California Governor's Race

Saw the last debate between Steve Westly and Phil Angelides. I must admit, neither of these candidates appear to have what it takes to beat Arnie. Angelides has a Gray Davis like presence while Steve Westly comes across as a John Edwards like candidate with and added negative of a “deer in headlights” look particularly when he looks ito the camera!

Between the two Democratic aspirants, given that there are no filmstars (!) in the fray, it might be best for the party to support Steve Westly. The man is a Silicon Valley product and has made his money. He can match Arnie’s “I am an outsider, I don’t need no money from special interests” stand even if he can’t compete on name recognition. Besides, having a valley man in the Governor’s mansion might just be what the valley, California and to some extent the US needs to bring back even the partial economic glory days of the 90s.

At the last recall election, Arnie rode his outsider image, his filmstar popularity and Gray Davis’ fall from grace, to come to power. This time around, he appears to be far better prepared after his Sacremento experience. He is far more capable today to fight a conventional battle including a debate or two to win the election. I saw Arnie speak recently at a public event and I felt that he had come a long way. He gave a stump speech without refering to any notes. He did a fine job of staying on message. With experience he is proving to be a very astute politician. Besides, he is riding high from his budget surplus gains. At the present moment, he seems very likely to win re-election.

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