@kerpen @TheRickWilson Luckily there are only two Republicans in California.
— DM Hawk (@HawkinsUSA) January 8, 2015
BREAKING: Harold Ford's helicopter just crash-landed onto Scott Brown's truck in Sacramento. #CASen
— Jeffrey Young (@JeffYoung) January 8, 2015
Who has two thumbs, a lot of money, and a California residence? pic.twitter.com/AMEyhIsTs8
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) January 8, 2015
Barbara Boxer has announced that she will not be running for re-election in 2016. Wonkette has the video, and their live-blogging is predictably hilarious.
Dave Weigel, at Bloomberg Politics, explains “The Impossible Republican Dream… ”
The retirement of California Senator Barbara Boxer has sparked a small flame of hope for some ambitious conservatives. The theory goes like this: Considering California’s top-two runoff system, the GOP should recruit two (but only two) strong candidates in 2016. Democrats, salivating over the first open Senate seat since 1992, may crowd the field. If the two Republicans narrowly get more votes than each Democrat–they get 20 and 19 percent, say, as the Democrats bunch up in the teens–then the majority party can be completely shut out…
Could Republican turnout spike in 2014? Anything’s possible, but after a brief 2008 experiment with an early presidential primary, California’s moved back its contest to June. The Senate race is likely to be the major statewide contest of 2016. Within minutes of Boxer’s decision, former RNC Chairman Michael Steele was already floating Carly Fiorina’s name for a replacement, a move that would complicate a “just stay quiet and let the Democrats screw up” strategy. It’s possible, sure, that Democrats could screw up California’s Senate race. It would just require several million people to make self-defeating decisions all at once.
All joking aside, Scott Brown’s not leaving the northeast — he can’t afford to give up his white-shoe law firm job even if some billionaire nutball offered to pay for the campaigning stuff — and Willard Romney would consider it a demotion.
So, who’s the “serious” candidates, Democratic or Republican? What say you, Californian commentors?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
More has-been in those two names than in the 500+ thread on bad music.
A Sacramento political reporter on MSNBC said Condi Rice would be a strong candidate. The sad thing is I think that would be true in just about any other state
I’d like to see one of the following get Boxer’s seat:
We need to have our Dem Senators start looking a lot more like the base that elects them – more minorities and more women please!
From the Sac Bee, the Democratic bench, and it’s pretty deep altough I think Newsome is dead in the water, Padilla won’t make the quick turnaround and De Leon needs better state-wide exposure
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom: Newsom has the portfolio to compete for Boxer’s seat. But the former San Francisco mayor, who rose to prominence after legalizing gay marriage in the city in 2004, is viewed as more likely to run for governor in 2018.
Attorney General Kamala Harris: Another leading contender, Harris has recently been making the rounds in Washington and building her national profile, perhaps indicating a greater interest in the U.S. Senate than a potential gubernatorial run. She could benefit from an expected Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in 2016.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: The former Assembly Speaker has a huge political base, and changing demographics could benefit a Latino candidate. But Villaraigosa has said he enjoys being a chief executive, suggesting he may hold off until the governorship opens up.
Climate change activist Tom Steyer: The billionaire hedge fund manager spent $74 million, mostly unsuccessfully, trying to elect more environmentally friendly candidates in 2014. Will Steyer finally make his own run for office? He can afford it.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla: While he’s the only Latino currently holding a statewide office in California, Padilla’s jump to a Senate campaign would come awfully quickly after his recent election to California secretary of state.
Treasurer John Chiang: After nearly two decades in statewide politics, Chiang could have enough name recognition to make a run at Boxer’s seat. He is also one of the most visible Asian Americans in a state where the rapidly growing population segment is increasingly flexing its political power.
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones: Like Chiang, Jones was just re-elected in 2014 and would have a free ride at a long-shot bid for Boxer’s seat. His career has shown he’s not afraid to take up liberal causes.
