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:
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.