** Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is sweeping the endorsements of liberal daily newspapers over his trailing, flailing rival, Democrat Phil Angelides. The San Jose Mercury-News weighs in today, joining the likes of the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, and Los Angeles Times. The paper praises Schwarzenegger for learning how to be a successful governor and criticizes Angelides for poor leadership skills.
** Very good story by reporter Dan Morain in the LA Times on what we might call compensated endorsements. Very big money being spread around in exchange for police and firefighters unions opposing Proposition 86 (tobacco tax for health care) and Proposition 87 (oil tax for alternative energy) and for the NAACP head, whose group came out against Prop 86. Consultant Steve Smith points out police and firefighter endorsements on energy issues may not “track.” But they sure can distract from who is really advocating what and why.
** San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is expressing some doubt about his political career. Or, rather, its continuance. He’s noted that it is a round-the-clock endeavor being a politician climbing the heights. The rising Democratic star has drawn much media notice in the Bay Area for a brief change in his hair style and his new gal pal, a 20-year old model and hostess at the terrific restaurant Aqua. Perhaps he won’t run for re-election as mayor. Sorry, no sale.
** Virginia Senator George Allen, once a leading conservative presidential prospect, now locked in a dead heat battle for re-election with former Navy Secretary James Webb, is changing his tune on Iraq.
Dealing with an unpopular war and an unpopular president — even in Virginia — and with the state’s senior senator, John Warner, who also chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee — critical of the policy, cheerleader Allen has adopted a more measured and somewhat critical tone. He’s also dealing with a Democratic opponent who served four years in the Reagan Administration, was one of the most highly decorated Marine Corps officers of the Vietnam War, and publicly predicted that Iraq would become a quagmire.
The only thing that is fortunate for Allen, shown here infamously welcoming a Webb intern to America,
is that Webb is loathe to brandish his Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Stars, and Purple Hearts before the voters. So far.
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