California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León: One of the most prominent Latinos in California politics, de León has only recently begun to lead the Senate.
Former Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg: Following a successful 14-year run in the state Legislature, Steinberg is looking for a re-entry into political office. Though well-respected, the Sacramentan’s influence may be confined to the Capitol bubble.
Chiang is a hell of an administrator and one smart mutha and as the Bee notes, his Asian heritage would do him well in both L.A. and San Francisco, state politics has seen a steady rise of uber-educated and driven Asian politicians from Irvine to the Bay Area. He’s a dark horse.
Steinberg is a hell of a politician and deal-maker (although majorities and a super majority meant he did what he pleased as Senate pro tem) and he’s certainly willing to tell blathering Republican fuckwits where to fuck off but he is perceived as an insider, a classic “politician’s politician” who works solely for the benefit of his political allies.
Sweet crossdressing Jesus in a push-up bra, why did you post the photo of Mittens so close to my bedtime? It is the stuff of nightmares and what has been seen cannot be unseen. Dang you, dang you to Heck!
Every word of this is delusional, including “and” and “the”. Exhibit A is the California recall election of Gray Davis in 2003. Schwartzenegger won with 48% of the vote, and Cruz Bustamante (D) came in second with 31%. Arnold was running as a celebrity centrist with off-the-charts name recognition, the state has gotten much more blue in the last 11 years, and the CA GOPers are much more over the crazy cliff. It’s far more likely that the top-two would be Dems.
To answer the question as posed, the Dem names being floated around these parts are Kamala Harris (CA AG) and Gavin Newsom (Lt. Gov), but they are San Francisco politicians, and I’d like to hear what our Juicer friends in SoCal think.
ETA: Personal view: Gavin is oily (not just his slicked down hair) and gives me the creeps. Almost all of the other names floated above would be fine by me.
I still wish for Debra Bowen as senator, notwithstanding the personal challenges she’s faced in the last year. She’s really one of the most capable persons in our state government, and has long been ahead of the curve on everything that matters…
It’s California, so very high probability it will be a Democrat. The rest is gravy.
Romney?? Romney?? We talking Romney win something in California? No way.
@BR: Good point. I wish my congressman, Jared Huffman, had more name recognition, he’s everything we like in a lawmaker and he’s got some serious big money backers in the wine regions. He’s one of the smartest motherfuckers in Congress and I’d love to see him with some clout, but he’s only just finished his first term and is unknown outside his district.
@BR: Debra Bowen might be very good; I don’t know about her policy positions other than open government, voting rights and what else she does for her job, but she has been a very good Secretary of State. She sure did not fool around with sketchy electronic voting companies. Ka-Boom you schlubs are outta my state starting right now!
Mnemosyne (iPad Mini)
Newsom and Villaraigosa both have well-documented zipper control problems, so I think that I and other California voters may be wary of electing someone scandal-prone.
I like the idea of Hilda Solis, but she just got elected to the LA Board of Supervisors, which is a lifetime job if you want it to be. I don’t know if she’s eager to move back to DC.
We have so few female Senators and so few safe blue seats that I’d hate to see Boxer’s seat go to a man. We have more than enough of those in the Senate already and we have a great bench of female candidates to chose from.
It worries me that the Dems just aren’t building a bench of younger women and minorities to move up. It seems to be all ancient or white male candidates.
Exactly. She was the first secretary of state to do the radical thing of asking real computer security experts to analyze the voting machines. They broke every machine the vendors had in a dozen different ways. Then she threw them out, and went with optical scan ballots, which means we never have long lines at polling places (because all we need is a piece of paper and pen) and she also instituted mandatory hand recounts of a fraction of ballots, with larger recounts for closer races.
And when she was in the legislature, she was also really one of the leading legislators on a whole range of issues. She seems to really have the right motivations, something I feel is rare in a politician.
I don’t think people like Fiorina would have a chance. Michael Steele himself would have a better chance, if he moved here. Meg Whitman stunk up the place so bad in her gubernatorial race, forget about it.
