Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Newsom Hunkers Down: Jaye Books, South Rises

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

ericjaye2When Calbuzz heard from the enterprising Phil Matier and Andy Ross that Eric Jaye, Gavin Newsom’s longtime senior political adviser, was quitting his Prince’s campaign for governor because of “a fundamental difference” (his words) with strategist Garry South, we weren’t bowled over with surprise.

It’s not that South is a control freak; in fact, he’s perfectly capable of working collaboratively and cooperatively with campaign managers and other candidate handlers.

But Jaye to date in the campaign had Newsom heavily focused on using and trumpeting his use of online social network tools, both for organizing and for fundraising and South  is simply not, by nature,  a Twitter-Facebook-kind of guy.gary_south

The last political consultant to elect a Democrat governor of the state, the Duke of Darkness is a bare-knuckles, in-your-face, shoe-leather, hand-to-hand combat veteran who has two main tasks: 1) Get his candidate to raise a ship load of money and 2) Needle, badger and tweak primary rival Jerry Brown at every turn.

Jaye and South were both doing their best to handle the split-up professionally, and with as little inside vitriol splashing on Newsom as possible. We tried to bait South into talking but he refused to engage.

But as Calbuzz sees it, Newsom’s decision to dump the guy who’s been with him from the beginning of his career, in favor of the guy who has actually won a tough Democratic primary and two governor’s races –- not to mention taking out number of millionaire opponents — suggests Newsom is choosing to forego the all-tweet-all-the-time strategy in favor of a little throwback hardball.

As we noted July 2 , while Brown is sitting on more than $7 million (without actually announcing his candidacy), Newsom has raised just $2.8 million and has only $1.1 million in the bank, despite his legions of Twitter and Facebook fans.

Jaye apparently felt that Newsom could use his online profile to pull an Obama, who shattered all known fundraising records in his presidential bid with a major assist from the web. Fair enough, but that notion ignores the fact that before he was Lord of the Internets, Obama was an old school Chicago pol, with guys like David Axelrod locking him up to dial for dollars and running him through countless fundraisers so that in the year before the election he outraised Hillary Clinton the old fashioned way.

That’s what Newsom must to do to become more than a San Francisco boutique candidate. Brown’s long record and saturation name ID, for better or worse, presents a formidable obstacle for a rookie candidate, and Newsom needs to find a way to gain a financial and tactical edge on General Jerry.

(Aside: We were reminded of the decision made by former Gov. Pete Wilson in September 1995 when he picked Craig Fuller, an old Bush Sr. hand, to manage his presidential campaign over George Gorton, his friend and campaign strategist for 25 years. Gorton had never run a national campaign.)

Democratic primaries are all about capturing the party’s left-wing, and over at Calitics, our liberal friends fretted that losing Jaye, with his back-to-the-roots connection to Newsom and his progressive politics, is worrisome for the San Francisco mayor’s chances.

“South has a history with the radical moderates over at the Democratic Leadership Council, and that’s how he won with Davis,” wrote the estimable Brian Leubitz. “He talked ToughOnCrime ™, business, and all that jive. And it won him the 1998 election.

“But California is in a very different place today than it was then. If Garry South is going to be running Newsom’s campaign, he’ll have to update his strategy. It didn’t work with Steve Westly, and it won’t fare much better now.”

This is fuzzy thinking. Newsom’s first challenge is to beat Brown in a Democratic primary. So why in that context, would South even try to position Newsom to the right of the Attorney General?

Newsom and South are going to have to run a two track campaign: extolling the alleged wonders of San Francisco while ripping Brown’s record — as a governor, mayor, attorney general, state party chairman and the other 173 offices he’s held –- up one side and down the other. This is what South knows how to do, and is very, very good at. And it’s the pathway that Newsom has now chosen as his longtime friend and adviser leaves the field.

