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Newsom won by running from his record
It shouldn’t be forgotten that Gavin Newsom and the Democrat Party never addressed the problems of rampant crime, an enormous homeless population, some of poorest performing schools in the nation, the highest taxes in the nation, unscientific and inconsistent lockdown policies that resulted in thousands of small businesses closing, and poor forest management resulting in hundreds of square miles of the state going up in flames (yet dishonestly blaming the fires on global warming).
Newsom and the Democrats ran from his record and instead painted front-runner Larry Elder as a clone of Donald Trump, thus putting Trump on the ballot to raise the hackles of low-information Democrat voters, as in: “Hey, ignorant and gullible fellow Democrats, don’t look at my dismal record as governor which is essentially a sequel to my dismal record as mayor of San Francisco, instead vote against ‘Trump’ because he’s really wearing blackface and calling himself Larry Elder.”
And yes, that strategy seemed to have worked…for the time being because it looks as though Larry Elder isn’t going away and is eager to take on Newsom again in 2022. That says a great deal about the man’s character and his determination.
Sure, the LA Times’ racist smears helped
Coming to Newsom’s aid was the Los Angeles Times that activated a campaign of racist smears of Elder who came from a lower-middle-class family with a father who held two full-time janitorial jobs to support his family. Elder grew up and succeeded in one of the most crime-ridden sections of Los Angeles to become a best-selling author and popular radio talk show personality. It’s clear why Larry Elder was attacked by the LA Times – because their leftist editorial board and writers were threatened that a black man could be so uppity to actually articulate ideas that ran counter to Democrat far-left ideology. That uppity black man had to be taken down several pegs. Ironically, and with a straight face, the LA Times smeared Elder as a white supremacist who was apparently a danger to his own race. Slanderous. Defamatory and disgusting. Hopefully, thousands of the paper’s subscribers have now realized just how vile the editorial board is and will start canceling their subscriptions.
Again, when Democrats and the news media accuse others of being racist, it’s simply a way to divert scrutiny of their own racist pronouncements and practices…or as white Joe Biden said to another black talk show host, “If you don’t vote for me, you ain’t black.” In other words, know your place. Keep in your place. Or we will (metaphorically speaking) lash you in the public square.
All glory is fleeting
The recall election should have been a wake-up call to Newsom and the Democrat Party machine. There was substantial discontent and anger expressed by the electorate many of whom during the lockdowns and up to the present day, lost businesses, or their jobs, or had to watch kids at home full-time, or watched their homes burn to the ground – while Gavin Newsom and his elite friends wined and dined at the posh French Laundry restaurant racking up a $12,000 wine tab. Newsom and the Party may celebrate and believe that they were successful in trouncing upstart Larry Elder but the recall election is not a gubernatorial election and it happened because some 2 million Californians – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents signed a petition to get Newsom removed. Elder was one of 46 alternate candidates not one of 7 or 8 on a gubernatorial ballot. If Newsom and team believe that this recall election was essentially the same as going through and winning a gubernatorial election, they may be making a strategic mistake.
Elder exceeded expectations
I realize that may sound odd, given Newsom’s victory to keep his rear end in the governor’s chair in Sacramento, but in a crowded field of 46 alternate candidates for governor on the ballot, Larry Elder appears to have outperformed earlier polling percentages and has snapped up (at last count) nearly 47% of those who voted to remove Newsom – essentially half of all the alternate candidate votes in a huge field of candidates. Clearly, his national name recognition and frequent appearances on television where his quick and insightful intellect can be seen eviscerating leftist talking points contributed to his support.
What the results indicate is that Elder, in a head-to-head contest against Newsom over a much longer time frame – essentially a year rather than about 3 months – may actually make up the difference in a much shorter roster of gubernatorial candidates, provided that the GOP at the national level helps to support his campaign if Elder chooses to run which it appears he plans to and if his campaign employs end-around media strategies to get directly in front of certain voting blocks – Hispanic voters (already not fans of Newsom), black voters, and Asian voters (many of whom tend to skew Republican).
If Newsom is foolish or arrogant enough to agree to debate Elder, he will lose. Newsom spouts slogans. Elder cites facts and examples that he has committed to memory. Newsom is an intellectual lightweight. Elder has a sharp mind and is fearless in a debate. In his Zoom conference with the LA Times editorial board, Elder was clearly the most intelligent person on the call and never backed down during the sometimes absurd and ridiculous questioning. Newsom also has difficulty at times controlling his temper and Elder should take advantage of that. In the brief timeframe of the recall election, and despite Newsom’s win, Elder has shown himself to be a formidable candidate. If Kevin Faulconer and others fall into line and support an Elder-for-governor candidacy, then that will also help. If Elder runs for governor, then he may want to enhance his security detail because it will only get uglier out there and potentially more violent, especially if Antifa is unleashed. Odds are more than eggs may be flying.
