Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Postmortem Roundup: Bill Whalen makes it clear that Gray Davis didn't take the recall seriously enough, early enough. In retrospect, I think those pundits were right who said the candidacy of Bustamante was the nail in Davis's coffin. Even through the "No on Recall, Yes on Bustamante" smokescreen, Democrats could see that the Lt. Governor thought Davis was close enough to toast for a push from below.

Radley thinks that conservatives got shafted:

California's conservatives are completely fucking clueless. For about a decade now, they've been sacking moderate Republicans who could actually win in the primaries in favor of wing nuts who then get trounced in the general election. Along comes the only feasible scenario in which they could put one of their own into office, and the state Republican party lines up behind the squishy movie actor, all starry-eyed like.
I think Radley underestimates the unpopularity of social conservatism in California. The fag-bashing GOP old guard liked to think McClintock had a shot -- he didn't. Besides, a popular social liberal/fiscal moderate has at least a chance of peeling off some support from the Democrat-controlled legislature. McClintock would have been blackballed for being socially to the right of Gary Bauer, not to mention most Californians. If anything, this signals the end of the dominance of the GOP in California by old, white puritans, if only because the GOP needed a check in the "Win" column.

David Broder offers a dreadfully jejune scoop of vanilla this morning. Those East Coast deadlines are a bitch, David.

Pejman gets off the best line:

One bizarre sight was seeing Arnold's victory party, a party peopled with oodles and oodles of . . . Kennedys. Well, Shrivers to be exact, but you get the point. And they were cheering Arnold on as strongly as any Republican would. I guess it really is true what they say--the Kennedys think of themselves as their own political party.
No, wait . . . Jeff Taylor has a take on the same scene, every bit as good:
As I sat bleary-eyed at 1:41 AM EST listening to an impossibly broad-chested man declare he was an "out-sidah," I couldn't help but notice that arrayed behind him, with their fulsome smiles and die-cast cheekbones, was a entire wing of an American political dynasty.
And Easterbrook dismisses the "sweeping change" and "seismic shift" punditry; nothing new here, he says:
". . . political commentators have a self-interest in saying this, because it makes political commentary more important . . . [Arnold] represents only what he is: a popular guy who won a gimmicky event at a time voters were ticked off. Remember how recently Jesse Ventura was supposed to totally, utterly transform state politics?
On that note: Congratulations, California. You got yourself a new governor, and you're welcome to him.

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