— By Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine

Grab Bag: Twitter Cash, New Rule, DiFi and Tony V

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

gavin3Tweeting For Dollars: With the deadline for this quarter’s fundraising approaching fast (midnight tonight), Gavin Newsom, Jerry Brown and Steve Poizner all turned to their Twitter followers to raise bucks and demonstrate support.

On the Democratic side, Brown seems to be a big winner, predicting he’ll have $7.3 million to $7.4 million in the bank while Newsom claimed to be breaking new ground in online fundraising.

Here’s a series of Newsom pitches:

* Campaign reporting deadline in 36 hours. Need 208 donations to break 4000 online. Can you give $10?
* Update: 162 donations to go to hit 4000. 75 donations already today! Can you give $10 to help?
* Update – 227 people donated today! We’re just 10 donors short of our goal of 4000 online donations already.
* Reporting deadline in 13 hours. We r $2,459 short of $1 million raised online. Can you give $10?

(In an email to supporters Tuesday afternoon, Newsom says he’s pulled in more than 4,000 online donations worth more than $1 million.)

EGBrown3Here are a couple of Brown’s tweets:

* Help me Beat the Deadline: Midnight tonight –
* Less than 10 hours to go – help me beat the deadline!

And an assist from Joe Trippi:
* I’ve worked w/ Jerry Brown for a long time. CA is a mess. He’s the right man to get CA out of it. Pls donate b4 midnight

“We’re going to have somewhere between $7.3 and $7.4 million in the bank,” Brown told Calbuzz Tuesday afternoon.

126719_poizner_GMK_And then there was Steve Poizner, trying to build up his showing against eMeg (who’s expected to show as much as $8 million for the quarter).
* June 30th fundraising deadline is tonight, become a Dollar Donor today!

People often ask us, “Calbuzz, what about this Twitter deal? Is it important to campaigning these days?” To which we reply: It depends how it’s used.

When a candidate or campaign uses Twitter to raise money (like the examples above) or to mobilize supporters (like Tom Campbell did the other day when he was about to appear on KGO Radio with Ronn Owens) – those are uses of Twitter that make sense.

Then there’s what we call, in the trade, a Big Fat Waste of Time:

Whitman2010 Just filled up with gas at the Boyett gas station. Now off to Visalia in our truck

Who gives a rat’s ass?

sanfordCalbuzz Rules: While everybody knows that the First Absolute Rule of Politics is that “Conventional wisdom is always wrong,”  South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford appears to have invented a second inalienable law of politics:  “Don’t cheat on your wife and then talk to the AP.”

Sanford caught a lucky break last week when wall-to-wall coverage of Michael Jackson’s death quickly eclipsed the bizarre story of his sexcapades with Argentine news reader Maria Belen Chapur. A wiser, or less narcissistic, pol might have relished the opportunity to lower his profile, but not good ole’ Governor Gamecock.

No, Sanford had to fight his way back into the headlines  by sitting down with a couple of AP reporters at the South Carolina statehouse and spill his guts, not only offering TMI about Ms. Chapur, but also way more than we wanted to know about the rest of his personal life.

“This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story,” he said. “A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day.”


Hey, if this whole politics thing doesn’t work out, Mark, you can always find a job writing jacket copy for Danielle Steel.

Go ahead, make my day: That roar of hilarity rising up and out of Southern California feinsteinglassesemanates from the political camp of Senator Dianne Feinstein, choking with laughter after reading GOP analyst Dan Schnur’s LAT op-ed predicting Herself won’t stand for re-election in 2012.

Of even greater amusement was Schnur’s suggestion that L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is in line to take over the seat two years hence. “That would be a Clint Eastwood moment,” says one DiFi acolyte. “Please, God, let Antonio run against Dianne.”

tonyvAdd Tony V: Speaking of Villaraigosa, Betty Pleasant, who writes the “Soulvine” column for the Los Angeles Wave has some great behind-the-scenes dish from the big parade celebrating the Lakers’ NBA championship. She reports that Kobe Bryant was none too happy with the former Tony Villar’s efforts to push himself in the team’s spotlight, and refused for a time to board the bus to the event:

The cause of the hold-up was occurring adjacent to the locker room, where Kobe was refusing to ride on the City Council bus because the mayor was to ride on it. At the same time, the mayor, the consummate spotlight thief, was refusing to get on the City Council bus unless he got on with Kobe. Kobe loudly denounced the mayor in phrases that
started with “I don’t like the …” and ended with “I’m not going to let him pimp my popularity!”

