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Tom Meyer: eMeg’s the Life of the Party

Aug28

The record will show that it was six years – to the day! – before California’s Nov. 2, 2010 election that alert customs agents at the Tecate Port of Entry on the U.S.-Mexico border foiled a nefarious smuggling plot to sneak into the country a little girl hidden inside a piñata.

That story came to mind with the arrival of this week’s Calbuzz commentary on Meg Whitman by meta-uber-editorial cartoonist Tom Meyer. His eMeg-on-a-string is of necessity drawn larger-than-life (although, it must be noted, still smaller than the biggest piñata in the world), in order to accommodate her many  views on immigration, which are nothing if not fungible.

Her Megness may well have felt like the piñata at last weekend’s big party of her party, where the small but hard-hitting California Republican Assembly took some good whacks at her before loyal apparatchiks swung her safely out of harm’s way by playing hide-go-seek with a proposed CRA resolution calling for the GOP to take a clear stand on the issue. Memo to Meg: have the campaign buy you a couple of these Empire Death Star piñatas to defend against any future such attacks. We hear they’re tough as nails.

Bitter Twitter: eMeg handlers Mike Murphy and Jeff Randle broke out the pom poms and the letter sweaters with the big “M” on them Friday to do some serious,  high-energy cheerleading for their candidate as the governor’s race heads towards the Labor Day mile marker.

Murphy, who sounded like he’d had a few double espressos with Red Bull chasers, correctly observed during a conference call with political reporters that the quaint notion of the first Monday in September signaling the start of the fall campaign has long since passed, as he noted that things have been “ripping and roaring” in California for some time now.

After a paranoid, preemptive Twitter attack on Calbuzz Thursday, wrongly predicting we’d post a critique of a wobbly, new Rasmussen poll that purports to show eMeg eight points ahead of Jerry Brown (“Why bother?” we cross-tweeted) Murphy on the call proceeded to dismiss the survey himself:

“I’m not telling you we’re eight points ahead, I’m telling you we’re ahead,” he said at one point, referring to summer polls in general as “wet cement,” not a bad line.

Both he and, especially, Randle offered a dizzying array of boasts, claims and factoids – 20,000 volunteers! 1 million calls! The largest campaign organization ever built! – that all added up in the mind’s eye to Team Whitman positioning their $100+ million Death Star (tough as nails!) to lay down two months of withering fire at Krusty’s knobby bald pate.

While Murph announced their intention to invade Brown’s Bay Area home base and Randle detailed the strategy and specs for a coordinated Republican “victory operation,” the broader takeaway for us was this:

Of the three basic elements of any campaign – money, mechanics and message –Whitman is going to open a can of wupass on Brown on #1 and most likely, on #2 as well.

In order to prevail against the Empire of eMeg, this means Brown really needs to win on #3,  with a superior message about how he plans to revive the badly beat up state of California. And so far, except for the hits on Meg delivered by IE committees of his labor pals, his message has been…uh…nothing.

All year, Team Krusty has promised their campaign would ignite come Labor Day. Now it’s a week away. We just can’t wait to hear what he’s got to say.

Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: We look forward to the Pregnant Paso Doble.


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There are 4 comments for this post

  1. avatar OC Progressive says:

    Meg is certainly boasting about this massive field operation she is going to run, but are volunteers really flocking to her campaign? The movement conservatives who are the foot soldiers of the party don’t like Meg all that much. They rallied for Prop 8 in a very big way, working out of local Mormon temples, roman catholic churches, and fundamentalist congregations, but I don’t see them getting excited about Meg.

  2. avatar tonyseton says:

    Dunno if you’ve put it this way, or if I’ve been misreading between your lines, but it’s up to Brown to lose this one. The fact that he’s held back makes a huge amount of sense. He can show up as late as a few days before the absentees are mailed, and if he has the right message, he will sweep the floor with her mountain of receipts.

  3. avatar OC Progressive says:

    To rephrase what tonyseton said, Meg can’t win but Brown can lose.

  4. avatar OC Progressive says:

    And it’s interesting to compare the Republicans’ boasts about what they accomplished in SD-15 vs what Laird’s campaign reports. eMEg reports 60 volunteers and 275,000 phone calls (robocalls?).

    There was a huge air war and Laird did not have the funds to compete with Meg, but she didn’t produce anywhere near the volunteers.

    Laird reports

    People talk about grassroots campaigns all the time, it’s almost become a cliche. In this campaign we made the term come alive: we had more than 2,000 individual donors, nearly 1,400 Facebook fans and over 1,000 volunteers who made over 200,000 phonecalls and knocked on over 100,000 doors in five counties.

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