Angelides: The best public servant, but late in defining his campaign and himself
As soon as Phil Angelidies won the primary for the Democratic Party nomination for Governor of California, he blew it. He failed to go on the offensive with commercials to define himself and his campaign for the citizens of California. Note: I voted for Phil in the primary.
On the other hand, the "Governator" (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who knows a thing or two about marketing, immediately placed ads on the television and radio that defined Angelidies as wanting to raise "your" taxes, as if every Californian had the income of the top 1% of California taxpayers (including using Angelides' primary opponents ads, as I predicted in the above link). This defined Angelides to the citizens of California in the way Bush defined Kerry as a flip flopper in April 2004.
Now, Angelides has figured out how to explain to California citizens why his tax proposals are only adversely affecting that top 1%--with tax cut proposals for the rest of California tax payers.
But it may be too little too late unless he goes over the airwaves with a message that says what the article says, in sound bite form. Angelides also needs to help voters understand that when the Governator supports increases in park fees, college fees, etc., those are taxes, too, that burden those who are not in the top 1% of taxpayers.
While there may be some who will say Angelides is toast at this point, California remains a strong Democratic Party state. Angelides might make up his 6 point deficit in the polling, but this is a race that is now Governor Schwarzenegger's to lose.
Lesson: As a Democrat, the time to define yourself to the public is at the moment you win the primary. I know this means spending into some debt if a primary is bruising, but it's the only way to avoid having the Republicans define you first. Dean: shrill; Kerry: flip-flopper; Gore: liar; and now Angelides: tax ands spend liberal (taxing you and spending for someone else).
ANOTHER LESSON (update): Josh Marshall explains how, in Connecticut, when Ned Lamont took time off after the primary win, it allowed Lieberman sole and free broadcast media coverage. The result? Lieberman is now ahead by 12 points in a poll and has 53% of the vote. Lamont is in a good position, with Dem money and support, to make up that ground. Still, I thought Lieberman's independent run would fizzle. I was wrong. Terribly wrong. Lieberman is still a scoundrel, though. There is no time to rest in an election until maybe after the general, not just primary election is over.