Dear Big Daddy,
So now we know who won in the ballot box. But who are some of your political winners and losers in the political professional class?
–Hans in Otay
For those of us who live, breath and eat politics, what we really want to know is this: Who is going to get a bigger paycheck next time out, and whose name are you likely to see on the proverbial waiver wire?
Here’s a look at some of the winners and losers the voters don’t see, but who influence their lives more than they will ever know. This list could go on ‘til the robocalls start again, but we’ll keep it to folks most readers will have heard of.
Winner: The top polling outfits. Field, PPIC, L.A. Times/USC and a few others got so close on the big races they made Nostradamus look like Donald Rumsfeld. Once again they got the election so right that it looks like in a few years maybe we can get rid of this messy business of actually voting altogether.
Loser. Mike Murphy. Sure, I’m calling out a guy who can’t hear me over the sound of his own laughter while he’s heading to the bank in the back of a limo. Heck, for the amount Whitman paid him, Murph can cackle all the way to a beach in Tahiti where the waiters will happily bring him as many Mai Tais as it takes him to forget last Tuesday. But has any high profile consultant been on so many high profile losing sides in recent years? Murphy was Schwarzenegger’s guy back in his greenhorn days of 2005, and Whitman signaled her own junior varsity status when she hired him. Here’s what I’m wondering – if you’re going to lose a race over an undocumented housekeeper, wouldn’t it be better for your pocketbook and your political party if that race was a primary? In other words, come clean before Gloria Allred cleans your clock. Though that would have cut down on some fat consultant paychecks…
Winner. Gloria Allred. How can you tell when an attorney has made it into the big leagues? When a national TV comedy makes fun of them. Just ask Johnny Cochran (or maybe I should, since he’s dead).
Loser. Richard Lee. I hate to dis on a guy in a wheelchair, but even other members of the stoner lobby say he does not play well with others. Lots of folks talked about drafting errors, but how about the math errors — i.e., taking this to the uptight senior citizens that seem to make up most of the midterm electorate, instead of waiting til 2012. Smooth move. Should have threatened their Medicare while you were at it.
Loser. The enviros. They jumped all over that head-fake called Prop. 23 while the Chamber got a monster dunk with the one they really cared about, Prop. 26.
Winner. The lawyers. Between Cooley-Harris, Costa-Vidak and Harmer-McNerney, there’s so much countin’ and recountin’ going on it’s like Boies and Olson hosting “Sesame Street.”
Winner. Anne Gust. Move over, Susan Kennedy. There’s a new 90 lb. heavyweight in town. People liked to talk about how Whitman would have been California’s first female governor, but I think Gusty will actually be our second.