29 July 2009

sleeping on the campaign

i fell asleep thinking about california politics. and woke up thinking about california politics. and about mayor newsom in particular.

look, eric jaye perhaps wasn't the right guy to lead team newsom. he put all of his energy and focus into tweeting his way to the governor's mansion, and let's be real, as cool as social networking is, and as many bridges as it can build, it doesn't win campaigns.

and for jaye to lay claim to the belief that obama won because he was able to exploit facebook is absurd. and it's even more absurd if he thought that would win a california race without getting his hands dirty building a ground swell at the grassroots level.

i get that newsom is fumbling for a winning strategy in a new age of campaigns. and i don't fault him for looking in a new direction when his coffers are far short of his yet undeclared but incredibly popular and well-known opponent.

but if newsom's long term vision in hiring garry south is to win by resorting to dirty politics, name calling, and character defiling, he will lose. lest we forget, our good mayor isn't exactly the pinnacle of moral authority. and beating up the old guy who has been good for california, time and again, is not going to score gavin newsom too many points amongst the baby boomers who are most likely to get out to vote come primary season next june.

and maybe i'm not giving garry south enough credit. maybe he too sees the advantage of a ground-up campaign and will work with the field team to build a win. but then again, where's he been since gray davis moved into the governor's mansion? sharpening his knives in the great unknown? learning new tricks of the trade? resting up while waiting for the for the perfect candidate to call him to duty?

i don't know. but i'm not exactly optimistic about the campaign's latest strategic acquisition. that's fer sure.



  1. "where's he been since gray davis moved into the governor's mansion?"

    He worked for Joe Lieberman's presidential campaign. A January 16-20, 2003 ABC News/Washington Post Poll had Lieberman the clear front-runner, with more support than his next two closest competitors combined. Then Lieberman hired Gary South.

    Next thing you know, two days before the New Hampshire primary, the campaign started talking about Joementum. Lieberman then called his FIFTH place finish a three way tie for third and has been a joke ever since. After a few more rejections by voters, Garry South had driven Lieberman so far into the ground that David Letterman said, "Because of poor results at the primaries last night, Senator Joe Lieberman will be dropping out of the race. Earlier today, he broke the news to his supporter."

    Then he worked for Steve Westly. All the money in the world, double digit lead two months out and ended up losing by 5 pts. Then South spent the general election badmouthing Phil Angelides to help Schwarzenegger get re-elected.

    He's been busy.

  2. you're totally right, anonymous. he has been busy. losing.