Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Phil Angelides v. Steve Westly

There is a great article in the Los Angeles Times that compares and contrasts two Democratic men who are running for governor in California: Phil Angelides and Steve Wesley. The article is fair and offers a great comparison between the two. At one point I believed Phil Angelides would offer the best chance to defeat the Governator, but my mind has changed recently, more or less. I had a chance to talk to Steve Wesley recently at an after Special Election party held at the Biltmore Hotel and I found him quite engaging and charismatic as well. The latter if super important because you need that type of personality to defeat the Governator. Also, I did not realize that Wesley has been around Democratic politics for over twenty years.

The only thing that concerns me is how Mr. Westly cozied up to the Governator in 2004 when he, as the Los Angeles Times states, joined “Schwarzenegger's campaign for fiscal measures on the March 2004 ballot, then taking a combative approach to the governor once his popularity dropped.” Come on Mr. Westly politics is war, especially at the state level.

Still, the Times article argues that, “apart from the flip-flop charge, Westly's willingness to work with Schwarzenegger could appeal to voters eager to see state leaders drop their partisan rancor and work together on problems facing California, among them traffic, smog, illegal immigration and substandard schools.”

The broader electorate might see it that way but not this Democratic activist. I guess I’m still undecided and that should not come as a surprise as both candidates need to be challenged by the media and the electorate as well. The primary will be super interesting: I expect fireworks.

See: Los Angeles Times

4 Comments:

Anonymous Joy Janes said...

Lou,
I have had the opportunity to hear Steve Westley speak three times in the past two years (two business groups and one union group), and each time I was impressed. I think with his dot-com business background and political experience, as well as his charisma, he will be very appealing to young voters, independents and moderates -- especially the ones who are disillusioned with Arnold. His willingness to work with the Gov won't hurt him with those folks either. Party Dems will have to "get over it!"

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Eli Jacks said...

You guys must not have had the opportunity to hear Phil Angelides speak. He's the candidate who's going to win back the statehouse for the Dems. Phil's got fire in the belly and knows what it takes to lead and win. Steve says what he thinks people want to hear and does things that he thinks are politically advantageous for him (working with Arnold when his poll numbers were high, and then running against him when his numbers were in decline).

Steve's willingness to work with Arnold just shows that he's willing to work with Arnold. It doesn't show that he'd be an effective governor, working with a more staunchly conservative Republican caucus in the legislature.

If you get a chance, go to an event where Steve and Phil are both speaking. You'll see the energy that Phil creates versus the ennui spread by Steve. Phil's also been more attractive to the coveted younger voters (that's why he got the CYD endorsement and Steve got not one vote from them).

And Joy, the "Party Dems" may have to get over it, but it's the party Dems who vote in the primary.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Lou Delgado said...

Eli:
Thanks for your observations. Well, yes I have head them both speak and, in fact, I know them. They are both good men. Last time was at the Calif. Dem State Convention in Los Angeles.

The problem is that many activists are so pissed off at the Governator that we want the "perfect" candidate, or as close as you can get to that. And, the jury is still out as to which candidate may be the one who can deliver the goods in next years election.

Look at the presidential race (2000 & 2004) due to the vagaries of primaries Dems put up two "weak sisters" to run against the money loaded stinkin' Republicants.

It's war and we need the best general and a lucky one, I might add. As Napoleon once said, "Don't give me good generals, give me lucky generals."

This election is so important because it is a crucial time: education and infrastructure are so important these days. And there are so many other incredible hot topics.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's have a reality check on this cozying up to arnold issue. In the 2004 primary, Westly and the Governor did support Propositions 57 & 58. So did Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, John Burton, Fabian Nunez, Jenny Orepeza, Art Torres, the CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY and a host of others I've probably pissed off by omitting. Quite a cozy bunch. And flip floppers too since they all seem to disagree with Arnold. Oh, lets not forget the voters.....63% yes on 57 and 71% on 58..substantial bipartisan support.

And in the other corner, the no campaign had....Phil Angelides and Tom McClintock. Oh yes, I forgot the San Diego Tax Fighters(aka San Diego Libertarian Party). Sounds like a pretty cozy, intimate group to me.

10:28 PM  

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