@Mnemosyne (iPad Mini): I also don’t think Villaraigosa wants to be a cog in the machine no matter how glittery the machine. Newsome elicits the same reaction from nearly everyone and it was just elicited above — his fucking creepy vibe is off the charts.
I had forgotten about that. Major props to her in my book, but unfortunately admitting to problems with depression (as she did after Robin Williams’ suicide), while admirable, is likely a deal-breaker, as well as a sign that she wants to get out of politics.
Oh god…Alex Padilla wants to reverse all of Debra Bowen’s progress on voting machines:
Ha. I would be the serious Republican candidate. There’s not much out here that fits that, so it might as well be me.
Jerry Brown aint dead yet.
” It worries me that the Dems just aren’t building a bench of younger women and minorities to move up. ”
In California? We have a lot of good Democrats who will term out over next couple of years.
Some not so good ones, too, unfortunately. I don’t see a problem finding younger Democrats who can do a good job, you name the gender, age, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic background you please. And probably sexual preference too, though I don’t keep track of that very well.
@BR: Oh fuck
@BR: I forgot about that. Padilla’s idea is bad, but it would still keep private companies out of it. So it could have been worse. The county governments will be accountable for the systems they develop, they can’t sweep any BS into the black hole of a private contractor or company.
Unless there are loopholes in the bill I don’t know about.
Them MIT grads lurves their technology.
I wonder whether a ballot initiative repealing that law could get a fair count ?
@Mnemosyne (iPad Mini): OT–I replied to you in the other thread re: another probiotic suggestion. Someone else commented that VSL #3 is available over the counter but you have to ask for it at the p h a r m a c y counter because it has to stay refrigerated.
We have low-level bench in California and other states but it sure seems that every time a chance to move up comes along another white male gets it. The GOP is actually building a better minority/female bench at Governor and Senator level who will be ready for VP picks. Our women and minority Governors/Senators are ancient and not the future of the party.
The thing I’ve got to wonder — how the hell is a county administrator going to come up with a secure voting system (other than just using paper ballots)? They aren’t. Either they will come up with an insecure system or they will get an outside contractor to design one (for a high pricetag), and that’ll still be insecure.
I’m all for someone designing an open-source optical scanner machine that all counties can buy, but that’s not what this is about.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
The Merc’s article also mentioned a few other potential Republican candidates. I’m rooting for Duf Sundheim on sheer name-power alone. He’d get the Homer Simpson vote for sure.
I would think that in these parts it might be possible to find some public-spirited computer scientists who could do just that. I’m not taking any chances, though, and will stick with my permanent absentee ballot status.
I’d guess Newsom or Harris. I suspected that one would run for governor in 2018 and the other would run for the Senate because I don’t expect DiFi to run again. Newsom strikes me as someone who wants to be governor, so I’d be more willing to bet on Harris. I’m not sure there’s anyone from Southern California that would be compelling – was never much a fan of Villaraigosa, but I suppose that’s a possibility.
On the GOP side, I can’t think of anyone. Seriously, the only slightly viable Republican would be Arnold and I think he’d rather make movies – besides, the GOP base doesn’t like him anymore. I just can’t think of anyone that would run as a Republican – they couldn’t find anyone in 2012 (granted DiFi has been very popular).
@divF: There are no serious SoCal candidates – the only possibility at this stage is Villaraigosa and he isn’t at the level he needs to be yet – no statewide office. I think Kamala Harris is the candidate-in-waiting
I think I’d go for Chiang if we can’t have Debra Bowen. (Well, I guess we can’t have Debra Bowen as senator…) So if Chiang’s running, I think he’ll get my support.
I really am frightened of the idea of our esteemed former mayors of SF and LA running for anything else, and hope they bow out.
