Posts Tagged ‘John Seymour’

2012 Opener: Why eMeg Should Take On HRH DiFi

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Senator Dianne Feinstein is normally the most coy and flirtatious of politicians, famously performing the Dance of the Seven Veils whenever some rumpled reporter asks if she’s planning to run in some future election.

So it spoke volumes when California’s Queen Mum stomped all over a campaign event for colleague Barbara Boxer a few days before last week’s election to shout from the rooftops that she, The Great and Wondrous Difi, would — da-da-da-daah — be running to keep her precious seat in 2012.

It’s clearly a sign of the times, as incumbent Democratic Senators become more endangered than snowy plovers, that the professionally neurotic Dianne is evincing more political anxiety than usual. And it’s telling that the first trial balloon about the race took flight just one day after the election, as Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner felt compelled to issue an aw-shucks non-denial denial about a (heaven help us) Twitter message pimping his chances as the anti-Dianne.

As California Republicans proved anew last week that they ain’t exactly deep off the bench with contenders, the Calbuzz Department of Prognostication, Dowsing and Divining Rods prepared a first, long-off gaze at the GOP Senate field. And it looks now that there’s one, and only one, possible answer for the Party of Lincoln. Here’s the early line:

Steve Poizner – The Commish was one of our first and most loyal advertisers, so it pains us to say that the crazed lunge to the right on immigration issues by this previously perfectly rational Republican moderate during the primary made us question the scruples, if not the sanity, of our old friend. John Seymour long ago proved the folly of a garden variety right-winger challenging Dianne, and Poizner himself showed against Meg that he can’t match up in the paint with a big woman who towers over him. Candidate Rank: 4.

Orly Taitz – The Birther Movement whack job , who’s never categorically denied she’s a space alien, has kept a low profile since delivering heart palpitations to establishment Republican types by making a run at the party’s nomination for Secretary of State in the June primary. But in the current atmosphere of right-wing madness and all-around political weirdness, who better to make the GOP case for incoherent, conspiracy-based, constitutional creationist Palinism? Perhaps the California Republicans, still nursing the wounds of being hit by a bus, could warm to an authentic Mama Grizzly?  Candidate Rank: 2.

Carly Fiorina – A slightly more moderate version of Orly Taitz (same hair salon?), the former robber baron CEO of Hewlett-Packard lost a squeaker big time to Sen. Barbara Boxer, despite iCarly’s innovative platform calling for debtor prisons, the death penalty for abortion docs and open carry laws for assault rifles on airliners. While Californians came to love her rare combination of mean-spirited condescension and patronizing arrogance, word is Hurricane Carly is eying a move to Idaho, where she’ll feel politically more at home. Candidate Rank: 5.

Darrell Issa – One of the more widely-respected car alarm magnates south of the Tehachapis, Issa has already played an outsized role in California politics by financing the 2003 recall of Gray Davis and getting beat by, um, Matt Fong, in his one try at a statewide GOP nomination. Now, however, he’s positioned to grab national headlines in his role as a White House-investigating demagogue House committee chairman; who knows how popular he can become once he waterboards David Axelrod in public?  It’s not like anybody’s going to bring up his sketchy Army record or the stolen Dodge,  Maserati and Mercedes. Or the hidden handgun, either. Candidate Rank: 3.

Tom Campbell – A moderate Republican who…oh, never mind. Candidate Rank: 6.

Meg Whitman – Sure, she’s feeling beat up, bruised and unappreciated right now, but don’t forget it was none other than Dianne Feinstein her ownself who showed that before you can get elected to the U.S. Senate, you have to run for governor and lose. Dianne paved the way, winning her Senate seat  just two years after a bitter defeat to Pete Wilson in 1990. If she’s got the heart, eMeg could trace a similar political career path and keep hope alive for her dream of becoming the first woman president.

Seasoned and toughened by a brutal statewide race, she needs to find a high-profile perch at a think tank, private charity or public policy-oriented non-profit shop to keep her hand in the game, secure in knowing that the character issues which tripped her up this year – Goldman Sachs, sweetheart IPOs and her treatment of her illegal housekeeper, for starters – will be old news by the time 2012 rolls around.

