Meg vs. McClintock

Someone should have told Meg, “Whatever you do, don’t attack Tom McClintock, even if he attacks you because he’s backing Poizner. Tom has a huge following among the folks you need, both in the primary and the general election. The Tea Partiers. They’ve been following him for 25 years. They know he’s been right on the budget for 25 years. Leave him alone. Soon it’ll be June 8, you’ll win, and it won’t matter.”

Instead, after McClintock attacked her as a RINO, Republican in Name Only, etc., Whitman Spokeswoman Sarah Pompei whimpered:

For him to stand with a candidate, like Poizner, who’s grown spending in Sacramento, worked to undermine Proposition 13 and spent $21,000 to elect Al Gore has to be a real disappointment to McClintock’s supporters – and it does nothing for the conservative cause in California.”

What Pompei should have said was something like, We’re sorry that Congressman McClintock thinks that way and are sure he’ll change his mind once he gets to know Meg better. She sure appreciates everything he has done for California taxpayers, and for his many warnings about the deficit. After June 8, she hopes he’ll join her in defeating Jerry Brown. And after she wins in November, Tom will be the first person she calls to help solve the budget mess.

Forget politics. What Meg’s Myrmidons need is a Dale Carnegie course in “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”


Popei’s background, as of 2008:

Deputy Press Secretary for Mitt Romney’s [losing] Presidential campaign. Pompei is now Communications Director for the Mike Johanns for Senate [winning] campaign, based in Lincoln. Last election cycle Pompei worked in Montana as Press Secretary for the Senate re-election campaign of Conrad Burns, who was narrowly defeated. Previously, Pompei was a spokeswoman for the California Republican Party.

Not impressive. But she has some experience out here in California, and should have known better about McClintock. But the party’s big shots never liked McClintock, so maybe she took on their attitude.

Meg’s campaign manager is Jill Hasner, whose background I noted before, quoting Flashreport:

Politically, Jillian has worked at every major campaign level…for President (Bush-Cheney ‘00 and Bush-Quayle ‘92), Governor (George Voinovich-Ohio; Jeb Bush-Florida); U.S. Senate (Mike Dewine-Ohio; Paul Coverdell-Georgia); U.S. Congress (Rob Portman-Ohio; Steve LaTourette-Ohio).

So, her background is the Bush Family, which won California in 1988 on Reagan’s Golden State coattails, but once on their own lost here in 1992, 2000 and 2004; and Ohio Republicans.  On California’s crazy politics, she’s an amateur.

Then there’s Meg’s Campaign Chairman, Pete Wilson. He has more experience in California politics than anybody but Jerry Brown. But he has a 20-year vendetta against McClintock, who tenaciously opposed Wilson’s record tax increases of 1991 and 1993.

When McClintock ran for Congress in 2008, Wilson wrote a vendetta letter attacking Tom:

As governor, I could never count on Tom McClintock. He was always first to criticize, but the last to help the team. His record doesn’t match his rhetoric.

Right. McClintock was always the first to criticize Wilson’s obsession with taxing to death everything and everyone that hadn’t already left the state.


Finally, Meg herself is an obvious amateur in California politics. Until she ran, she probably thought McClintock was a John Wayne movie.

With her own inexperience and these kinds of people running her campaign, Meg is going to have a big problem when she runs into the political buzz-saw known as Jerry Brown. Despite her money (remember Al Checci?).

On the advice of her campaign team, she’s still shying away from debates. But she’ll have to have at least one with Jerry, a real pro.

Sure, he has his liabilities: the Moonbeam nuttiness, the comments on his 1990s radio show, the socialism.

But you don’t see Jerry attacking a stalwart of his own party — who’s not even a candidate.

— John Seiler

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