Campaigns/Elections

Is This What a Surge Looks Like?

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As we enter the final stretch of the race for California governor, I have received zero pieces of mail from Meg Whitman. I have received four 8.5″x14″ postcards and one eight-page stapled pamphlet from Jerry Brown. According to Karen Tumulty of the D.C. Post, Whitman commands a globetastical confabulation of microtargeted shamanry:

Using state-of-the-art microtargeting software, her campaign trawls mountains of publicly and commercially available data, searching for prospective supporters by their voting histories, their incomes and ethnicity, the cars they drive, the magazines they read, the catalogues they shop from, even the groceries they buy.

When Californians open their mailboxes to find another piece of Whitman literature, it is likely to be one that zeroes in on a specific issue they care about.

Apparently I haven't been detected by that positronic panopticon, but I did enjoy Whitman's hail of bullet points in the A section double truck of Friday's L.A. Times:

Is this what they mean by a newspaper you could stand to read over breakfast?

I like the mood-breaking parenthetical "See www.jerryfails.com. Important!" It suggests some last-minute outburst by a research geek who still thinks it's possible to change people's minds. The ad is confident and straightforward—two modifiers Whitman hasn't had much luck with this campaign. And at least the dying Times gets a little money.

Whitman is also running this TV commerical based on some nearly two-decade-old footage of Jerry Brown (321 views!):

These love taps are fun to see, but the campaign is over and Whitman has not been nearly as negative on Brown as she could have been. Jerry Brown is the second coming of Stan Laurel. He's vulnerable on the topics of his age, a career that closely tracks the (greatly exaggerated) death of the California dream, his Bidenesque habit of talking too much, his grouchiness, and the inevitable trail of enemies a politician leaves over five decades (not one of whom Whitman's staff seems to have dug up). Yet he's managed to make Whitman into the laughingstock.

Maybe Whitman's new vigor will turn her barge around before Tuesday. One new poll has her closing in on Brown, while another shows Carly Fiorina—who has been sharp, cogent and only hospitalized once falling farther behind Barbara Boxer. Crazy world. Somebody oughta sell tickets.

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  1. Working late again, Tim? 🙂

  2. Whitman commands a globetastical confabulation of microtargeted shamanry

    People say nothing good happens at 3 in the morning. I beg to differ.

    1. Yup. I laughed. Three times. Extra bonus: not one mention of Prop. 19, The Most Important Issue of Our Time?.

    2. And don’t forget “positronic panopticon.”

      I’m going to use that. I don’t know how yet, but I’m definitely going to work it into a conversation somehow.

  3. “the (greatly exaggerated) death of the California dream”

    I hope so.

    1. “the death of the (greatly exaggerated) California dream”

      fixed

  4. Jerry Brown is the second coming of Stan Laurel.

    What in the world did Stan Laurel ever do to warrant such an insult?

    -jcr

  5. Crazy world. Somebody oughta sell tickets.

    I’d buy one.

    1. You already have.

      1. … and you’ll buy another when the CA bailouts start.

  6. Mellow out or you will pay!

    1. She should use that song in her commercials. Biafra’s head would explode.

  7. “Crazy world. Somebody oughta sell tickets”
    What do you expect? You’re talking about California. They have never shown much political sense.

  8. “Yet he’s managed to make Whitman into the laughingstock.”

    Oh don’t give too much credit, Meg’s been able to do that all by herself…

    1. Yes, see, e.g., this hysterical ad from the past week:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEPlZYp5-Pk

    2. “The conventional viewpoint says we need a jobs program and we need to cut welfare. Just the opposite! We need more welfare and fewer jobs. Jobs for every American is doomed to failure because of modern automation and production. We ought to recognize it and create an income-maintenance system so every single American has the dignity and the wherewithal for shelter, basic food, and medical care. I’m talking about welfare for all. Without it, you’re going to have warfare for all. Without a universal health care like every other civilized country, without a minimum level of income, this country will explode. You can’t blame the guy at the bottom forever. At some point there’s a reaction and we’ll see that the real criminals are those calling the tune, making the rules, and walking to the bank. We have the money, we have the brain power. The United States now has the highest measured wealth of any nation ever in the history of the world. We could rebuild our cities, we could create the kind of buying power and community well-being that will provide for peace. The guaranteed income is one way. Another way is to have always the availability of work in a nonprofit, in community service. A third is to start giving people training to develop skills where they can be self-supporting. You could come up with a cash supplement. Even conservatives have suggested a negative income tax to cut out the bureaucracy. If we were smart, we’d get rid of welfare and give people a family assistance like they do in Europe.”

      1. Jerry Brown does go off the deep end at times. I remember seeing him on MTV when he was running for president in 198o, claiming that the high cost of a college education was due to a conspiracy to prevent minorities from becoming educated. WTF?

