It kind of sneaked up on me, but we are now less than a month away from the California Primary, and the Governor’s race is heating up. There is a hotly contested race for the Democratic nomination. There are two guys dueling for the chance to take on the Govinator in the Fall. That would be Phil Angelides and Steve Westly. The three-way dynamics of this race can best be described in terms of High School.
Schwarzenegger is the class jock, the one who gets laid a lot and is wildly popular despite the fact he can't really talk and has not one bit of qualification for the job. But he is sexy and the class loved him. But now he's actually had to govern for a while and government is harder that acting. Not that he can act.
Angelides is the class nerd. He knows what he's talking about. His current job is State Treasurer and he knows numbers and knows the budget and the ins and outs of government. He is also kind of funny looking and not a gifted pol. He is surprising tough for a nerd - kind of like Marty McFly after he discovered that he could punch Biff out. He is also the only candidate offering Spinach on the menu. He says we might have to raise taxes to pay for the government we want in California. Everybody else is offering some form of free lunch.
Westley is the class President. The all-star. You know, the guy who lettered in three sports, got good grades and still had time to start a chapter of Future Business Leaders of America. He's smoother and better-looking than Angelides. He made a fortune with E-Bay and is poring that money into his campaign.
So far the race hasn't featured scorched-earth attack ads. The TV ads, which are the only type of campaign that really matters in California, have been sunshine and fluff. The two did go at it in a debate tonight. My contacts in Angelides's staff dismiss Westley as an empty suit, but right now the suit is winning in the polls. Both sides are trying to attack the other without "really" going negative. Don't worry. I'll keep an eye on the race so you won't have to.