Wow! Unity!

Pub date June 7, 2006
WriterTim Redmond
SectionPolitics Blog

By Tim Redmond

Amazing, but not unexpected: Steve Westly joined with Phil Angelides today in L.A. to announce a unified campaign for the fall. Westly, who had blasted Angelides for allegedly dumping waste into Lake Tahoe, called him ” a brilliant man” who is “comitted to environmental values.”
It was a good move for Westly to be gracious, but it’s a little late for that sort of thing: Schwarzenegger is already gathering up all the negative stuff Westly threw at Angelides, and we’ll see it all again in the fall.
The good news is that the voters will have already been exposed to this stuff once (and while it may have supressed turnout a bit, it clearly didn’t damage Angelides fatally). So when the Guv tries to bring it all up again — “Angelides wants to raise your taxes, Angelides got money from developers, Angelides is a dork,” whatever — the public will be sick of it.
Schwarzenegger is still very, very vulnerable, and will be counting on his big bond measure this fall to carry him. Already, he’s talking about how he wants to rebuild California for the future. The advantage Angelides has is that unlike Westly, he can point to some very clear and different policy positions. He’s not Arnold — and right now, that’s a big thing.