. In brief: if John Kasich saw his poll numbers tighten up because he came late to the tea party, the California GOP apparently did not bother to read the invitation.
A couple of comments on Ben's key observations about the specifics of the recent contest: Meg Whitman's obscene spending on the race absolutely hurt her with voters who might otherwise have been inclined to support her (if only so as not to have to support Brown). And Ben is right, the ad juxtaposing Whitman and Schwarzenegger with IDENTICAL quotes was BRILLIANT political theater. I found myself nodding my head and smiling despite myself--in a kind of reverential awe of the sort I sometimes felt when confronted with one of Bill Clinton's masterful deceptions.
And what to say about Carly Fiorina who did not seem to be able to decide what, exactly, she is or would be as California's Senator? She proudly touted her pro-life convictions in some ads, but announced in the closing weeks of the campaign that her voting record might look a lot like Dianne Feinstein's? Maybe even more curious, she ran another ad where faces would appear on the screen explaining that they were "Democrats," "Republicans," and "Independents" (and let's not forget about the people who don't know what the heck is going on in politics) all saying that they could endorse Carly Fiorina because the time had come where our problems are so large that we need to "get beyond partisan politics." Whatever that means.
Now, against Barbara Boxer, one would not be out of line in endorsing my dog. But saying one "could endorse" him doesn't tell you much about my dog's likely voting record or how he would perform as a Senator. Obviously, I'm not saying that Fiorina is like a dog . . . but that ad certainly was a dog. How she could have imagined that an ad with overly somber and low energy people saying they could endorse her because, what the heck, things could hardly get worse (!) could be confidence building, I'll never know. It reminded me of Michael Dukakis' campaign when he proudly touted the fact that he was "competent." It's not inspiring and above all, it's meaningless. It's stuff that may fly in a board room when scribbled across the top of some guy's resume . . . but it's not the stuff that makes a great campaign.
If we're going to recruit rock stars from the business world
, let's next time make sure we get some who can talk.