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The Next California Race


I suppose that one of the good side-effects of losing a national race, is that a lot of people who were looking for a big new job in Washington are now motivated to back home and fight for power in the states. Meg Whitman, former CEO of Ebay, and McCain national campaign co-chairman, and Romney advisor before that, was talked about as a potential Treasury Secretary. Now, however, she is making noises about challenging Senator  Diane Feinstein in the upcoming California gubernatorial race. In fact, she is setting up a campaign. Considering that the number of GOP governors has shrunk from a high of 28 in the late 1990s — to a dismaying low of 21 today — it’s good news that she is willing to contest the seat.

This will be an uphill battle, even if her “favorables” are, at 17%, the highest among potential GOP candidates. Perhaps she should start with defining herself. We know she is intelligent, sober and has significant real world experience. We know she is not an exciting speaker. What we don’t know about her — and her support for John McCain does nothing to elucidate the matter — is what kind of politics she has. Is she a McCain, all-over-the-map, moderate? Is she a liberal, pro-business Republican? Or is she conservative? And if so, how does that work in California these days?   

As Sarah Palin said yesterday, the GOP would benefit from having a woman on the ticket in 2012 … and beyond. I heartily agree. So these are good years to grow a few more GOP women governors and Senators. Time to let a thousand flowers bloom.


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