In today’s Willie Brown column, Willie praises Gavin Newsom for “having the courage” to drop out of the race, he speaks that which the Chronicle’s news section, as well as the LA Times, refuses to admit is a possibility: there just might be another candidate on the Democratic side.
But it is absolutely necessary for a politician to have that type of courage if he wants a long career. And make no mistake, Newsom still has a future. He is still a tremendous communicator.
Although Attorney General Jerry Brown comes out the early winner in Newsom’s withdrawal, I have to believe there are many Democrats out there who still say, “Can’t we find someone with a newer paint job?”
Two names have already popped up: Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice (Los Angeles County), and Maria Shriver. (SF Chronicle 11/1/09)
For a few weeks these rumors have been going about. There a number of reasons for this, the big one being that there is money sitting out of this race. This is more than just your normal money sitting out of the race for economic reasons, but some typical players that didn’t take a side. That could have been that they were leaning away from Brown and weren’t sure about how long Newsom could survive. Or that Newsom wasn’t able to extract money and just tried for the second best and asked people to hold off on giving money to Brown.
Jerry Brown has a lot of inherent advantages in the race, yet he’s certainly not unbeatable. Brown coould yet lose to a well-funded candidate, especially if that well-funded candidate was a minority, a woman, or a combination of the two. Harman carries baggage with the base, and the word on the street is that she may not be able to self-finance her campaigns going forward. Shriver carries some baggage of her own, prinicipally from being married to a rather poor governor.
But those two names are not the only two taking a look at the calculus of the 2010 governor’s race. If I were to be putting odds on somebody else getting into the race, I think I’d peg it at slightly better than even money, maybe 60%.