@divF: How many voters these days remember Thomas Eagleton? Considering that Vitter and Sanford were re-elected despite far more grave shortcomings, depression may not be seen as such a big deal, but there’s always IOKIYAR.
@Petorado: I was going to mention Eagleton, but decided not to, because I get enough blank uncomprehending stares from people as is when I make offhand allusions about events 40+ years in the past.
ETA: Besides IOKIYAR, sexual misbehavior by powerful men is a sign of strength, while admission to depression is a sign of weakness. /snark
Hah–“disciplined,” yeah, right! How much low-grade trolling..er, prompting…do you think it would take to get every cut-rate asshole Ted Cruz wannabe in the state to throw their hat into the ring? Not bloody much, I think.
James E Powell
We would definitely use a strong senator from a Spanish-speaking heritage who will get as much national coverage as the Republicans manage to get with Cruz and Rubio. I would prefer that said person be female but won’t insist upon it if that’s how things work out.
@askew: Kamala Harris? She is doing a good job and is popular. I hope she runs.
@BR: I also wonder what county government will touch that idea with a ten foot pole. Maybe big ones like Los Angeles, or San Diego. Who else would want to?
How does one replace Hitler?
Actually, Double Hitler – Wingnut’s Hitler and Progressives’ Hitler rolled into one.
@divF: Newson won’t fly. Harris is gold, though. It’s her call whether governor or Senate, and deep down I might prefer her as governor because that’s a better platform to run for president, but only slightly. Harris has national recognition – she’s the best bet for the senate seat of all candidates.
I like Chiang as well. He’s a winner. Bowen is a winner as well.
Chiang would be a fantastic governor.
Jackie Speier for Boxer’s seat.
Debra Bowen will eventually have higher office.
I too like Kamala Harris, also.
By being in LA county. LA county is larger than most states and has the resources to do a good job of it. Some of the other large counties could probably make a reasonable run at it, too.
FWIW they’re considering going to an all-mail ballot, considering more than half of voters are doing so already.
More than that, being a complete a-hole is considered a sign of strength, in some circles.
Don’t believe Bowen will continue in politics, but time will tell on that. Speier seems like a possibility, especially given her history, but is not well known beyond the Bay Area. Steinberg is well connected in the party and might be the most capable senator of the bunch, but isn’t as media-ready as some.
Harris needs to decide which office to pursue and Newsome needs more suits.
I like the idea of them staying with some form of paper ballots. As for the idea that LA would be able to come up with a secure voting system that’s not paper-ballot based — not a chance. This is a really hard problem, studied by computer security experts for decades, and even the best non-paper designs invented have had problems. They weren’t as laughably weak as Diebold machines, but nothing has come along to beat paper, and I have my doubts that a county acting on its own is going to figure out a better option.
I just saw it — thanks! I have to go back to the store tomorrow, so I’ll ask.
I’ll miss BB, but I’m okay with her stepping down. The California Dem establishment is getting awfully long in the tooth.
Boxer is 74, Feinstein is 81, Pelosi is 74, Jerry Brown is 76
It’s time for the next generation to start stepping forward.
Lots of good candidates. Hilda Solis would be awesome, but she just won an election to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and was just sworn in last month. Their nickname is the “five little kings”, and frankly, with the power the supervisors hold, running for Senate might actually be a step down for Solis. I’m not sure she’d be up for this. Now, for 2018, after she’s been a supervisor for a couple years, perhaps, if Feinstein retires. But right now? I just don’t see it.
A lot of the college crowd I’m familiar with at UCLA would definitely be very happy with Kamala Harris running. Some of the girls would also be very happy with Gavin Newsom running. It is what it is. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Interestingly, despite me also being Chinese, I know very little about John Chiang. He seems much more like a technocrat, and his jobs so far have let him mostly stay out of hot-button political issues. He stood up to Schwarzenegger during the last furlough period, but that was still seen as a technocratic move of a guy doing his job. Not sure I’ve ever heard him say one word about Obamacare or anything like that. So he can get a lot of votes in red counties in California, just thanks to him looking (and then actually performing when in office) competent at his job. So he can win in Nevada County running for Treasurer. But running for Senate, I’d fully expect a bunch of those red votes to swing right back to the GOP candidate. I also haven’t gotten the sense from him that he’d actually want to be in the Senate either. The tag “ambitious” is used for people like Newsom and Villaraigosa; not Chiang. Who knows, maybe he secretly is, but his public image certainly doesn’t show it. I think that’s also a reason people like him.
