We seek to identify the people and ideas that will lead the Republican Party back out of the wilderness. Topics include core conservatism, potential national leaders, constituencies that that the GOP must reach and the messages that will reach them.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Meg's Site Is Up

Meg Whitman has started an exploratory commitee, the first step toward running for governor of California. Her site is up. If I can pick out a main theme, it's that California is in decline and that Whitman can help bring back its lost glory. This is how older Californians (let's be blunt -- old, white, Republican Californians) tend to see the state. But I'm not so sure it will appeal to the young and, especially, the millions of immigrants who have become citizens and are now voting. I suspect the latter still see this state as a land of boundless opportunity, and they may see the theme of a state in decline as a subtle attack on them.

Historical note: Whitman's message at this point bears a strong resemblance to Pete Wilson's rather downbeat approach. He famously called California a "bad product" -- i.e., a lousy place to do business. He got elected to two terms, but at had to rely on a divisive issue, illegal immigration, to win a second term. He the California GOP much weaker as a result. There may be a cautionary tale here for Meg.

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