Sunday, October 24, 2010

California Governor's Race

How do you top having Conan the Destroyer for a governor?

Meg Whitman - Republican
Bored with the life of a retired billionaire Meg presents the bizarre image of a fiscal conservative who is spending a shitload of money to buy the State of California as her new toy.
Scrooge McDuck was never such a wastrel.
Meg is spending $160 million to get elected. To put that in perspective, Carly Fiorina, the former CEO running for Senate, only has a net worth of $20 million. She'd have saved money just buying votes directly on eBay. Most Californians would sell their ballots for a full tank of gas.

Her campaign has proved that even if you give political consultants a blank check they will still manage over spend. She has even put out an "I'm not a billionaire, I'm you" ad that might have worked several months ago before Christine O'Donnell spoiled the genre.

Jerry Brown - Democrat
Jerry Brown has been in politics for over half a century. If you add in his childhood as the son of a career politician, he has spent his entire life in the game. You'd figure in a "throw the bums out" election year that would be a handicap. Add in his looking like Skeletor and he appeared to be a loser running against anybody.

But, experience has value. Jerry has run a great campaign. He had a rope-a-dope strategy early, letting Meg overspend wildly. Jerry relied on the rule of diminishing returns in political advertising, that after a while every additional television commercial is just beating a dead horse. Meg peaked too soon. Jerry conserved his cash and has spent it wisely. His ads in the last month have traction while Meg's ads are falling on deaf ears.

There is a subliminal message to this campaign as well. Jerry Brown is the fiscal conservative who knows how to spend money wisely. Meg Whitman is the spendthrift whose answer to every problem is to just throw more money at it.

The Issues
You know, in this campaign there really are no issues. Things are shitty, the state is dysfunctional and there are no easy, 30-second ad answers.

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