Also, Fiorina would have to run a decent campaign, which is even less likely. Unless the dems decide to run Martha Coakley it’s a safe seat.
Rush Limbaugh is sad that state senator Fluke hasn’t been mentioned yet, but maybe he’s smart enough not to want to lose to her again.
Nah. He’ll be all about her today.
You mean like they did in the midterms by sitting them out?
This has Kamala Harris’s name all over it.
Senator Kamala Harris has a good ring to it.
mai naem mobile
Gary Newsom.comes across as a bluedog and an opportunist. Do.not like him at all. Also too, screwing around with your best friends/campaign managers wife is just digusting/character defect.
I would much rather see Kamala Harris as governor because its an easier road to the presidency. Theres also Garcetti but this.needs to.be a.woman /minority candidate.
Can’t speak for Padilla but this Caltech/MIT bibliography might give you something to think about.
I am not a fan of the top two system California has. In my view, every party has a right to nominate and have their own preferred candidate appear on a ballot. Having said that though, California does allow write in ballots. The idea that one party couldn’t organize to have one candidate written in is dumb because of course they would. Why is that such a hard concept to master?
@BruinKid: If you want a taste of Chiang’s effectiveness go check out the State Controller’s page. The amount of information now available, detailed information down to the city level — spending, sales and property tax income, liabilities etc — will be a part of his legacy. I never got the “technocrat” vibe from him more the “extraordinarily competent administrator” and a guy who can solve problems and let you watch as he does it.
I don’t think there is a viable Republican threat, at least not a teabagger style Republican and there is no one on that side of the aisle that comes with any state-wide name recognition other than Fiorina or Whitman and both of them are played out.
The state electoral map is completely and utterly unfriendly to the GOP and despite the fact that they have veteran legislator Jim Brulte as party chairman they still can’t raise any money. If the GOP is to be a threat at all it will take a somewhat moderate candidate from Orange county/Dago who can carry precincts in LA and the Bay Area.
@C.V. Danes: Good point, and full disclosure, I was one of them. We had a state-wide turnout of less than 35%
Thanks for your comments.
John became a Democrat — an active member of the party — during the Reagan years, which is perhaps not the path chosen by the most “ambitious” kids at the time.
As for going back to DC — he was there for law school — I’m not sure he wants to. His kid sister lived, and worked, and was murdered, there.
I hope Chiang runs for Gov, and Harris for Senate.
Newsome and Villaraigosa have a creep factor to avoid if there are better options… and there are.
CA Gop will try to lure another millionaire sucker into a run, but the results of the last few election cycles has proven it doesn’t work like it once did. Fiorina and Whitman spent tons of money running very, very bad campaigns.
I like Kamala Harris, but she has been pretty squishy on the Cannabis legalization front. For many voters here, legalization is the big issue for 2016, and is going to drive a lot of people to vote. Harris has been getting hit pretty hard over the past year for her wait-and-see stance by the pro-legalization camps.
Matt Miller duh
Harris or Chiang would be great replacements. Newsom and Villaraigoso should enjoy consulting gigs and pundit status until their zippers are frozen in a closed status.
The Top 2 is a GOP dream?? More likely a nightmare. The Dems are more likely to have two strong candidates while every GOP wannabe splits the (not very) massive Tea Party vote. We could see two Dems slug it out with the GOP sitting out the general election.
Nah, he needs to make “California Uber Alles” a reality and run for president…