Mickey Kaus knows how. Two top Democrats, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and possibly Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi are set to break ranks and join the fray tomorrow. This would effectively spell the end of the Davis effort to salvage his term. It will be nice to see a few Democrats enter the scrum. Here’s an early report on the two joining the race.
Since I’m on the topic here’s my take (like you really care):
If Arnold wins as a quasi Republican does he have the rank and file backing at the end of the term? Hard to say, except that there is a dearth of “name” Republicans to take him on, while there are plenty of “name” Democrats to do so (Feinstein, Boxer, etc.). Perhaps he could become a dynamic celebrity governor (Reagan) but he may just be a carbon copy of Jesse Ventura. He’s certainly not old school conservative, rather he’s more centrist like Pete Wilson. If the press starts comparing a Schwarzenegger administration to the Wilson years watch out. It’s hard to see how this whole election furthers the overall California Republican party, which by the way is nowhere close to being able to deliver the state in a statewide or presidential election.
Actually I think the long term interests of the Democrats would be served by loosing this election as it bears no resemblance to a normal election. If Davis is recalled and a Republican wins, Democrats still control the legislature, and in there will be a new Republican whipping boy for the states’ woes. Republicans will say it’s all the fault of Davis in particular and Democrats in general, and that strategy will work for a while. Memories fade though, and by the time the 2006 election rolls around Davis will be far from voter’s minds. If things aren’t any better the Republican governor will be target of voter frustration. Of course the incentive to be “bipartisan” will not pervade the legislature anytime soon.
Update: Here is an opposing viewpoint on Arnold as the great moderate hope for Republicans. Found via Steven at Poliblog, which is where I should have checked first for political news. Silly me… He’s got great coverage on the recall election – as one would expect with a name like PoliBlog.