eMeg Grills the Earth & Gandolf Gets the Lead Out
Tom Meyer, the Cartooning Calbuzzer and Sharpest Pen in the West, casts his gimlet-eyed gaze today on the Meg Whitman-Carly Fiorina Grilled Earth Society, dedicated to boosting carbon fuels and laughing off climate change.
Unfortunately for them, the eMeg-iCarly burn-baby-burn approach to global warming is a minority opinion in California, as we’ve noted. For our latest take on the issue, check out our piece on the Bee’s op-ed page today.
Calbuzz gets results: Since we dropped the hammer on Krusty’s woefully understaffed communications shop a couple weeks ago for its oh-so-20th-century not-very-rapid response to some of eMeg’s unstinting attacks, it’s only fair to note – and we’re nothing if not fair – that his campaign’s performance has improved.
On Monday, Team Whitman dropped its daily ad on Brown’s head, a response to last week’s spot from the pro-Brown California Working Families independent expenditure committee, in which she punches back by presenting a few more cadaverous images of Attorney General Gandolf over the announcer’s voice saying, “the special interests have chosen their governor – how about you?” Here’s how the deal went down:
2:28 p.m. – The volcanic Sarah Pompei alerts reporters about the new ad.
3:41 p.m. – Brown flack Sterling Clifford weighs in one hour and 13 minutes later with response – “Whitman repeats old lies with new pictures” – and once again cites Fact Check.org’s dis of similar eMeg allegations.
3:43 p.m. – California Working Families checks in with its own response, in which I.E. honcho Roger Salazar charges that Our Meg “wants to once again buy her way out of trouble.”
Not bad speed for Team Krusty except for one thing: Even before they got their stuff out, the ubiquitous Ms. Pompei had fired off a second eblast, calling attention to a new Survey USA poll purporting to show Whitman leading Brown. The Brownies took slightly longer to respond to this one, but when they did, they came back strong:
3:14 p.m. – Email announcing poll, which shows eMeg up 47-39%, arrives.
4:31 p.m. – Clifford’s blast hits our mailbox one hour and 17 minutes later – but it comes with an attachment from Jim Moore. He’s our favorite California pollster, not least because his universe of likely voters is actually derived from the voter file, not based on a sloppy sample of robocalled self-identified likelys.
I’m pleased to report that our survey of 600 likely November voters has been completed and it shows Democrat Jerry Brown with a 3 point lead over Republican Meg Whitman. The survey was conducted between July 7th and July 10th among 600 likely November 2010 registered voters from the Secretary of State’s voter file and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2%.
The overall results are similar to the recent Field Poll, although we are seeing different internal distribution. Of particular note, our survey shows a much greater ratio of support for Jerry from Latinos.
Daily score: Whitman 1, Brown 1. Doesn’t anybody take vacation anymore?
Tinkers to Evers to Chance Redux: Kudos to our old friend E.J. Dionne, the erudite political columnist for the WashPost, who was the only scribe in America to report the historical significance of President Obama’s personalized attack on Republican congressional leaders last week.
Taking note of the president’s speech in Kansas City, in which he pushed back hard against the looming spectre of the GOP taking control of the House in the November mid-terms, E.J. wrote:
Turning all this around is a White House mission, and the president’s campaign stops last week in Missouri and Nevada previewed his effort to paint Republicans as both extreme and recalcitrant. His speech in Kansas City included one major innovation, an echo of a legendary 1940 assault by Franklin D. Roosevelt against his political opponents in Congress — “Martin, Barton and Fish.”
Obama went after the alliterative trio of “Barton and Boehner and Blunt,” references to Reps. Joe Barton of Texas, John Boehner of Ohio and Roy Blunt of Missouri. Challenging them for their resolute opposition to every Democratic approach, Obama asked “if that ‘no’ button is just stuck.”
As the late William Safire explained in his “Political Dictionary,” the “Martin, Barton and Fish” line was written for FDR by Judge Samuel I. Rosenman and dramatist Robert E. Sherwood, and was “made effective by the use of rhyme and rhythm in encapsulating the names of opponents” of the Democratic president.
Those opponents were GOP congressmen Bruce Barton and Hamilton Fish of New York and Joseph Martin of Massachusetts; in Rosenman’s autobiography, he reported that the speechwriters in their first draft attacked the GOP trio in that order – Barton, Fish and Martin – but made an important revision in the second:
We sat around – I remember we were writing in my apartment in New York City – working on that paragraph. Then as we read those names, we almost simultaneously hit on the more euphonious and rhythmic sequence of Martin, Barton and Fish. We said nothing about it when we handed the draft to the President, wondering whether he would catch it as he read the sentence aloud. He did. The very first time he read it, his eyes twinkled, and he grinned from ear to ear…He repeated it several times and indicated by swinging his finger in cadence how effective it would be with audiences.
The sequence, Safire noted, works in part because it’s an echo of “Wynken, Blynken and Nod,” the 1889 children’s poem by journalist Eugene Field.
It’s not clear whether it was Obama’s speechwriter or the man himself who added an extra “and” after Barton in the 2010 sequel, throwing in an extra beat to no apparent purpose.
But, if FDR was echoing Wynken, Blynken and Nod, Obama was certainly doing “lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” from the Wizard of Oz.
Try it, it works.
Barton and Boehner and Blunt, oh my! And say it faster and faster as you skip along the yellow brick road. Could be a new thing for political protests.