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Monday, October 05, 2009

Meg Whitman Stumbles Again

If you live in California as I do, it's impossible to sit in your car, mired in traffic without listening to your radio. Sure, most of us are plugged into our iPods precisely because we hate what's on the radio, but after a while, even your favorite New Age trance music gets boring. Sometimes, you just gotta hear what's happening out there, beyond the wall of glass that divides you from the other morons crawling along the eight lane highway at five miles per hour.

Sometimes, you just gotta hear the news -- or at least what passes for news.

At this writing, California's richest ego-maniacs are beginning to jockey for position to become the state's next governor. So far, just about all of the announced candidates are from the northern part of the state, a nod to the monumental amount of wreckage left in the wake of the last southern-based governator's bid to fool all of the people all of the time. The first two candidates off the line are a millionaire and a billionaire, Gavin Newsom and Meg Whitman, respectively.

Sigh.

Gavin is the well-heeled mayor of San Francisco, whose ethics and morality qualify him to serve as a role model for all Californians, if you call sleeping with your best friend's wife "qualified." The big question is not whether Newsom supports gay marriage (he does) or can appeal to Californians in the south (Gavin who?), but whether he can stock enough hair-styling mousse to last throughout an arduous, mud-laden campaign. Nobody has ever accused Newsom of being a particularly deep or thoughtful person. Judging from his early campaign efforts, I see no reason why this would change any time soon.

Meg Whitman, on the other hand, may be able to do something in California that neither the Republican or Democratic party has been able to do since eighteenth century France: Govern a state while in complete and total denial. In case you don't know who she is, Meg was the CEO of EBay, fostering its growth until a series of bad decisions (can you say "Let's buy Skype!") suddenly angered enough shareholders to motivate her to switch careers. Fast.

You would think that being in Silicone Valley, Meg would be hip, slick and in touch with what's going on out there. Well, you'd be wrong. In an homage to Marie Antoinette, Whitman's first radio spots go directly at where California's problems aren't, proving she's just another rich candidate that's hopelessly out of touch.

Here. Take a minute and listen to this:

Wait a minute. Banks are failing. Insurance companies are defaulting. Bernie Madoff is rotting in prison for scamming billions. The media is hoisting Wall Street on its own petard -- and Meg Whitman is telling voters that what they need in the governor's office is another business person?

Wow. Talk about denial. Where is she getting her brand strategy, WalMart? I mean, this woman can buy just about anything she wants, which I suppose includes stupid advisors. Of course, you have to remember this is the Republican party, the party which drove John McCain's campaign into the earth with genius advice from the likes of Carly Fiorina (who nearly destroyed Hewlett-Packard). These are the same voices that shouted their approval for that-one-lipstick-away-from-the-Presidency pick, Sarah Palin.

Do I sound a bit too negative? Maybe so. After all, these are just the first two horses out of the gate.

Meet you at the glue factory.

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