What does it all mean for the nation??? Who cares! Out here in California, we are our own sovereign nation, or at least we think that way. Here we had a set of propositions (74 - 77) that the Govenator wanted soooo desperately for us to get on the ballot. So we did that earlier this year, with those of us here in Central California providing a HUGE base of support (we often get screwed by the Sacramento politico's, so I guess this was to be payback of sorts). And then what? The union machine spends something like $180 BAZILLOIN dollars running ads opposing the props, which is what you would expect, since the props in question were aimed directly at reducing their strangle hold on government influence in Kaleefornia. Union ads attacking the props ran non-stop from January until election day. I've never seen anything like it really. I wonder how much property they had to second, third, or fourth mortgage, to come up with the cash to pay for the ad blitz? Anyway, on the one hand you had the unions running ads every two seconds non-stop for almost a year, and on the other hand, you had Arnold's team doing...
...Um, doing nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch (BTW, the amount of spaces in the blank space is equal to the amount of days where the Arnold team did nothing) (Ok. I didn't really count the spaces. But hey; it's my blog. So if I say it's equal, then it's equal). First rule in politics - don't let the opponent frame the debate. Not only did they frame it? The shellaced it! They wrapped it! They sold it! They stole it! And then, when election night is almost here, what does the Arnold team do? They make those annoying dinner-time pre-recorded phone calls that do nothing but turn people off. So is ANYONE really surprized that the Arnold propositions went down in flames.
In conclusion I want to say this. If you pick a fight with someone, and you and the opponent agree to meet after school to duke it out, but YOU, the instigator don't show up. That's called being a GIRLIE-MAN!!!!
If you're not going to fight for what you believe in? Why bother.
PS. Oh, and Arnold, thanks for wasting $50 mil on the special election. Please, DON'T run again. Don't waste our time.
Here are some thought from other people:
Ron Brownstein says: last night lifts the hopes of Democrats, though he does make note that Dems won both these races in 2001 when Bush's approval rating was at it's post-9/11 peak.
John Podhoretz says: "To sum up: Incumbent party victories in two states and one city. A Republican state rejected Democratic initiatives. A Democratic state rejected Republican initiatives. Don't let the Democratic spin doctors fool you. Election Day 2005 has nothing to tell us about where the electorate is going in the wake of Bush's terrible year."
Larry Sabato says: "There's no way to spin this than anything other than a major defeat for Republicans and for President Bush. This [Virginia] is a red state, he came in on Election Eve and he had no discernible effect. If anything, he may have cost Kilgore some votes."
Stuart Rothenberg says: ``Given the state of things, the Republicans really needed to win one of these races. Because of the way the cycle is setting up, the way the momentum is right now, it's not good enough for the Republicans to say, `These were Democratic seats, we put up a good fight and still lost.' ``
Charlie Cook says: "Republicans on Capitol Hill are so scared already. This is just going to make them more fearful that 2006 could be a disaster."
Rahm Emanuel says: `This confirms that our voters are extremely mobilized, agitated and activated; theirs are despondent. Right now, I've got about 15 [potential candidates] I'm recruiting; this makes the sale a lot easier."
Ken Mehlman says: "From the beginning, we have viewed these as not national but state races. History is consistent with that, and the results tonight are consistent with that."
Quotes lifted from Real Clear Politics. The links to these quotes are there.
UPDATE: Here is the official results of the propositions, if anyone is interested. Click on the Maps buttons to see the results county by county. This is how bad it looks when you go down in flames. The chart represents the vote on spending limits. How can you NOT sell spending limits? The redistricing results look the same. And these were the two cornerstones of the Arnold campaign. The Terminator just got terminated.