Paris Is Talking: Ro vs. Ho, the Rematch


eiffeltower_night_bluelilyPARIS —Here in the City of Light, where authorities keep busy rounding up immigrants and removing lovers’ locks from the Pont des Arts, traffic came to a screeching halt on the Champs Élysées when word came that Rho Khanna is re-challenging Mike Honda for Silicon Valley’s 17th District seat in the U.S. Congress.

“Mon Dieu!” cried Pierre LaPeu, smacking his head with a force that drove his chapeaux into la gouttiere.

“Enfin, nous avons de l’espoir dans la Vallée de Silicium!”

Paris, where there appear to more smart phones per capita than anywhere on the globe, is quivering with anticipation that the center of innovation half a world away might wind up with someone in Congress who is, how do you say, “awake.” Tres eveille!

At Sennielier, the 128-year-old art store on Quai Voltaire where impressionists have bought custom paints, canvas and brushes for generations, Khanna vs. Honda is all the talk. “Your Mike Honda is almost as old as Charles de Gaulle, n’est-ce pas?” asked one patron, a Gauloises dangling from his lip.

art storeKhanna’s All-Stars. The Calbuzz International Wine Sampling and Croissant Munching Desk reached out via email to consultant Joe Trippi and pollster Paul Maslin, newly signed on for Khanna, for an assessment of their chances. Trippi, the former night clerk at the fleabag Vendome Hotel in downtown San Jose, who later virtually invented online campaign tactics in the U.S., apparently exhausted himself telling Josh Richman of the Bay Area News Group:

This is a place I consider home, and I’ve always been someone who thinks we need fresh thinking and new blood in the Democratic Party — and in Washington in particular — considering the challenges we’re facing.

Maslin, one of the most sensible partisan pollsters in American politics (well, except for that stint for Ross Perot; we digress), offered:

The substantial increase in turnout that a presidential year will invariably produce should work to the benefit of a candidate such as Ro Khanna. These mostly younger voters with weaker partisan affiliation simply want results– and if that means a break from an incumbent and instead embracing a younger challenger– so be it.

khannahondaThe early line. Khanna, 38, will face an uphill battle again, against Honda, who is 73 and backed to the hilt by Establishment Democrats and Big Labor.

In their last head-to-head, Honda won by 3.6 percent, after labor loyalists declared Khanna the tool of billionaires and selfish Silicon Valley interests.

As Calbuzz spelled out then, Khanna is actually a progressive, enviro-Democrat who diverges from party orthodoxy on some economic issues that put him at odds with down-the-line labor Democrats.

Here, in the Parisian Latin Quarter, all Americans — whether Indo- or Japanese- — all look pretty much the same. What matters is whether they can stay up late enough for dinner at 10 p.m.

Which Khanna can.

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There are 6 comments for this post

  1. avatar Bob Mulholland says:

    Enjoy Paris but I would bet the French outside of Paris in the countryside are not following the congressional race nor the NBA Finals.

  2. avatar rewgolfer says:

    I agree totally that Ro Khanna is a progressive enviro Democrat – I myself am perfectly comfortable supporting Khanna in 2016 for Honda’s house seat, and also supporting Bernie Sanders for President in 2016. Both are reformers – both have a lot of ideas on how to reform our economic system and make things better for regular working people. The key, of course, is to get the middle class back to where it was, to stop the bleeding of middle class jobs. Mike Honda’s ideas are tired, he himself moves at a snails-pace, he’s accomplished almost nothing in his years in the House, time to make a change, I think.

  3. avatar Ernie Konnyu says:

    Let this Republican prove to you how Progressive Khanna is. During the 2014 campaign I worked to help elect Khanna. I was painfully attacked as intolerant and homophobic repeatedly by Congressman Mike Honda’s press secretary, a Vivek somebody, and by a number of his Twitter followers. What was the rub?

    • avatar Bob Mulholland says:

      So a former Republican Congressman (Konnyu) is urging voters to support Khanna. That says all most voters need to know. Vote Honda.

  4. avatar Ernie Konnyu says:

    Continued: I publicly supported in a Facebook debate the Federal Health regulation disallowing gay men from donating blood, something Congressman Honda and others have introduced legislation to reverse. It is my religious belief that such donations of blood are immoral for medicine has established that gay men are possible HIV carriers.

    Khanna did not defend my religion and medical based statement.
    Despite this rejection, I did not end my pro-Khanna political advisory work. As to press secretary Vivek and his boss, Congressman Honda, this incident increased my desire to see Honda retire.

  5. avatar GSWPrediction says:

    Khanna’s formula for victory is simple: get 1/3 of the Dems and nearly all the Republicans. As an example, take the 2012 Honda’s reelection (the kind of cakewalk of Bay Area House Dems usually enjoy): Honda got 73.5% of the vote and his opponent Evelyn Li got 26.5%. If Khanna can get all the votes Evelyn Li did & 1/3 of 73%, Khanna wins (or gets close enough that it comes down to GOTV).

    I am not sure why Honda’s camp thinks doing mailers on Konnyu or talking about GOP supporters is a winner.

    Keep talking like Bonilla and you’ll end up like Bonilla.

    I love this articles realistic perspective on the race: this is no big deal except for people who have a vested interest or an axe to grind.

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