Officially, the Big Event at the California Democratic Party convention in San Jose this weekend is the endorsement showdown between Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez over who, if anyone, gets the party’s Seal of Approval on her U.S. Senate slate cards.
As longtime readers know, however, the political MSM’s notion of news rarely bears resemblance to the far more crucial Calbuzz Convention Agenda, so as Our National Affairs Desk saddles up for a Silicon Valley road trip (with seasoned and critical eyes zeroing on the press room noshes and nibbles) here is a look at the key questions we’ll be tracking.
1-Will the Senior Caucus need a bigger room? The first event on the schedule is today’s meeting of the Senior Caucus, set to gather from 2:30-4:15 p.m., great timing since it means everyone can get out in time for Early Bird Special dinner. With the Septuagenarian Sisters, Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi, on the weekend marquee, party chair John Burton will have to be certain there are enough seats for all the geezers when he comes wheezing in at age 83.
2-Will Joe Biden channel Winston Churchill? Long before he became Veep, Joe Biden wrecked his long-ago campaign for president when a future Calbuzzer blew the whistle on him plagiarizing a Bobby Kennedy speech during his address to the 1988 California Democratic convention — not long after he’d ripped off without attribution the words of British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. Biden is Saturday’s keynoter and, if he starts urging delegates to fight Republican obstructionism over the Supreme Court “on the landing grounds, in the fields, in the streets and in the hills,” we’ll be all over it.
3-Will anyone recognize Antonio? Lite Gov Gavin Newsom, the way, way early 2018 favorite for governor, is taking a pass on the weekend fun (standing ready to tweet in case his wife goes into labor with their fourth kid), but almost every other wannabe not only will be on hand – hello Tom Steyer, Gil Garcetti and John Chiang – but also merits a pre-convention mention in the program for an appearance. That leaves ex-L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — whose 2015 Hamlet act about whether to run for Boxer’s Senate seat was only slightly more tiresome than his current dithering about running to replace Gov. Gandalf, — the odd-man out; we’re told Tony V plans to show up, and even to politick a bit, but we’ll believe it when we see him in the Starbucks line.
4-What Will Calbuzz Do? The Saturday night party schedule confronts our vast staff with a classic conundrum: should we opt for entertainment and head for hours of hilarity at Karaoke Night with whacky Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma and DemParty vice-chair Eric Bauman — or do our due diligence reporting at the Legalize Cannabis Hospitality Suite with Brownie Mary Democrats? Hmm.
5-Will Mike Honda sleep through his endorsement debate? The best intraparty race in the state is the Dem-on-Dem 17th Congressional District brawl matching incumbent Rep. Mike Honda against tech boy favorite Ro Khanna. The two are set to face off at a convention cage match at (5:45 pm) on Saturday, but given that’s awfully close to bedtime for the notoriously slumberous congressman, we’re hoping his handlers don’t forget to set the alarms on their iPhones. At least those of them who can tear themselves away from meeting with their lawyers, that is.
6-Will Kamala be carried around in a sedan chair? At last year’s convention, Harris strutted around the place attended by a retinue worthy of Cersei Lannister, which not only included an entourage of guys with wires in their ears, but also a contingent of food tasters, coat carriers, personal trainers, aestheticians and footmen in full livery, an escort that made sure the peasants knew she’s a Really Important Person while also serving to keep the press at bay. At one point, her big parade managed to send one already hobbled Calbuzzer reeling, and if she pulls the same stunt this time, our legal staff of Dewey Cheatem and Howe has made sure we’re equipped with foam neck braces for the evidence photos we’ll show the jury when we go for pain, suffering and treble damages.
7-Will Loretta tell drinking jokes to the Irish-American caucus? Sanchez, Harris’s chief rival for the U.S. Senate race, didn’t exactly cover herself in glory at last year’s convention either, with her Chief Wahoo moment of making stereotypical Native-American woowoowoo whoops at a meeting of the Asian-Indian caucus. Get it? Sanchez’s just-folks demeanor is a nice relief to the stuffy M.O. of Kamala-bot, but with countless numbers of Dems identity group factions on hand to insult, her followers better hope she doesn’t start uttering Donald Trump vulgarities.
8-Will Marinucci flash her expense account? Costco Carla for many years labored for the el cheapo Hearst Chronicle, during which she not only struggled to overcome the vacuous belief of her pipsqueak tyrant editor that no one cares about politics, but also was reduced to cadging drinks from her colleagues and crashing on the couches of distant relatives who lived near convention venues. Now, she’s been reborn as chief California correspondent for Politico, the D.C.-based enterprise that’s bursting with cash and obsessed with every nano-story of interest to political junkies. So dinner’s on her, hacks and flacks!