RT @GavinNewsom Is In via Twitter,YT, FB & HuffPo

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

To the surprise of no one, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom “officially” declared himself a candidate for governor today, with a media avail at Facebook HQ and a three-minute YouTube on Huffington Post in which he cheerfully tries to sprinkle dirt on Jerry Brown’s political grave.

Here’s his Tweet:
GavinNewsom It’s official- running for Gov of CA. Wanted you to be the first to know. Need your help. Check out video: http://tr.im/iOCN and ReTweet

Watch the video and hear these little nuggets from 41-year-old Prince Gavin:

“I’ve seen what can happen when we stop looking back and start looking for solutions . . . We can’t afford to keep returning to the same old tired ideas and expect a different result. We need new ideas, bold, fresh, innovative solutions to get out of this mess.”

Gee, Gav, we wonder which 71-year-old Democratic rival you might be suggesting is old school?

We’re Just Sayin’: An Insider’s Guide to Gavin-speak

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

If this whole governor thing doesn’t work out for Gavin Newsom, he’s well positioned for a new career writing epigrams for Hallmark.

On the trail, his high-energy speaking style features a quirky linguistic tic: Newsom routinely stems the flow of his words by suddenly inserting a phrase like, “I always say,” then quickly follows with an aphorism that makes it seem he’s channeling Tony Robbins channeling the Book of Proverbs with a dash of Khalil Gibran thrown in. No wonder this guy loves Twitter.

At a campaign town hall that drew 250 people in Santa Barbara the other night, the Democrat answered questions for two hours, and his full-speed-ahead political patois was for the most part polished and, at times, even persuasive. Time and again, however, when it seemed his rapid rush of words pushed him into some verbal cul de sac, oh say, a furlong or so ahead of his brain, he’d revert to some hoary maxim, as if he’d cadged a list of bumper strip slogans on the drive from the hotel to the hall.

“To say is not to do,” he said at least three times, as a way of explaining how his self-described accomplishments as the mayor overseeing the San Francisco Miracle contrast to the utter failure by every other California politician to achieve much of anything at all.

“I always say . . . that it’s decisions, not conditions, that determine our fate,” he offered at another point, after a full-barreled reflection on the minimum wage ran out of steam.

“I always say . . . the difference between success and failure is the difference between interested people and committed people,” he said at another juncture, shortly after propounding the Ben Franklin-like precept that, “You can’t be pro-jobs and anti-business.”

Reaching back five centuries, he gave credit to Michelangelo for wisely asserting that, “The biggest risk is not that you aim too high and miss, but that you aim too low and succeed” (What Michelangelo actually said, at least in translation, was “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low, and we realize it.”) Newsom’s version is close enough for political work and fits more comfortably within the 140-character limit of a Tweet.

Wrapping up his town hall, Newsom naturally made a pitch for everyone to become his friend on Facebook: “It’s not a time of life, it’s a state of mind,” he assured the fair number of elderly in the crowd.

As a public service, in the interest of sparing Newsom’s future audiences too much repetition, calbuzz offers these adages for his use, free of charge.

As we always say:
— “Dogs bark, but the caravan rolls on.”
— “The future lies ahead.”
— “I’m just going to take it one day at a time.”
— “Revenge is a dish best served cold”
— “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”
— “(fill in the blank) level playing field.”
— “An eye for an eye, and the whole world would be blind.”
— “Education is the key to the future.”
— “There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip.”
— “Don’t come a knockin’ if this van is rockin’.”
— “I can see Oakland from my house.”
— “The only poll that counts is the one on election day.”