George Skelton does Meg Whitman a semi-favor this morning. He calls her conservative:
Sure, she’s a moderate — even veering liberal — on so-called social issues. But in today’s political climate, that doesn’t tilt her into being a centrist. The weighty issues for voters involve economic distress and dysfunctional governments.
Why do labels matter? Because they’re shorthand tools that politicians use to sway voters. In a Republican primary, “liberal” is an obscenity. Among Democrats, “conservative” is pejorative. In the November runoff, the winning strategy usually is to morph into a moderate with a minimum of flip-flops.
So where does Whitman stand exactly on some issues? Here’s where, based on an interview and a slick, magazine-size booklet the billionaire former EBay chief released last week:
First, the candidate emphasizes, she’ll focus on just three priorities: creating jobs, cutting state spending and fixing schools.
“In a turnaround,” Whitman says, “you can’t solve every single problem. You can’t come to Sacramento and boil the ocean. And I will tell you, having been in politics now for as long as I have” — maybe three years — “the gravitational pull to solve every problem is enormous.” (LA Times)
In other words, this is a woman who has no real plan to solve the state’s enormous fiscal problems. She’ll give you some pablum about “efficiency,” but when the rubber meets the road, she’s not willing to look at all solutions. If it involves getting the government the resources it needs, then it’s off the table.
Meanwhile, while the poll numbers may look good for Whitman right now, as she’s blasting her propaganda at an unprecedented rate, things aren’t always going to be as easy. Like, how is she going to explain to the Californian electorate her past “efficiency” record. Like spending $3 mil on private jets?
Whitman really does span the breadth of the Republican Party. She’s a far Right anti-government populist on some occasions, and a far right Corporate Elitist on other occasions. Sounds like she fits right in with the rest of her party. Nothing new, nothing shiny, just plain ol’ Republican right-wing corporatism. With 150 million dollars.