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A (Republican) House Divided

Sep
5
2003

The NYTimes‘ Dean Murphy has a story in today’s paper talking about Gov. Gray Davis’ chances of keeping his job. He’s not joking. The Republican ticket is split.
It raises an interesting question: What if Davis wins? What if the Total Recall is a Total Failure?
With MoveOn’s participation in the recall – Wes, what took you so long? – it’s getting to be a distinct possibility. That comes on top of union organizing for the Dem’s.
MoveOn launched its program to collection 100,000 pledges against the recall on Wednesday. On Friday morning, they had more than 69,000 supporters.
So, as improbable as it may seem, let’s have a look at the consequences of a Davis victory:
First of all, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante gets sent to a woodshed somewhere north of Alaska.
Democrats start looking very strong for 2004. California becomes an even more important primary state. The party will have proved it can organize against a powerful and well-financed Republican effort.
DiFi looks very good for Governor in 2004 when Davis hits the term limits wall.
Annoyingly, Davis’ political ambitions will be revived. Although it’ll be smoke and mirrors — no one likes the guy and you can only get so far in politics if people don’t like you — there will be lots of talk about what Davis can do nationally.
But in the state, Davis will have a real-live-honest-to-God mandate for change. It’s sad, but it’s hard to think of what he do with all that power, besides, of course, try to position himself for a presidential race.
Aside: Hard-core party loyalists are saying that Total Recall is un-democratic. It’s not, particularly if you consider the ways in which recalls and initiative get on the ballot. But as soon as they win, this same crowd will use the tremendous turn-out and their victory to talk about mandates. Just watch.
There will definitely be another Terminator movie as A.S.’s political career goes on hiatus. Maria will go back to NBC. Tom McClintock will start his 2004 campaign for governor, making it even more likely that DiFi will run — she’ll win.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 1:40 PM | Permalink

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