Of course, part of the reason for that failing on my part is the fact that to get the active link from CMR to the FR, you gotta scroll down and click through to the "top story" - Chris Lehane's piece on the theme of the week shared by both sites: How [Insert Partisan Candidate Here] Will Win.
Following the link, we arrive at the FlashReport, ". . . on California's most significant political news . . . ." and its coverage of the launch. Fleischman slaps Maviglio, Kinney, and Salazar with the label "ultra-liberal" right off the bat, which I think is a bit excessive, but then again, what fun is a highly partisan, popular website without an arch-nemesis? Or arch-nemeseses? (what, no one here watches Buffy? Fine, next!). Fleischman also describes the CMR's stable of writers as "Donkey operatives." Suddenly, the UC Davis Veterinary School's Young Democrats Chapter has the chance to swipe a really, really great name.
The FlashReport presents three views on How Arnold Will Win from writers Mike DerManouel, Jr., Bill Whalen, and Dan Schnur. With teaser lines like "Angelides Cannot Win This Election - And Arnold Would Have to Try Hard To Lose It," "Coasting To Re-Election," and "Ten Years Later, Phil Angelides Has Stepped Into The Shoes Of Bob Dole" [Ed's note - I can only assume Whalen means Bob Dole of 10 years ago and not recent, really-brilliant-on-the-Daily-Show Bob Dole] - well, one wonders if that whole urban legend about Reeps pumping money into Angelides's campaign because they thought they could cakewalk right over him might be, like, true. Though I have my speakers turned off right now, I'm pretty sure if I turned them on, this site's soundtrack would be a series of high-fives and those kind of sighing, ah, priceless, laughs that only really smug people can pull off well.
But I mean that in a good way. Though FR is ironically green-hued, it's Redder than the run off at in the Morton's kitchen on a Saturday night. So for their audience [and their polling number, writes the blogger through gritted teeth], the tone is perfect.
Let's read one, though, shall we. FR's Central Valley Correspondent Michael Der Manouel, Jr (know him, Jared?) offers the priceless and cringe-inducing one-liner: Democratic staffers and office holders joke that Angelides means "Kathleen Brown" in Greek." Ouch. To be fair, the (red) meat of the piece called "Coasting to Re-election" is far more circumspect - acknowledging that voters are hardly 100% behind Schwarzenegger who is so ridiculously ahead of where we'd have thought he'd be a year ago:
So, where from here? I think the Governor needs to execute a simple political plan, ripped right from winning playbooks everywhere. First, continue the rapid, well documented response to Angelides attacks. His team has done well so far and needs to continue. Second, continue with a message of ”protection”, reminding people of what Democrat control of State Government was like last time we tried it. Be specific, and remind them of the disaster we were facing which led to the recall election. Third, remind voters of his veto pen, and announce that he will veto illegal immigrant driver licenses and single payer health care in a second term, along with any legislation damaging to the economy or jobs. Fourth, pledge to balance the budget every year of his second term, without raising taxes. Fifth, continue to rail against the federal government on the immigration issue. This message appeals to conservatives, independents, and Reagan Democrats. Last, but not least, continue to quietly reach out to conservatives with reassuring messages on fiscal responsibility.Dang. That sounds like a really well-reasoned, logical plan of attack. Is that merely because its easier to defend the office than take it over? A bit, I'm sure. Perhaps it's also that, as much as he tried to distance himself from his party leader George Bush, Schwarzenegger shares the President's talent (read: dumb luck) - for being in the right place at the right time.
If we're evaluating the post vs. post battle for the horseshoe, this round goes to the Reeps (dammit) - but again, it's easy to be a high-fiving smugster when you're inside the office already - and when you're willing to change your opinion as often as necessary to stay there.
But there's no longer stretch of time than that between Labor Day and Election Day.