Faulconer may want to sit out a run for governor in 2022.
The next nearest candidate was actually a Democrat, Kevin Paffrath, a financial analyst who garnered close to 10% of the alternates’ vote. Trailing in third was Kevin Faulconer, the former mayor of San Diego with a sound record of fiscal management and who deserves the credit for eliminating a great deal of the city’s homeless problem. The lesson, however, as it so often is in California gubernatorial contests in the last 20 years (post-Pete Wilson), is that in order to make a successful run for governor and get cross-over appeal from less radical Democrats, and Independents, that a Republican candidate needs to have either whole-state or preferably national name recognition rather than simply regional name recognition.
Faulconer’s relatively weak showing indicates that he wasn’t able to get his name and his message across in the months before the recall – always challenging since the news media in California leans left; nor raise the necessary funds to advertise on numerous fronts and thus hasn’t as yet, captured the imagination of voters who are discontent and frustrated with Newsom. Unfortunately, that doesn’t bode well for him in 2022 when Newsom is up for re-election and financial backing to support a run for governor may not materialize at the levels Faulconer needs. Faulconer may want to consider challenging Alex Padilla for the US Senate race in 2022 but the clock is ticking. The current field hasn’t seemed to have generated much excitement. Can you even name them?
The GOP wake up call
The California GOP and has shown time again that it has difficulty finding, recruiting, and bringing along thick-skinned, smart, and attractive candidates. Some of the statewide multimillionaire candidates who did run for governor were indistinguishable from their Democrat opponents, thus perhaps courting some disenchanted Democrat voters while repulsing too many Republican voters in the process to ever win at the state level. When Meg Whitman ran, the standing joke was that people were going to vote for Jerry Brown because he was the most conservative candidate on the ballot. The strategy of presenting a RINO Republican who might be more palatable to Democrats in the state is a non-starter. Bottom line, unless a nationally known, well-respected, and admired figure emerges for Republicans in the next few months, and no names immediately come to mind, Larry Elder is essentially the front runner to take on Newsom in 2022.
Conventional wisdom also says to continue to cede ground on social issues. Well, there comes a time when social issues start to blend with bread-and-butter and basic survival issues. Solving the homeless and the addiction epidemic in California’s cities is a social issue that elite Democrats like Newsom or Pelosi have shown they’re too busy or don’t really care to deal with. Properly enforcing crime, not allowing looters to loot, and instead giving them license to loot because, well, they need the Gucci purses or the drugs or the designer clothing is a social issue. It has always been wrong to steal. Allowing Marxist-sympathetic district attorneys to apply their warped and vile sense of ethics is a social issue. Allowing teachers to intimidate and warp young minds with vile notions about transgenderism, the alleged safety and pleasures of anal sex, or recruit them to become fascist activists is a social issue that is also a survival issue. If a Republican candidate doesn’t speak to these issues with conviction and passion and instead allows the Democrat machine to continue to spread rot and dismantle society then what would be the point of voting for any Republican?
Now that he has a sense of how he will be treated and where the flack will come from, Elder can start to build a team of strategists, tacticians, and pit-bull surrogates around him to help him take on the Democrat machine. Of course, the GOP at the national level may decide to just give up on California altogether and let it devolve further to become the next Venezuela. And there are a good many Republicans around the country who see no obligation to attempt to reclaim California and steer it back to fiscal sanity and a strong case can be made that they are right. Let California learn its hard lesson. The risk, however, is watching the rest of the nation be infected with the same reckless policies and mismanagement of resources, schools, and crime. California is the drug dealer in the neighborhood and other Democrat-run states are visiting it in the night. The drug dealer won’t go away. He will continue to do business. And his business will proliferate unless he’s stopped. He’s already sent some of his best customers out of the state to take up residence in states that we were staunchly right-of-center. And Democrat politicians and Democrat machines in other states idolize him.
In the meantime, with the Newsom victory to keep his job, even more Californians are likely to leave the state for Idaho, Arizona, Texas, Florida, or other states leaving those who can afford to stay or those who enjoy the decay, filth, the blocks of homeless tents, the never-ending COVID mandates, the high prices, the growing crime, the non-existent water management, and the charred remains of hundreds of acres of forest land that did not have to burn. Will enough persuadable voters be left as the incompetent governor continues to drive the state into the ground? Well, nobody said it was going to be easy.Published in