Time to start spending some of that Whitman/Harsh foundation money on something other than protection of the valley floor around her Skyline Ranch in Telluride. Memo to Meg: a) Don’t forget to invite the press corps along when you go to vote next year. b) Go to dinner with Calbuzz this time and (here’s two words we bet you seldom hear) – we’ll pay.

P.S. In the interest of full disclosure, Calbuzz acknowledges that we get a thrill up our leg at the image of Dick Blum choking on his wallet when DiFi announces she’ll need 150 Large for the re-elect. Candidate Rank: 1

This Week’s Standings
1-Meg Whitman
2-Orly Taitz
3-Darrell Issa
4-Steve Poizner
5-Carly Fiorina
6-Tom Campbell

Meyer: Careful Where You Motor That Boat, Carly

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

When Barbara Boxer’s attack ad on Carly Fiorina came out the other day, with its mention of Fiorina’s “million dollar yacht,” we were reminded of an unfortunate nautical gaffe  made by another Republican candidate for U.S. Senate — John Seymour, who was trying in 1992 to hang onto the seat he’d been appointed to by Pete Wilson, after Wilson became governor.

Challenged by Dianne Feinstein, Seymour was a decent man but something of a hapless statewide candidate. And it didn’t help when, at the California Republican Party Convention, he was trying to demonstrate his sensitivity to the down-and-out by saying: “Sometimes you lose your job. Maybe you’ve got to sell your boat to keep your family going.”

He tried later to explain himself, telling our friend Cathy Decker at the LA Times: “I wasn’t speaking of yacht owners. Boat owners! There’s hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions (of boats) in California.” But he never could portray himself as anything but a wealthy, Orange County Republican and, in the election that swept Bill Clinton into the White House, Feinstein beat him 54-38%.

None of which anyone but a few alter kockers even remembers. But it is a delicious backdrop for Calbuzzer Chief Pen Stabber Tom Meyer’s cartoon this week in which an environmentally challenged Hurricane Carly is outraged at the damn proletarian whale (sorry Babs) that gets in the way of her yacht.

Senate situationer: As Babs and Carly prepare to spar on public radio Wednesday afternoon, a non-face-to-face showdown certain to be heard by hundreds, three quick thoughts on the state of the the race:

1-Team Fiorina may come to regret giving Boxer a free pass to pummel their candidate for a full week without offering an answer to Bab’s tough ad about Carly’s reign of error at HP.

At a time when most recession-riddled voters are just tuning in, and one third of them know next to the nothing about Fiorina, the attack line Babs has pressed since the first debate about Hurricane slashing 30,000 jobs is not exactly the first thing Mean Girl wanted folks to know about her.

2-When Fiorina finally responded, she didn’t even try to blunt the heart-of-cold CEO narrative that Boxer is pushing, but rather tried to change the subject with her beat down of Babs for getting all huffy with a general for not using her correct title.

Boxer’s worst You Tube moment is a great insider issue, but not particularly salient to the problems of the unemployed; moreover, many women voters of Barbara’s generation, and the one that followed, who had to fight fiercely for respect in the workplace, may not think she was all that out of line with her comment.

3-The big unknown in the campaign remains the question of whether Fiorina will benefit from a massive cash infusion from the Rove Republican forces now funneling hundreds of millions of post-Citizens United corporate dollars, often with no disclosure of the donors, into mid-term races across the country.

Two factors mitigate against it: a) giving iCarly a real boost will be a most expensive proposition and any organization that decides to play in California, shadowy or not, must be all-in to be effective – half measures won’t do it; b) unlike eMeg, Fiorina has yet to make a serious and sustained financial commitment to the race out of her own pocketbook; one of the assets national Republicans originally saw in her candidacy was her ability to self-fund.

Given the latest polls, until she puts in more than table stakes, they may decide their money can be spent more efficiently, and with a greater chance of success, on smaller battlegrounds. A Senate seat is a Senate seat, no matter wherefrom.