Arnold Update

ARNOLD UDPATE….A few miscellaneous musings about the Arnold campaign:

  • Hugh Hewitt claims that “some Sacramento whispers have AS’s internal polls approaching 60%.” That sounds like a big stretch to me, but I thought I’d pass it along anyway.

  • Armed Liberal has some thoughts, one of which is that “Arnie is a rich white guy who lives in Brentwood, and….it won’t be hard to paint him as a guy who sees Latinos as gardeners and blacks as drivers.” He has some suggestions about what he needs to do about that.

    Now, there’s no question that Arnold has racial baggage: he supported Proposition 187, he’s hired a bunch of Pete Wilson’s campaign people, he’s got the whole Nazi father thing to deal with, and he belongs to U.S. English, a group that advocates making English the official language of the United States. But even so, I wonder if that’s really such a big problem.

    The thing is that the dynamics of the recall race are wildly different from a normal race: Arnold doesn’t have to win 50%, he only has to win 20-30%. This means that from a hardnosed electoral standpoint, he might decide he doesn’t need the minority vote. He’s not going to do anything to deliberately annoy them, of course, but he might figure that Cruz Bustamante has the minority vote sewn up anyway, so he might as well skip the whole thing and just concentrate on appealing to the Prop 187 crowd.

    At any rate, if I were a heartless campaign consultant with ice water running through my veins, that’s what I might recommend. Here’s how we’ll know if that’s the strategy: if he comes out in favor of Proposition 54, I think that means he’s basically given up on actively trying to win the minority vote.

  • Barry Ritholtz thinks that bringing Warren Buffett on board is a huge coup that insulates Arnold from budget sniping from both the left and the right:

    Buffet is all about postponing fun, and taking your medicine now. He has a very, very long time horizon. We can expect to hear about Buffett?s own economic agenda of value, moderation, anti-tax giveaways over the next 12 months. That likely means spending cuts, tax hikes and service cut backs for California. And because he’s Buffett, he may very well get a free pass on them. If Warren says we need a tax increase, well then, Hell, we must need a tax increase. California may not realize it yet, but they are staring down the barrel of some bad tasting fiscal medicine. Don?t expect Warren to sugar coat the nasty stuff.

    That makes some sense to me. If Buffett recommends tax hikes and service cuts, Arnold is covered. After all, who’s going to argue with Warren Buffett?

Finally, CNN was reporting this afternoon that Arnold’s campaign is actively trying to get some big time Republicans to convince his opponents to drop out of the race. I imagine this is his most important job at the moment. As long as there are four Republicans in the race, I doubt he can win. If there are only two, he’s a shoo-in.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation