Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Governor's Debate in California

I thought we finally got a good notion of why Meg Whitman is running for Governor in the debate that took place at Dominican University.  Brown is a clear choice for the status quo - and if you believe that the former governor was not a great governor, then it would be hard to justify that he would be able to change his spots.

That does not mean that Meg Whitman is a perfect candidate.  In her first debate she was wooden.  But tonight she showed a good command of the issues and a willingness to engage.  Brown looked a bit stumbly in this one - especially in his almost gaffe about being in the "back pocket" of the police chiefs.

Either side represents some risk.  Brown claims he has matured, although there is no evidence from his role as Mayor of Oakland or Attorney General that he is substantially different from his earlier chances at "leadership."  A good friend who was a dean of the Senate and a liberal told me about a year ago he would never vote for Brown because as he said to me "Jerry will do anything and say anything to get elected."  Whitman clearly is inexperienced in the wiles of Sacramento and if you think the current governor was unsuccessful, you might look at her with reservations.   Her major difference between this governor and the next one is attention span.  Whitman made a strong case that a vote for Brown is a vote for the Status Quo.  While there are risks on both sides - Whitman is clearly the stronger choice.

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