Channel-surfing, that is. Impressions after flipping around the television dial:
Cruz has ads all over the place–but each is mediocre and insipid. In one obvious appeal to Hispanics, Cruz denounces Proposition 54, Ward Connerly’s Racial Privacy Initiative. Does Cruz manage a stirring, inspirational moment? Alas, no. While wearing granny glasses, he reads the text from a sheet of paper in the same tone of perplexed detachment that he might have employed if asking a waiter to explain a few items on a French menu.
Davis himself is nowhere to be seen, his campaign having apparently concluded that Davis loses votes every time people look upon him, but his ads attacking Arnold are even more widespread than Bustamante’s boosters. But the attacks in these attack ads are laughable. Arnold, we’re told, failed to vote in several recent elections. So what? So did half the registered voters in the state. Arnold, we’re told further, is now refusing to debate Davis. What’s to debate? Davis screwed up. Everybody already knows that.
When Davis ran ads attacking Dick Riordan, he was on to something–Davis managed, for example, to dig up an old tape in which Riordan, who was running as a pro-choice candidate, explained that he considered abortion a sin. The attack ad, in other words, made it clear that Riordan had performed a flip-flop on an issue that Riordan himself considered a matter of fundamental moral conviction. But against Arnold? Davis has nothing.
In all his ads, which are, again, everywhere, Arnold appears confident, relaxed, attractive, and well-spoken. In short, he looks like a winner. As I’ve made clear in this happy Corner, I have my doubts about whether Arnold knows how to wage good politics. But he sure knows how to make good television.
Whereas Arnold is reportedly spending upwards of $2 million a week, McClintock has only raised something like $1.8 million for the entire campaign. What that means is that McClintock can’t afford television, and I have yet to come across a single ad on his behalf.
Incidentally, when I said yesterday that conservatives were now at liberty to vote for McClintock–with polls showing Schwarzenegger coasting to victory, I argued, there was no longer a chance that a vote for McClintock would help Bustamante– several readers emailed a warning: If enough voters switched from Der Arnold to Tom, Bustamante might win this thing yet. Strictly speaking, of course, that’s true. But this is California. Either a candidate is on television in this last week of the campaign or he has no hope. Tom McClintock isn’t on television.