        1. Didn’t MTV start in 1981?

          1. Hmmm, you are correct. Must have been when he was running for the Senate in ’82.

    3. I’m retarded.

  9. I like how Tim took the picture of that newspaper ad with real hardcover books strewn about underneath, even though a stack of comic books would probably be more indicative of his reading habits.

    1. Even your insults are weak and authoritarian. How unsurprising.

    2. If I’d have taken the picture, there’d just be old issues of Highlights stolen from the dentist’s office.

      1. Damn.. I haven’t seen those since I was 13.

  10. I got my first two pieces of mail from her yesterday.

    Didn’t open either one.

    1. That’s what the recycle bin is for.

      1. It’s a weekend, so I’m treating this as an open thread.
        Obama’s electric-car cult

        In short, the Obama administration’s commitment of $5 billion in loans and grants for electric cars is the biggest taxpayer rip-off since corn-based ethanol. It benefits no one but a few well-to-do car buyers and politically connected companies. Any “green” jobs these rent-seeking firms create will vanish when consumers reject their products and/or the subsidies cease.

        For a president who claims to make policy based on “facts and science and argument,” lavishing subsidies on electric cars is an intellectual scandal. The J.D. Power study is hardly an outlier. It jibes with similar work by Deloitte Touche, Boston Consulting Group, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, professor Henry Lee of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Energy Initiative.

        Is it corporate welfare when the government owns the majority of recipient corporation or is it just plain theft?

        1. Friggin’ threaded comments. My previous should have been stand alone.

        2. Is it corporate welfare when the government owns the majority of recipient corporation or is it just plain theft?

          Yes.

        3. I promise, not one, but TWO Chevy Volt Electric Cars for every garage.

          We will build Volt factories all across the land which will employ tens of millions of people in high-paying, green, union jobs.

        4. I promise, not one, but TWO Volt Electrics for every garage.

          1. I test drove a Volt on Friday when GM came to campus. I was very underwhelmed.

  11. I love that Brown ad. Classic stuff. That’s the one they should run from dawn to dusk every day. That ass has rotted rather than aged with time.

    NO on Brown, NO on Boxer, YES on 19.

  12. One new poll has her closing in on Brown, while another shows Carly Fiorina — who has been sharp, cogent and only hospitalized once — falling farther behind Barbara Boxer. Crazy world.

    Not that crazy. Boxer is the incumbent. A lot of people will vote for her for that reason alone.

    1. Not that crazy. Boxer is the incumbent. A lot of people will vote for her for that reason alone.

      Part of it has to do with the fact that Barbara Boxer has not really done anything of significance.

      The Fiorina campaign does not point to anything specific Boxer did, aside from that check kiting scandal in the early ’90’s.

      1. Don’t forget insulting the General. There are a few people who feel real outrage about that. OTOH Boxer is a known quantity, love her or hate her.

      2. Boxer has not really done anything of significance

        And she worked so hard for her mediocrity.

    2. It doesn’t matter that she’s the incumbent, she has a (D) after her name. For most Democrats that’s all they need to know.

    1. I don’t want to be the first one to raise my hand.

      1. You know I’m raising my hand.

        1. Oh.no.you.di.int!

          1. You all beat me to it.

  13. One new poll has … while another shows …

    Pollsters use vote registration ratios to get their results. How much can polls be trusted when groups like ACORN are running around, especially in “underprivileged” communities, registering the same voters dozens of times?

  14. Pollsters use vote registration ratios to get their results.

    The predictive power of polls ultimately rests upon turnout between different groups.

    1. Yes, turnout is one factor to consider.

      1. Yes, turnout is one factor to consider.

        For example, even if the poll mirrored the party registration proportions of the electorate, the election results will be different if the party registration proportions of those who vote is different than the electorate in general.

        1. Remember, what is really important is not who votes, but who counts the votes.

        2. And sometimes, like this year, party ID is likely to be a less certain predictor. A few months ago I read that union officials were feeling nervous because their door-to-door canvassers often reported visiting union househols and hearing Beck or O’Reilly or Rush on in the background.

          1. And sometimes, like this year, party ID is likely to be a less certain predictor. A few months ago I read that union officials were feeling nervous because their door-to-door canvassers often reported visiting union househols and hearing Beck or O’Reilly or Rush on in the background.

            This is especially true if a party’s politicians repeatedly pissed off their base.

            1. This is especially true if a party’s politicians repeatedly pissed off on their base.

  15. It’s quiet here. Too quiet.
    Everybody must be at the Rally To Kill Three Hours on a Saturday.

    1. I have a feeling that the people who feed on such things as they convinced themselves would be served left the table unsatisfied. People that enjoy pointing and laughing as various oxes get gored probably got a chuckle or two.

      1. What do we want?
        Gridlock!
        When do we want it?
        Starting Wednesday!

        1. I love when, every once in a while, the California politicians “threaten” to shut down state government. I’m going yes, yes, do it, do it. But they always back off of their idle threats.

          1. NY does it right. The politicians there are such pricks, the budget fights last practically until the next budget cycle.

