By Michael Reagan
August 04, 2003
On October 7, the once great state of California will go to the polls to decide if Governor Gray Davis should be booted out of office a scant year since being re-elected, and if he is, who should replace him.
I read that one Democrat operative has warned parents to keep their kids away from the TV set because this election is going to get very dirty. This shows me that politics has gotten away from dealing with issues and more into the politics of personal destruction.
It's now about personal attack, and whatever you've done in your life is going to be thrown up on the television screen, and nobody will talk about the real issues such as fiscal responsibility - they'll be concentrating on personal attacks.
By the time we go to the polls in October, we'll be choosing the better of two evils and that's unfortunate because politics is supposed to be about governing, not about who did what to whom ten or twenty years ago.
I don't know why anybody would want to expose themselves to the almost certain character assassination they and their families will face if they run for office.
Take Daryl Issa, for example. He's being pilloried for something he did when he was only 19 years old. That's the number one issue of the campaign against Issa, not what he might be able to do for the state, or how he might inject some fiscal responsibility into California's government. Instead we go back to 1972, when he was 19 years old and say "My goodness, there was a gun charge. What kind of a man is this? "
Gray Davis is said to be planning to spend $50 million in an effort to save himself from recall, and you can bet a lot of that will go for the kind of slanderous attack ads he wallows in. But then he can't very well defend his record of allowing the state to fall into a gaping $38 billion hole.
Unfortunately, the campaign to replace him is getting cluttered up with a bunch of certified yahoos who want to get into the race. Arianna Huffingtion is considering running as an independent, while her ex-husband, Michael Huffington is agonizing over getting into the race as a Republican and having as much trouble making up his mind as he did when he was trying to decide if he was a homosexual.
But Huffington says she would run for governor only if her ex-husband, Michael Huffington, doesn't run. "It would never be both Michael and myself running because as a mother ... I would never put my children through this," she told CNN's Paula Zahn.
Then there's Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is either going to run or not run, depending on who you listen to. It is said that if he listens to his wife, Maria Shriver, he won't run. And it is also said that he does listen to his wife and won't run.
Bill Simon says he's running for the job he failed to win last year. He's a nice guy who happened to run one of the worst campaigns in the history of politics.
There has been talk of Jack Kemp running, but he has no more claim to being a Californian than Hillary Clinton has of being a New Yorker.
There are only two credible Republican candidates, Congressman Daryl Issa and Dick Riordan, the former mayor of Los Angeles. The rest are fantasies.
The only way that the Republicans can take advantage of this opportunity to rid the state of one of the worst and sleaziest governors in the state's history and elect a Republican would be to unite behind one candidate and get behind him all the way.
But the chances of that happening
are practically nil because there is, in reality, no Republican
party in California, just a bunch of feuding factions that have
managed to turn what was once a Republican state in my dad's
day into a solidly Democrat state.
Mike's column is distributed to subscribers for publication by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc.