(Amen…enough of the milquetoast! – promoted by SFBrianCL)
First and foremost, my heartfelt congratulations go out to Congressman-Elect Jerry McNerney, Democrat from California’s 11th congressional district, Lieutenant Governor-Elect John Garamendi, Secretary of State-Elect Debra Bowen (!!!), Attorney General-Elect Jerry Brown, Treasurer-Elect Bill Lockyer, and Controller-Elect John Chiang. I wish all of you the best of luck and hope that you will work hard and serve our state well!
Here is my post-mortem:
Governor: Of course I am disappointed in the outcome here, but I can’t say I’m surprised. After all, no California governor has been denied a second term since Earl Warren did that to Culbert Olson in 1942.
Arnold v.2007 will not be the same as Arnold v.2006; he will be much closer to v.2005. Be prepared for more of those “good ideas” that went down in defeat exactly one year ago. We will have our hands full in these next four long years.
To all my friends scared about the prospects of California turning red I say, “Worry no more. Just look at the down-ticket”. Arnold won handily and yet only pulled Poizner across the finish line with him. And Poizner himself faced a lackluster challenger in Bustamante (who REALLY needed to go!). If we can get a strong candidate in 2010 we can beat him!
Secretary of State: After weeks of anxiety, I can finally cheer and breathe a sigh of relief that Bowen pulled it out despite facing very steep odds, and that California will be painted blue in 2008!
California 11: To the Jerry McNerney team: WE DID IT!!! Grassroots support trumps Washington insiders and special interests. Party insiders feared Jerry was too liberal to win this pink-tinted district, but we proved them wrong! My sincere gratitude goes out to the voters of CA-11!!!
The props: I am thrilled that Prop 73 (er, I mean 85) failed again, by a slightly bigger margin than last year, and the atrocious 90 went down as well. The bad news here was that the awesome 87 and 89 went down and the atrocious 83 passed, though it is currently in court.
So, what can be made of all this? We are still a blue state (whew!), especially since John Chiang was relatively quiet the whole election and yet won the Controller’s race by 10, and DiFi, Brown, and Lockyer won by bigger margins than Arnold did. The Republicans do not have much of a bench here except Arnold and possibly Poizner unless we beat him in 2010. Democrats on the other hand have a relatively strong bench with Villaraigosa, Newsom, Núñez, Chiang, Bowen, and others. Even though we have a whole slew of good candidates to try for governor or Senate in 2010 and beyond, we still need to undergo a major overhaul. The governor’s race was a major wake-up call. We need to dump the milquetoast party insiders. Let’s take the party back! A good way to start is to appeal to the grassroots. A couple of fine Californians (the new SoS and CA-11 rep) have showed us such a way.