Lots of early positioning in the last week, especially the news from Senator Dianne Feinstein that she would make a decision as to running in the new year (translation: don’t write checks to other candidates during the reporting period that ends…at the end of the year).
On a conference call with bloggers, Lt. Governor John Garamendi noted that he’d be announcing a campaign manager in a bit, but couldn’t say the name now. Let the speculation begin.
Carla Marinucci looked at who will land Ace Smith, who has a stellar reputation. Carla was tipped about Smith joining a Jerry Brown for Governor facebook group (currently standing at 63 members), but I think we all need to remember joining a facebook group is not an endorsement, as Smith pointed out. Of course, the story looked at how Smith has recently worked for both Attorney General Jerry Brown and LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. It should be noted, neither have a facebook page of their own…
More discussion on Gavin Newsom getting busted with Garry South. Randy Shaw said, “for all of his unpopularity with bloggers, the traditional media, progressives and politicians, Garry South was likely the most experienced and competent campaign manager available.” Tim Redmond brushed it off because, “anyone who thinks Newsom will run for governor as a San Francisco progressive hasn’t been paying attention to the mayor’s history and career. He ran for mayor the first time as a pro-business moderate, and that’s how he’ll run for governor.”
In Brian’s Open Letter on Garry South, he wrote:
As the presidential campaigns staff up in California and across the nation, I implore them, for their own sake, to stay away from Mr. South. This state is sick of his apparent disdain for the base of the Democratic party. Furthermore, his triangulation for every candidate that he has managed has ultimately led to an erosion of the Democratic brand. If you care to read George Lakoff’s books, you will see that South violates pretty much every suggestion provided by the progressive movement’s greatest linguist.
I do not intend to make idle threats, but there is no surer way to writing off the support of the netroots in California than hiring Garry South. In fact, Mr. South has received votes of no-confidence from national blogs as well.
Which, South proved on Newsom’s signature issue, when he actually went to the right of Al From (Newsom is a long-time DLC member):
Al From, who heads the moderate Democratic Leadership Council, which highlighted Newsom among two dozen rising stars last month at its conference in Aspen, believes that Newsom “may have gotten a little bit ahead of himself with gay marriage — but the country as a whole will catch up.”
From said the bigger issue is that Newsom is “not afraid of change. That can only bode well for someone who has a good future in politics.”
Not all Democrats are so unfailingly positive about Newsom’s political future. Veteran Democratic consultant Garry South said Newsom is “a very attractive, very intelligent new political figure on the California scene,” and one who has shown gutsy moves in areas like tackling the homeless problem and improving the city’s business environment.
Still, South warned that same-sex marriage illustrated “the danger he faces is believing that San Francisco politics is just a smaller version of California statewide politics.”
In clearing the way for marriages previously rejected by California’s voters, South said Newsom embarked on “an unfortunate and somewhat self- indulgent move … that had some effect on the presidential campaign.”
“I can’t say that John Kerry would have won (without the issue),” South said, “but it was certainly not helpful to have our Democratic ticket having to campaign in states like Ohio which had a gay marriage thing on the ballot.”
Republicans such as Sen. John McCain of Arizona agreed that Newsom’s moves on same-sex marriage “absolutely” aided the Republican effort to re- elect Bush in 2004. emphasis added
What are you hearing about the early positioning?