Darwin’s greatest theories are of evolution and the survival of the fittest. Basically, from my limited understanding of one of the most paraphrased and least truly understood theories in modern science, and one that give agnostics and atheists a big soft one in the fight against the religious right, that the millions of years of evolution and natural selection has bred away the weakest of our genes and traits to leave us with the cream of the crop; the thinning of the herd as it were. In nature this shows itself in those animals that can’t pull their weight or defend themselves getting picked off by disease, hunger, or the occasional predator. Man has interrupted the selection process with medicine, science, and does its best to counter this theory and let everyone, no matter how incapable by nature’s standards, live a life. In politics the theory of natural selection is alive and well and akin to an injured gazelle, an incapable candidate is weeded out not by disease, hunger, or a predator; they are picked apart by public poll numbers, lackluster fundraising coffers, and the alpha males dominating their hunting grounds. So is the story of Tom Campbell.
Much as I had foreseen a while back, Campbell had struggled to raise the funds and the name recognition he needed to compete with the likes of Whitman and Poizner in the 2010 Gubernatorial election here in California. He struggled raising money and getting his name out there against the mountains of cash his competitors were raising, and spending out of their own pockets. Though Campbell was running a distant second to Whitman and had a big lead over poizner in the most recent polls last month, he seemed to be third in the headlines week to week. Tom Campbell wasn’t a flashy guy in what has become a flashy race to Sacramento that is going to cost at least $100 million dollars in total campaign spending by the remaining three candidates, which is conservative. The road to Sac Town is paved with bitch, benjamins, and moet…not the kind of guy Campbell is.
As Poizner said in a statement on Thursday in regard to Tom leaving the race, “I may not have agreed with all of Tom’s proposals, but I admire his attention to policy and his willingness to present detailed specifics.” Poizner is absolutely right is his not so veiled back-handed slap to the face of Campbell, Campbell run a very specific and precise campaign with very detailed plans on how to solve the problems of the state. Campbell was by far the most qualified individual in the GOP race, so in this respect Poizner is all too happy to see him go, being that the “10-10-10 plan” is the best, and worst, Poizner has to offer at the moment with no specifics as to how to get there, just a clever idea. Campbell presented the most dangerous candidate as things were to get down to the wire, but it turned out he was the Joe Lieberman of the Governor’s race…not enough charm to fill a paper bag.
But don’t worry about old Tom Campbell, he will be fine fighting a much “easier” race for the U.S. Senate seat to dethrone the omnipresent Barbara Boxer against the likes Chuck DeVore, an ex-aerospace executive, and Carly Fiorina, ex-HP CEO and McCain Campaign Advisor. It is clear that Campbell will be much more capable in this new competition. Tom was looking to find a place where he could effect the most change, according to his video statement, and the Senate was where he could do the most good. I take this statement the same as I take all the quotes I get from politicians, with a spoon full of sugar, and a shot penicillin; it’s hard to get down, and it’s probably going to make me sick. Campbell himself admits that he could not compete with the financial powerhouses in the race for Governor, which is just about the ONLY reason for the change if we’re not blowing smoke here, but I have all the confidence in Campbell though, in his race for Senate, since the move to this dogfight will not be the same uphill battle that running for Governor was. I mean, when he was running for Governor he was competing with the man that basically invented cell phone GPS and the woman who basically built Ebay. Now it is such an easy fight against the GOP candidates in the Senate race; he only needs to beat the woman that basically built Hewlette-Packard and a rocket scientist…oh, oh no. I have a sneaking suspicion he’s gonna miss the frying pan.
Well what does this great Darwin moment leave us in the race for Governor? Well, the big three I felt would be standing, despite speaking well of two horses that have now been put down Barbero after such a valiant fight (too soon?). I liked Newsome, but he was too progressive. I like Campbell, despite him being Republican, but he was too “Huckabee”, so now it is between Whitman, Poizner, and Brown, to find the odd bedfellow that is just right; but ‘just right’ I mean the one that is going to spend honest to god truckloads of cash to subliminally burn their vague platforms and policies in to our cerebral cortex without truly knowing what this state is like for 90% of us. Yes, From here on out we have only three options for the Governorship and they are all about as shaky as Grandma after 70.
What has this race deteriorated in to? I am blown away by the spending on either side of the aisle right now, with the GOP far in the lead. I am so glad Poizner is getting in their to duke it out with Whitman with $15 million of his own dollars finally, which I think is going to result in some very interesting ads and signage as he moves forward. Really, the only thing that is going to get attention in this race, or any election for that matter, is scandal, and if you hope to play ball with a woman basically putting her campaign on her VISA card, you had better bring the dough to buy the biggest mud slinging machine money can buy. I can only hope for the best mud amongst the GOP, they do it so well and so blatantly while I think Democrats are not nearly as good at truly slamming their opponent, since they almost veil their commentray while GOP candidates will do everything including accusing Democrats of literally coming to your house and executing that shaky Mi-Ma of yours…in front of a bus full of uninsured children.
This race is a scary one for me though. My beloved, lone wolf, Brown, has yet to officially announce, as I say every time I write these. I did some research and I found out that he can wait up until March 17th to file officially…so we could be around for a while waiting for the old bastard to do whatever the hell he thinks he is doing. Either this old bag is utterly senile, or he might just be Yoda incarnate. The man has single handedly spent about nothing, relatively, while enjoying great poll numbers, two opponents entering and leaving the race, and his remaining opponents are burning through money like it’s a post-apocalyptic world where money has no value but as a heat source. Watching Brown wait on the sideline is like trying to figure out what a monk is doing just sitting their meditating…Fucking move man, how can you just sit there so long!? Indeed.
What this race is going to lack is drama, I think. See, what this country salivates over more than celebrity romance and the McRib, is political drama, real or sensationalized, it doesn’t matter…I think we actually prefer the fake stuff, like Kool-Aid. This country loves intrigue, drama, and tension, especially in California, I mean this is where we literally make shit up, Hollywood, so you know we like our salacious slander and libel. The problem here is that the herd we have thinned out was never big enough from the start. Losing two of ten is not a big deal, but losing two of five is just fucking tragic. We are no longer in possession of enough candidates to get a real ‘firestorm’, ‘war of words’, or even a decent ‘donnybrook’. All we got here is a manage e trois when what we need for the headlines and the publics undivided attention is a 70’s style orgy. I mean this race could really use the political versions of hot pants, polyester, and all natural bush; I have no idea what those equivalents are in politics, but I think you get the point. This race can’t get the people on their heels if the best we got is the rumor that Brown banged Linda Ronstadt in the back of a Buick.
Well things have come along and we’ve lost one more man, this time to the seemingly more treacherous fight against the Boxer. These days candidates are toting their fundraising efforts and making more appearances as well as gathering endorsements and fine-tuning their platforms for the different groups they plan on pandering to. As Poizner puts his new money to work and Whitman keeps up her hammer-jack assault on the voters, Brown will inevitably stand still and silent as the great meditating State Att. Gen. Many will come from far and wide to sit idly on the sidelines upon his mount and watch as the others in the race scamper about. The Brown is very wise, the story of his years are told in every wrinkle, and their is a lesson there for those willing to learn it. He will strike when the time is right, like the great Bengal Tiger. The Brown knows that striking too early would be premature and pouncing too late will leave his stomach just as empty. No, patient is the Brown, and trusting the followers be…besides he’s only got until March Goddammit, then the fucking cat has GOT to get loose, so count your days Gazelles, they’re numbered.