Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Today's story in the LA Times about the governor's race reads very much like a mainstream-media confirmation that Steve Westly is now the frontrunner.
Once considered a longshot in the governor's race, state Controller Steve Westly looked every bit the Democratic front-runner Tuesday as he laid out his approach for challenging Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the November election.
More important, however, is the response that Schwarzenegger's spokesman gives to Westly's speech.
Matt David, a Schwarzenegger campaign spokesman, replied in an interview: "It's unfortunate that Steve Westly would recycle tired attacks to pander to the left-wing base."

"Today's PowerPoints and pie charts," David said, "can't conceal the fact that Westly's numbers just don't add up."
When a sitting governor's staff goes after a potential challenger by name, it represents an acknowledgement that he is the most likely challenger. Lines like "Westly's numbers just don't add up" aren't used for political gadfly's who you have no expectation of ever facing.

And then there's this:
At one time the underdog, Westly is now perceived by political analysts to have a good shot at not just knocking off Angelides, who has less campaign money and more prominent Democratic endorsements, but also at mounting a strong campaign against the governor.

"Schwarzenegger has some pretty high negatives — not so much on his personality as his policies," said Larry Gerston, a political science professor at San Jose State University. "All Westly has to do is say, 'I'm different. I'm the new kid. I don't have the baggage he has.' "

Westly, he said, is "personable, likable, and has a great smile — he's pretty telegenic himself. The only difference between the two is a little bodybuilding."
Well, more than a LITTLE bodybuilding.


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