  16. These love taps are fun to see, but the campaign is over and Whitman has not been nearly as negative on Brown as she could have been.

    West Coast Republicans put on the kid gloves. They do it to moderate their message in generally hostile territory…ie in the left coast it is hard for a Republican to get elected to they tend to be cautious.

    1. West Coast Republicans put on the kid gloves. They do it to moderate their message in generally hostile territory…ie in the left coast it is hard for a Republican to get elected to they tend to be cautious.

      “More welfare and fewer jobs” has to be devastating if it is used correctly.

      1. But think of the poet and muralist jobs that would be saved or created.

      2. They could have gone on record in support of “YES on 19 for a sane drug-policy”.

    2. “They do it to moderate their message in generally hostile territory…ie in the left coast it is hard for a Republican to get elected …”

      In other words, they have adopted the limp-dick me-tooism that has virtually exterminated the GOP in the NE. Why vote for half measures? If the guys handing out candy are going to win, why not vote for the guy handing out the most candy? And if the party of the guy handing out the most candy is going to win, why not register as part of his party?

      I swear, if the GOP would just aggressively challenge statist ideology with a confident limited gov’t ideology, the voter registration gap would reverse itself and many of the current political narratives would be burned to ash.

      1. Maybe the republicans you’re talking about don’t disagree with statist ideology and are just trying to get their turn.

    1. Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow also performed, singing if “I can’t change the world to make it better, the least I can do is care.”

      Barf.

      1. Apparently, they don’t care enough to STFU.

      2. “if I can’t change the world to make it better, the least I can do is care”

        I cannot believe how mindbendingly stupid this is. And to think that people actually live this slogan.

        I’m repeating myself, but this is so astonishingly moronic as to require repetition. People who think this way should be punched in the junk, over and over and over, until they come to their senses.

        1. “until they come to their senses.”

          or until they get the message to stop voting.

  17. Come on, we all have to work together despite our political differences to put Democrats in office!

  18. Today’s mail came. Make that six 8.5″x14″ postcards and one eight-page stapled pamphlet from Jerry Brown. Whitman holding steady at zero.

    1. Maybe it’s because you’re a known Democratic partisan?

      Proof.

      1. ouch

      2. “all my life I’ve been waiting for a black president.”

        Yep. That pretty much sums up 48% of the election results of ’08.
        Gross.

    2. 1. Who are you voting for in November? Barack Obama. All my life I’ve been waiting for a black president; Obama’s not monumentally unqualified, and his solid-if-boring book at least had some unkind words for teachers unions. Also my kids like him.

      Enjoy roasting in Hell with your fellow far-left commie JournoListas (like Weigel), Dim Rat traitor boy. I wouldn’t wish Barbara Boxer on anyone on the the Right, but I sure do wish her on you and all your kind, along with a river of blood, flies, hail, and boils.

      1. Have you forgotten that the other choice was McCain/(shudder)Palin?

        1. Have you forgotten there were more than two choices?

        2. How much do you think the staff regrets posting that information? Especially the ones still around, like Cavanaugh and Bailey. What a joke.

        3. Have you noticed they’re both infinitely smarter than you? Even the senile RINO guy?

  19. My favorite about Meg is her plan to have a WOD style War on Immigration. Heck, I’d like to have less immigration too, but imagine the fun with economic and civil liberty a “drug-war styled” War on Immigration would entail…

    “A glossy 48-page policy agenda book that Whitman mailed to hundreds of thousands of voters and posted on her campaign website this spring includes a one-page list of measures aimed at illegal immigrants.

    “Modeled after drug seizure raids,” Whitman’s book says, “Meg will institute a system where state and local law enforcement agencies conduct inspections of workplaces suspected of employing undocumented workers.”

    Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/201…..z13smc6Dg5

    1. Scary. I’m having visions of when the SWATzis picked up Elian Gonzales in FL and shipped him back to Cuba. The kid looked absolutely terrified.

      Yes, let’s replicate that! Great idea!

      1. That’s exactly what you’ll be doing if you turn back the clock to the Bush years.

        1. And turning the clock back to Governor Moonbeam is preferable?

          1. Yes. Because we leftards haven’t suffered enough already.

          2. Also, we don’t know our history; otherwise, we’d remember that Elian Gonzales got thrown to the commies back in BILL CLINTON’s time, and the first Tea Party was in 1773.

            1. None of that matters. Who cares about numbers?
              It’s “BUSH’S FAULT” ™.

          3. Yeah, Bush was tough on the border.

            1. Just like he was tough on those homos! Yeah, they’ve all still got huge boot marks on their asses, Bush kicked ’em so hard!

        2. Isn’t Obama the guy that has the “Mao and the 45 million” celebrity ornament hanging from the White House Xmas tree? You talk about turning back the clock! You’re a goof.

          1. That was a 45-million-man march for Socialism. Don’t believe anything else.

  20. California: America’s Greece.

    1. I think it’s something in the (bottled) water.

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