Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Had The Titanic Just Driven Straight INTO The Iceberg . . .

Via The Roundup, news of Schwarzenegger having hired, wait for it, Susan Kennedy as his next chief of staff:

Gary Delsohn writes in the Bee "As word spread Tuesday about Kennedy, Republican blogger Jon Fleischman published a plea on his Web site asking the administration or Kennedy to 'help me understand why this appointment should not be interpreted as the big kiss-off to the GOP base.'"

"Karen Hanretty, spokeswoman for the state Republican Party, cautioned Republicans 'to hold their fire and give Gov. Schwarzenegger the benefit of the doubt,'" reports Carla Marinucci in the Chron.

"'Susan Kennedy's job is not to set policy; her job is to guide the governor's agenda,' she said."

Robert Salladay and Peter Nicholas report for the LAT "'She embodies everything I have spent my life opposing. It obviously raises more problems and concerns about where he is headed next year,' said Mike Spence, president of the California Republican Assembly. 'There is a list of things now where it appears we would have been better off if Gray Davis were governor.'"
Somebody please parse that set policy v. guide agenda comment above, because, for the life of me, I can't figure out the difference.

To explain the title of this post - many have theorized that had the Titanic driven directly into the iceberg, rather than trying to turn too late, it would've effectively beached itself and not have gashed a hole and sunk. For those of you who were econ majors in college and never too a literature class, substitute Schwarzenegger administration for Titanic, the iceberg would be, well, hard to choose, the complete melt down of his failed reform attempts, and that turn was executed by Captain Kennedy trying to guide the turkey - er, Titanic - back to the center. The gash was caused by the jagged edge of the Republican base.

And now they all get why taking out Gray Davis was a pretty big miscalculation, eh?

But why on God's green earth is Susan Kennedy taking this job? I've always liked her. And I've always also been foolishly part of the Ainsley Harriet, "your country needs you" school of thought wherein side-switching can be a noble endeavor and help make a better country/state/etc.

But I am so in the minority on that. Is Kennedy not just shoveling her political capital on a raging fire? She's a capable, brilliant politico regardless of where she works, but is there enough soap in the world to rid her of the Republican taint? And not just any taint - one from the Schwarzenegger administration. Talk about kissing the hand that starved you.

I don't see how anyone wins under this scenario. Not even Californians for having her back in the horseshoe. She is capable of doing a lot of good, but only if both sides are out for her blood - which they likely will be. If she succeeds in her post, then she helps defeat Angelides or Westly or whomever in November. If she fails then, well, she fails, nothing good happens for the state, and she'll still be hated for sleeping with the enemy.

Abandon ship . . . .

1 comment:

CSE said...

When I heard this news, I, like many other sacto dems, was quite surprised. After having time to digest the news I've concluded the following...the hiring of Susan Kennedy makes sense for the Governor.

The Gov tried to shed his moderate image this year by moving to the right and he took a big hit. Over the last year his popularity numbers have fallen nearly 20 points, voters rejected all of his initiatives, and he has unified the left against him.

I think that it makes sense for the Gov to try to move back to the left going into an election year. The fact is there are more democrats than republicans in california, and the Gov needs some of them to vote for in order to be re-elected. While the righty media has been complaining about this appointment, Arnold knows that republicans are still going to vote for him come November. Conservatives may cast a protest vote in the primary, but there is no way they are going to vote for a dem or 3rd party candidate instead of Arnold. By hiring Susan, Arnold can try to bring some mod dems into his corner.

I still don't see the upside for Susan. Maybe, as she said at the press conference today, she just wants to help end the partisan gridlock in the Capitol, if so, she has chosen an interesting way to do it.