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Day 2 quick thoughts

by: David Dayen

Sat Mar 29, 2008 at 13:59:29 PM PDT

• I truly think that the governor's mansion is Jerry Brown's if he wants it.  I always aprreciate a guy who's been marginalized and demonized by the right for so long, and just keeps going, shoving it right back in their faces.  Brown's speech at the convention, delivered without a teleprompter, was great for red meat but also reflected an agile mind that has been right about so many issues for so long.  I like a guy who takes "Governor Moonbeam" as a compliment.  I really think that if he wants to be Governor again the seat is his.  Outside of President I don't believe he's ever lost a political race. (Plus I still remember that Joe Trippi ran his campaign against Bill Clinton in 1992.)

• I don't have a connection to the Leno-Migden fight outside of what I read on Calitics and what I hear from my friends on the site.  But I have to say that, looking at it from the outside, this is the biggest waste of resources I've ever seen in my life.  What would happen if these hundreds of volunteers walked precincts in the district, instead of providing "visibility" while fighting for an endorsement in a high-information area that won't ultimately matter much?  The battle is swamping the entire convention, and it's clearly become a giant pissing contest between the Assembly and the Senate, with each side taking up for their colleague.  As you've read here, Migden is nuts, and I have pretty strong opinions about who should serve, and in particular the principle of the unbalanced endorsement process, where an incumbent needs a lower threshold to get the party endorsement than a challenger.  That's ridiculous, and in fact Joye Swan of the Progressive Caucus is leading an effort for a bylaw change to address just that.  But this is a waste.

• Relevant to that, I think Bill Clinton has NO IDEA what he's about to step into on Sunday.  The Leno-Migden thing is sucking up most of the oxygen out of this convention.  Clinton and San Francisco DA Kamala Harris are speaking for Hillary and Barack Obama tomorrow, but there's going to be less focus on that than he'd expect.

• We are doing several interviews with Congressional and legislative candidates.  So far we had a good chat with Bill Durston, a candidate in the rapidly purpling area of CA-03.  We have interviews with Charlie Brown (CA-04), Hannah-Beth Jackson (SD-19) and Russ Warner (CA-26) later on.  We will be posting the audio as we get it in.  We also had a nice chat between bloggers and Mayor Gavin Newsom.  His effort to sue for restoration of Medi-Cal reimbursements is a very strong stand.  What I didn't get a chance to ask him about is why he's trying to curtail free speech when the Olympic torch relay comes to San Francisco on April 9.

David Dayen :: Day 2 quick thoughts
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moving the primary was so stupid! (0.00 / 0)

Moving the Presidential primary up to February is going to go down in history as one of the stupidest decisions made by California and the Party.

If we'd just left well enough alone, California would have literally been the Big Prize at the End of the Road, and we'd have a convention that would be at Ground Zero of the battle of two very well equipped candidates.

Instead, we spent our capital on a big Super Duper Tuesday with tons of other big states ,and now, the big "issue" at this convention is a bitchfest between a handful of current and former legislators in a liberal SF/Marin district.

Whatever. I'm just sorry we don't have Sens. Clinton and Obama talking to Californians more, as that will have more impact on my life and that of my family than which liberal represents a liberal district in liberal SF/Marin.

I mean, are any of these candidates NOT going to be pro choice, pro environment, pro marriage equality, etc? Is there a stealth candidate who's going to be voting pro Big Oil? Or anti-marriage equality?

Someone educate me and if I'm mistaken , let me know (and I'm not being snarky, I just live in Leland Yee's District so I haven't heard all the campaign ads yet).


pre-primary endorsements (0.00 / 0)
I continue to believe that the threshold for a pre-primary endorsement from the Party should be VERY high, say 80-90%.  The Party should not endorse in contested races before the primary.  A primary election is the Party's endorsement.  Individuals, caucuses, clubs, etc, should all endorse if they are so inclined.  

But the Party (with a capital P) is different.  In an uncontested race (or effectively uncontested), the Party should get behind its nominee early, before the primary, to give them the best shot at the General election.  The point of official Party pre-primary endorsements seems to only  be to stoke the egos of DSCC members and give a little bit of drama to even-year Conventions.  The volunteers who are here, handing out literature, etc, should be at home, working for the only votes which really matter: the voters in the district.

So, we need not only a level playing field for endorsements, we also need to raise the threshold to make it not worth it for candidates to waste this effort!

1982 (0.00 / 0)
Jerry Brown has actually lost a race - he lost the 1982 US Senate race to Pete Wilson.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

You described the Leno-Migden fight (0.00 / 0)
perfectly. It's almost overtaking the presidential election.  

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