Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Damn, How Embarassing

I told them so.

I told them, I told them, I told them. I haven't been in the party machine for 2 decades here in California, but when I first started hearing the rumors early last year, I dug out that dusty rolodex and I called. I called and called. Begged. Pleaded.

Anybody but Angelides.

Our fucking state and national Democratic Party simply Did. Not. Listen. To me or any of the many other voices who knew the sad truth, however unfair it was.

Their hard heads (which they should have known often leads to a soft electoral ass) are the reason I am still stuck with Arnold Schwarzenneger as my Governor.

What IS it with this state and actors for prominent political office? First California laid the stinkbomb of Re-Ron on the nation, and you see how badly that turned out. Now this. (Don't even think Schwarzennger won't run for the whole ball of wax as soon as they can sucker enough people into amending the Constitution......)

Anyone with an inch of sense -- or any prior exposure to Phil Angelides prior to his nomination for Governor -- KNEW that he could not possibly beat Schwarzenneger, no matter how bad the Governator's approval ratings were (and they were hell of bad, dropping to under 40% less than a year ago.) Angelides has all the charisma and political heartbeat of an algae eater. Steadfast party loyalty has never been a good reason for nominating someone to run for political office, particularly when you know that the opponent is both chameleon-like and charismatic. Yet it was clear that this was the ONLY reason that we put up a doormat like Angelides at the top of our state ticket. Yes, his politics were "the right politics". But what good does that do you, when you can't SELL them because you are incapable of a sales job at the personality level?

I don't know how many times I heard "it's his turn" as the excuse. Too many to count.

Well, it was and is a sucky excuse. The state party -- and the national one -- both should be utterly ashamed. We could have given California back to the Democratic Party on the political wave that washed through the country last night. Schwarzenneger was beatable. Easily so. His ass being handed to him in last year's special election fiasco was all the momentum that a candidate would have needed, if they actually knew how to campaign. But anyone who actually ever met and talked to Phil Angelides before could have told you - he doesn't. And didn't.

Which is why last night he was rolled at the polls. I don't know if there have ever been gubenatorial races here in California where the vote was more lopsided but Democratic Angelides losing by more than 15 points in our Blue State is down right embarassing at a level that makes a person want to go into the house, pull the black-out shades, and never come out. The entire thing was all over by 8:30, only 1/2 hour after the polls closed. I know that even Angelides, Mr. Boring, is embarassed. And he should be: obviously, his ego got in the way of his common sense, and he convinced himself that his unquestioning decades-long party machine loyalty was enough to guarantee him electoral success in California.

He learned last night the hard way that it was not.

But Angelides does not have as much to be ashamed about as the State and National Democratic Party machines do. Having shoved Angelides down our throat as the Democratic candidate, they then had an obligation to actually throw their weight behind him to help him win, knowing that it was an uphill climb despite Angelides' politics being "the right stuff." They didn't - they left him to the wolves. It was clear as mud that Angelides was a wonk, a steadfast soldier, and very smart. But it was also clear that he was NOT a politician who could mobilize and excite any but the most bookish voters. He needed the help of the party to win. He didn't get that. Which just goes to show you - loyalty ain't everything.

Are we sure, now, that we really wouldn't have been better off with Steve Westly?


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